Choosing a good general contractor is the most important decision you will make when remodeling a home or considering new home construction. Let’s face it, the final outcome of your project will be only as desirable as the general contractor you chose and it’s the one area you don’t want to skimp on or make quick decisions. It’s important to do your homework and be sure to hire an expert general contractor with impeccable references.
You may be wondering what exactly a general contractor is, what is their job in the scope of the remodel project?
A general contractor is the person whose responsibility it is to ensure your project is completed on time and within budget. They are the go to person, the boss, who will ultimately make all decisions in the construction ranging from what subcontractors are hired, where the materials come from, to construction planning and problem solving. The general contractor is the person who will oversee every detail of the project from start to finish. Let’s look at some of the qualities a good general contractor should exhibit.
- Knowledge of all aspect of construction. A good general contractor is familiar with all areas of construction from plumbing to electrical and everything in between. If the contractor himself is not educated in all areas of the remodel, your project will be left in the hands of subcontractors with nobody looking out for the quality of the work. Your general contractor needs to be able to recognize shoddy work and improper techniques in all aspects of the job to ensure quality work is performed on your home.
- Good Communication Skills. Obviously a general contractor, who does not listen to or understand your wishes in detail, is unlikely to deliver the final project you were expecting. This person will be your voice, and communicate your wishes to the rest of the crew so it’s important to have a general contractor who is able to listen, and convey the details of your project in an accurate manner.
- Knowledgeable licensed subcontractors. It is important to make sure your general contractor is familiar with the subcontractors hired to complete the construction job. A good general contractor will have a team of subcontractors that he has worked with in the past and is confident of their work ethic and training. Be sure your general contractor has a viable trusted crew he can provide references for and has confidence in.
- Knowledge of necessary permits. Every state and county has their own rules and regulations regarding building and construction permits. Your general contractor should be familiar with these regulations in the community you live in. There are a multitude of permits which may be required for your construction project which include earthquake safety codes, storm protection for coastal areas, and other such requirements. If after your project is complete, it’s not found to be up to code by the building inspector, or your contractor failed to receive necessary permits for the project, you could be forced to tear down the addition or building which could land you in a nightmare situation. It’s important to hire a general contractor who is familiar with every permit and code required to successfully complete your project.
- Ability to adhere to your budget without compromising safety and materials. Shoddy work and cutting corners never pays off in the end. Make sure your general contractor fully understands the entire project and is confident they can provide the quality work within the agreed upon budget without compromise.
The knowledge of a general contractor is invaluable in the final outcome of your construction project. From their expertise in obtaining materials from viable sources, to hiring licensed educated subcontractors to complete the work, the responsibility of a good subcontractor is what will ultimately affect the final outcome.
Whether you’re building a new home construction, or an addition to your existing home, be sure to choose a general contractor who you have confidence in and trust with the entire project. The result will be the home of your dreams.
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David Warner writes on behalf of Tfin. It provides general contractors for the maintenance of the company.