What Does a General Contractor Do?
A general contractor oversees a construction project, often directly employing workers, and subcontracting with specialists to complete certain tasks. They perform functions similar to the manager role in most businesses, communicating with the people paying for the work and ensuring that everything is completed on time. They also assess the needs of their client, coordinate the work of subcontractors, and arrange for equipment rental within a project’s budget.
General contractors are required to be licensed in most states to carry out construction work. They may also be required by clients to carry general contractor insurance. This insurance protects the contractor against lawsuits that may arise due to their business and pays for court costs and legal fees. In California, general contractors must be licensed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, which also regulates licensing requirements and education.
Before a general contractor begins work on a construction project, the client selects the site and works with an architect to develop plans based on their needs. The architect or designer will work with the general contractor to determine the specifications needed for the project and create an accurate cost estimate. The contractor will also participate in the design process and provide information regarding the construction schedule.
In addition to overseeing the work of subcontractors, a general contractor provides advice and guidance on the construction process. They check for the quality of work done and provide feedback to the project’s team. A general contractor will also be responsible for ensuring that the design of the project meets the needs of the client.
General contractors oversee larger construction projects. Their job includes the oversight of the entire construction process, from hiring subcontractors to sourcing materials for the project. In addition, they also serve as a liaison between the owner and the design team. Ultimately, the general contractor has the responsibility of ensuring that the project is completed according to specifications and within budget.
In Florida, the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation has stringent licensing requirements for general contractors. Applicants must have at least four years of experience and an education in construction. They must also show proof of financial stability. They must be insured for both liability and workers compensation. And they must also pass a business and law exam. Once they pass all of these requirements, they can register for state-level certification and apply for local licenses.