How to Select a General Contractor
A general contractor is the person who oversees the construction of a project. Also called a prime contractor, this person is responsible for the day-to-day management of the construction site. This individual is responsible for hiring, managing, and communicating with vendors, trades, and other contractors. They also have the responsibility of managing the project budget and schedule. Here are some tips for selecting the best general contractor for your project. Then, you can make the right decision for your needs.
A general contractor (GC) can only see the first tier of subcontractors, or parties they directly contract with. However, the real risk for a GC comes from the parties they cannot see, including subcontractors, suppliers, and other people involved in the project. In order to avoid getting ripped off, you must carefully manage the entire payment process. While many GCs may be willing to share their payment information with clients, not all of them are honest or reliable.
When selecting a GC, consider the payment structure. Typically, a GC will provide a contract outlining a payment schedule for the project. In some cases, you may need to pay a down payment before work can begin. You should only pay the remaining balance when you receive the completed project. If your project is very large, you may need to make multiple payments. Once the project is complete, you will be required to pay the entire amount. If you find a GC that requests payment in advance, be cautious because this practice comes with significant risks.
The payment terms for a general contractor vary according to the project’s complexity. A GC can only see the first tier of subcontractors and other parties they contract directly. The real risk for a GC lies in the unseen parties. These include sub-subs, suppliers, and others on the project. You have to be careful in choosing the right one for your project. The risks are minimal, but you must pay attention to your payments to ensure you get your money.
As a general contractor, you are the owner of the project. The GC should be an independent contractor. As such, he or she is not considered an employee. In California and Maryland, a GC is a business. Hence, the GC should have the ability to control the work and have great relationships with subcontractors. The main task of a general contractor is to manage the overall budget of a project, so it should be able to meet the goals of the project and the client.
A GC can oversee the entire construction process. He or she supervises local building regulations and works with the team of engineers and architects to design the project. He or she can also coordinate with the architect and other professionals on the project. As long as all the parties are trustworthy, a GC can manage the whole project from start to finish. The risk of a GC is not negligible. You need to be careful when choosing a general contractor.