Things To Know About Hiring A General Contractor
A general contractor, principal contractor or subcontractor is typically responsible for managing the day-to-day oversight of a commercial construction site, management of trades and vendors, and communicating details to all involved parties over the course of an ongoing construction project. Typically, the general contractor will have some sort of a license or certification which demonstrates that they have experience in the field as well as some kind of industry recognized expertise. This information is communicated to potential customers through a written or oral contract with the customer.
It’s important to understand the difference between a general contractor and an architect when considering who is going to be performing the necessary tasks to fulfill a construction project’s overall objectives. The architect is the person who designs the plans for the project including the specifications for the structure as well as the landscape and vegetation. They are also responsible for communicating these plans to a sub-contractor who will manage the construction management. At the same time, an architect doesn’t necessarily have the experience or expertise in the field as a general contractor does. They will likely have an on the job training experience and familiarity of the industry in general, but will likely have little control over any aspect of the construction management process or have to hire their own architect. This leaves the general contractor in a better position of control where they can more efficiently coordinate with the subcontractor and provide the best options and design solutions.
Another key difference between the two is the type of training and certification they need to perform their jobs. While most construction workers are not required to undergo formal education and training before being hired on to a construction crew, it is mandatory that all general contractor workers be certified in order to take their jobs honestly and ethically. Some states even require building contractors to be licensed before they can take on work. There are also a number of federal regulations and requirements in place which are enforced by OSHA. Having the proper certification can mean the difference between getting paid and having your property ruined.
The main advantage of hiring a general contractor over an architect is cost. Most construction projects require more than just one person to handle them. Depending on the size of the project, there could be dozens of subcontractors involved including carpenters, plumbers, painters, glass installers, electricians and more. For the general contractor, this means that they can hire their subcontractors from their existing business, greatly lowering their operating costs.
On the other hand, there are certain projects that are better suited to the expertise of an architect. For instance, some renovation requires the full involvement and collaboration of many different people in order to successfully complete the project. It is usually the case that one or more of those people will be responsible for getting a permit and working with the right local council in order to have the renovation happen according to building codes. If they are not properly trained or licensed, there is a good chance that they may damage the property instead of improving it, causing an unnecessary loss for the client. If hiring an architect for a renovation project, you will be sure that all your bases are covered and that nothing untoward will happen. In the unlikely case that something does happen and your property is damaged as a result of the contractor’s negligence, you can sue them for it.
Whether you decide to hire a general contractor for any kind of construction project or a residential remodeling job, make sure that you are fully aware of the terms of the contract. The last thing you want is to discover later on that you were not fully informed about something and that you are now holding the prime contractor responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damages to your property. You can learn more about your commercial property by registering for a free guidebook. This guidebook will help you become the perfect remodeling, construction, or property management professional.