Monday, July 22, 2013
What is a General Contractor?
Your General Contractor Helps Turns Your Vision Into Reality
OK, so you’re thinking about renovating and figured out that you’re going to need to hire a general contractor. But what, exactly, does a general contractor do?
In case you’ve been wondering, we thought we’d give you an overview of general contractors and what they do.
First of all, a general contractor is hired by a client to oversee construction on a project. The scope of the project is determined after the contractor meets with the client, usually at the project site. During the meeting, the contractor generally obtains information on the client’s goals and assesses the project.
The contractor then provides a proposal and an estimate, which includes the cost of materials, equipment and labor.
Drawing Up the Contract
Once the client and the contractor agree on the terms, the general contractor draws up a contract, which should detail the scope of the project, the budget, any schematic drawings and specifications prepared by an architect or other design professional, and deadlines for completing work. (Sometimes, the general contractor is the project engineer.)
Once construction begins, the general contractor is responsible for all aspects of the job, including providing all the materials and hiring qualified employees and subcontractor to carry out the work. The general contractor serves as the liaison between the client and any subcontractors to ensure work is done according to the specifications in the contract.
Other responsibilities of the general contractor typically include applying for any necessary building permits, managing schedules and budgets, and disposing of any construction waste. Usually, general contractors are familiar with the government offices that handle construction-related permits and other forms.
Qualifications for being a general contractor vary from state to state. In Texas, the state Department of Licensing and Regulation has no license category for general contractors.
Licensing Not Always Required
The Texas Residential Construction Commission existed for a time to oversee home construction but was disbanded in 2010 when legislators didn’t extend the law that created the commission. Unique Home Construction LLC, dba Unique Properties Custom Home Building and Remodeling Co. was registered with the Texas Residential Construction Commission: TRCC# 27021.
Specialty contractors such as electricians, plumbers and HVAC specialists do need to have a license in Texas.
It’s a good idea to consult the State Attorney General’s Office website for suggestions on choosing a reputable contractor.
Keep us in mind for any future remodeling or renovation projects. Unique Properties has been providing various types of construction services for nearly 20 years.
Photo Credit: Brock Builders