Things to Consider Before Hiring a General Contractor
A general contractor (GC) is responsible for overseeing a construction project from the earliest design stages to the completion. The GC’s responsibility is to oversee the project from beginning to end, solving problems as they arise and maintaining the integrity of the construction project. Listed below are some things to consider before hiring a GC:
Ensure that everyone is on the same page. General contractors must be able to communicate well and know the right language to use. For example, construction laborers and subcontractors need clear instructions on project phases. They don’t need detailed instructions on how to acquire materials or how to bid a project. If you can’t communicate well with your subcontractors, you might be wasting your time and money. Also, make sure that you listen to your gut.
Experience. A general contractor who has experience and expertise is the best choice for larger construction projects. You can hire a subcontractor for smaller projects, but they won’t have the same level of personal connection. A general contractor is usually hired for bigger construction projects and they place a strong emphasis on quality and building a client-first relationship. A general contractor will have the time and expertise to ensure that the construction project is done right. The final cost of a project will depend on how big or small the project is.
After choosing a general contractor, make sure to discuss your budget and project scope with him/her. A detailed project scope shows your commitment to the project and helps you ask the contractor questions that may come up. It also gives you a chance to ask questions and get an honest answer. A construction manager can be an excellent investment, but hiring one can cost you anywhere from $3200 to $54,000. Generally, the fee for hiring a construction manager is between 5% and 15% of the overall project cost.
In addition to having a solid managerial and organizational skill, a general contractor should have extensive construction experience. Experience as a carpenter or skilled tradesman can provide an invaluable perspective. A general contractor should be familiar with blueprints, as they are essential for translating your vision into reality. And lastly, a good understanding of building regulations and safety is a must. But, what are the advantages of hiring a general contractor? There are many advantages to hiring one over another.
While some general contractors rely on experience to become licensed, others complete a construction apprenticeship through a trade school or association. The process typically takes three to five years and is dependent on experience and degree level. Depending on your background, becoming a general contractor can lead to various career levels, including carpenter supervisor, operations manager, construction superintendent, or project manager. The salary potential is high and there are numerous opportunities for advancement. For a general contractor, a great salary can be attained through education, experience, and continued professional development.
The job outlook for general contractors is fairly stable, although it isn’t as secure as the job outlook for solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine technicians, but it is better than the outlook for most other careers. Despite the low unemployment rate, job growth in the construction industry is expected to be about 5% over the next decade and nearly 4% over the same time period. With that type of job security, many people are looking to become a general contractor.