Whenever someone begins planning the construction of a building, be it a house or just a room, they might start looking into hiring a “general contractor”. However, most people don’t know what a general contractor does, or whether or not their project needs a general contractor until it is too late.
In this post, we’ll be looking at what a general contractor does, examining their capabilities within the construction industry and what solutions they can bring to the table to make your life as a property owner easier.
Table of Contents
A general contractor is a licensed person (or company) hired directly by a property owner to conduct the construction of a building from start to finish.
These professionals manage everything in the building project, from designing your home to surveying the site, controlling the budget, hiring personnel, supplying materials, keeping up with schedules, securing a safe workplace, and keeping communication clear with their respective homeowners’ prime contractors.
Every U.S. state has different legislation to define who is qualified to work as a general contractor in the construction industry. In Orlando, where ICOA (International Contractors of America) is based, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Florida Construction Licensing Board are responsible for approving or denying potential license applications. These agencies determine what skills, education, and experience are needed to get a contractor license in Florida.
To hire a licensed professional is to acknowledge the company’s credibility, but if you are looking for the best general contractors in the market, look for BBB (Better Business Bureau) accredited companies, as they have built a trustworthy marketplace with honest advertising, and are known for exposing fraud against consumers.
To watch over a whole crew of employees is a job that requires management and organizational skills. The general contractor will mostly be out at the construction site overseeing the project progress and making sure everyone is working at the necessary pace and has the required resources to conduct their tasks.
Every step of the project needs to be recorded to ensure efficiency on the construction site and trust between the general contractor and the property owner. Their job includes monitoring schedules and cash flows, maintaining accurate records on what has been completed, what is to come, and the shortcomings on the way.
Part of a general contractor’s obligation is to advise their client on the best materials, human resources, and procedures to effectively build on their lot. To keep in touch with the property owner, be it a commercial or residential property, is something that builds trust between both parties, as it ensures that your needs are met and that the contractor can safely direct their personnel on the building site.
Provide materials & equipment
There are many resources involved in the building process, and it’s your general contractor’s responsibility to get their hands on everything you might need. These professionals have many contacts across the industry to provide the workers at the construction site with all the materials needed to conclude the building, such as wood, concrete, safety equipment, and heavy machinery.
A general contractor often hires many other subcontractors to fill in gaps in the construction team. Under a general contractor’s contract, you – as a property owner – do not have to worry about hiring architects, engineers, electricians, carpenters, etc. That’s up to the general contractor, as they are responsible for overseeing the quality of all the work performed by any of the professionals and subcontractors.
A permit is needed for most construction projects in the U.S. These are documents that guarantee the building site safety for work and meets the requirements to prevent structural damages to the property. Part of the contractor’s job is to acquire these permits. It is a dull process, but it allows the project to stay up to date and on schedule.
Safety & Security
Part of the job description of a general contractor is to ensure that the building site has all of the necessary safety measures. These safety measures are posted at the job site on a document called the safety induction. Here, all those who are hired by the general contractor are aware of the site’s potential hazards and the meaning of security signs over it.
Along those lines, they’ll find:
- To always use PPE (Personal Protective Equipment);
- Keep the site tidy, so no one trips on the wrong cable;
- Act safely and be an example for your peers;
- Report defects and fill a near-miss report;
- If in doubt, ask.
As you can see, hiring a general contractor takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders when putting your building project into action. General contractors are competent professionals that know the right people and procedures to effectively turn your lot into your dream space.
If you are interested in hiring a general contractor, ICOA is ready to serve with a team of highly motivated and experienced people all around the Central Florida area.