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What Does a General Contractor Do?

A general contractor oversees the big-picture, top-level aspects of construction projects. They may own their own contracting firm, work as salaried employees of property owners and developers or work as a subcontractor to other firms that specialize in specific types of construction. This type of contractor turns the visions and renderings of architects, engineers, interior designers and other professionals into real-life building projects. They are also responsible for the scheduling, budgeting and coordinating with each member of the construction team on the job site.

The responsibilities of a general contractor vary based on the size and complexity of a project. For example, a large commercial buildout may require a large crew of workers and specialized equipment and materials, while a residential home renovation could only call for a few laborers and basic tools. Regardless of the specific details, most GCs will manage the bid process, reconcile each tradespeople’s proposals with the overall budget and obtain all necessary building permits. The GC will also manage the day-to-day operations and quality control at each site and ensure that all deadlines are met.

When hiring a GC, it is important to ask for references and a sample of their work. Ideally, you want to hire someone who has experience working on similar projects as yours. They should also have a valid license and insurance coverage. Most states and municipalities have licensing requirements for contractors, which typically includes a fee, background checks, insurance coverage and other information.

During the construction process, a good GC will provide updates on progress and any problems that may arise. They will also communicate with the property owner to ensure that any changes to original plans are made. Additionally, they will coordinate with the construction manager to ensure that any subcontractors are properly licensed and insured.

On larger projects, the GC will likely be the person in charge of purchasing the materials. This is important, as a poorly managed supply chain can result in delays, budget overruns and even safety issues. Additionally, a good GC will be able to negotiate the best prices and terms for the necessary construction materials, which can save the project money and help it stay on track.

Another crucial role of the GC is to handle the payments between the project owner and all other contractors. Typically, these payments are outlined in a payment schedule that is tied to milestones for completion. This ensures that each contractor is paid and that the GC has enough funds to cover all the bills on the project.

While most general contractors will carry a certain level of liability, it is always smart to have small business insurance for general contractors in NY. This can include general liability, workers’ compensation, and a surety bond. In some cases, a surety bond may be required by a government body as a condition of being granted a permit or license for a particular project. This type of bond guarantees that the party seeking the permit or license will comply with all relevant laws and regulations.

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