Becoming A General Contractor
General contractors are responsible for the entire management of all trades and vendors on a large scale, and have a lot of experience in the industry. A general contractor, also referred to as principal contractor, general contractor or primary contractor, is ultimately responsible for the entire day-to-day supervision of a construction site; from managing the entire construction staff to overseeing all trades and vendors, and communicating details to all parties involved. Having a general contractor on your team allows you to focus on the more important aspects of your project, such as scheduling and materials management. Additionally, they have extensive experience in the industry and can provide a wealth of knowledge that can increase profitability and minimize risk. However, before you hire a general contractor make sure that you are choosing the best one for your needs.
Before you choose any contractor for your next construction project it is important to do research to ensure that they are fully licensed and that they have the experience you need. It is illegal in some states to hire workers who are not licensed and many construction sites have contractors without a license because they are sub-contracting, which means they are the ones providing work but are not actually working there themselves. As a general contractor you will need to get licensed and have your construction site inspected by your local government to ensure that the general contractor has followed all local and federal construction laws. Most general contractor contracts require that you submit your license application to the local Better Business Bureau before being considered for construction, so having your application filed and ready to submit is essential. If your general contractor is sub-contractor, he or she must also submit the necessary paperwork to ensure that the subcontractor is licensed to perform work on the same site.
As with general contractors, it is extremely important for general contractors to have good relations with their surrounding community and be involved in local community affairs such as churches and schools. Sub-contractors may face stiff competition and be forced out if they do not maintain good relations with the people around them. Good relationships with the local power companies and water companies also help because the power company may decide to use your water line or water hose instead of someone else’s, which could be very beneficial in the future.
Once you have decided to employ a general contractor it is best to make sure that you are hiring an experienced one who is fully licensed and bonded. In order to be considered an expert construction manager, construction management degree or equivalent education is required. Some states require experience in the field, while others only require that the general contractor have the ability to complete a project. It is always recommended to find a general contractor with experience because experience helps to prepare contractors to handle any project better and also ensures that their skills are up to date.
Construction projects can become very complicated and it is very important that the general contractor has the right licenses and insurance to ensure that they are covered in case of accidents or injuries that may occur on the job. The cost of acquiring these licenses vary from state to state, but most require completion of an application for a general contractor license before being issued one. If the general contractor does not meet the licensing requirements, there are ways that they can obtain the license without it. The cost of obtaining an insurance policy to protect them in the event of an accident is often included in the fee for obtaining the license.
Most of the licensed general contractors follow the same licensing requirements as residents who are looking to get a license as well. When applying for one you will be required to provide proof of residential location, which can usually be done through a short phone call to your local division. Once you have completed the process you will then be able to work as a general contractor and begin enjoying the benefits of earning a living by working for someone else. Working for someone else means having more time available to spend with family and friends because you no longer have to worry about your own business, which makes it easier to relax and enjoy yourself when working.