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  • Writer's pictureWestring Construction

Why Hire a General Contractor

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

People are often tempted to act as the general contractor on their build or remodel projects. This decision may work for a small, uncomplicated project. However, a complete understanding of general contractor (GC) roles and responsibilities just might make you think twice. 

General Contractor Roles and Responsibilities 

Keeping current on local codes, permitting requirements and ordinances is an important responsibility. These can be moving targets, so GCs must frequently revisit their sources for accurate information. Falling short here could derail a project that doesn’t meet the inspection requirements. 

The general contractor has complete oversight of every aspect of the project. A bid is submitted, based most often on plans provided to them.  Contracts are drawn up for the project once the bid is agreed to. From that point on, the work is the responsibility of the GC. A project manager may also be assigned if the general contracting firm is large.  

Hiring subcontractors; sourcing materials, tools and equipment; coordinating project components and schedules, and ensuring the project meets the timelines and milestones all fall on the general contractor. 

What Else Does the GC Bring to the Table? 

Relationships. A subtle, perhaps less tangible asset. A great general contractor has solid working relationships with subcontractors from all fields, vendors, and hopefully local officials and inspectors. They know who to reach out to get questions answered. This can mean the difference between a project that stays on track, passing inspections at each stage, or one the suffers constant delays. 

Finding the Right GC 

Finding a GC who is the best fit for your project is critical. Communication is key. The GC must communicate with the client, subcontractors, vendors, local officials and inspectors. Being highly skilled and committed here makes the ups and downs of these projects much less stressful for everyone. Great tips on finding your GC are here.  

General Contractor or Design/Build Contractor? 

One last consideration. In brief, a design/build contractor works on the project from inception – the design – through the entire build/remodel. Which one is right for you? This article walks through the differences to help you make that decision. 

In summary, yes, you may save money in upfront expenses by acting as the general contractor. However, the learning curve can be quite costly unless you have a broad working knowledge of the myriad of details that go into a project like this.

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