What is a General Contractor ?
A general contractor, also know as a builder is a construction company that is responsible for the day-to-day management of a construction project, overseeing material suppliers, specialized trades, and communicating the construction site information to the client or parties involved throughout the course of a construction building project. A general contractor employs or sub contracts the necessary trades needed to start and complete a construction project. A client, on the advice of the Architect, Engineer, or an Interior Designer, hires the general contractor. At the preconstruction stage when a general contractor is contacted for a new construction project, blueprints or project-specific documents are reviewed and calculated. In case of a remodel project or a renovation project, a job site meeting with the client is required to get a better understanding of the scope of work that is required. After reviewing the blue prints or measurements taken at the site meeting the contractor will then calculate a price. This is known as an estimate, proposal, or bid. The estimate includes the cost of materials, equipment, and the cost of specified trade labor needed to complete the construction project.
Responsibilities of a General Contractor:
A general contractor is responsible for overseeing a construction project from start to completion, ensuring the client’s satisfaction. A general contractor furnishes all of the materials, labor, equipment and services necessary for the construction of the project. The general contractor hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work. Responsibilities also include obtaining licenses and building permits, securing the construction job site, providing temporary utilities on site, scheduling workers, providing site surveying and engineering, disposing of or recycling construction waste, supervising work ethics and safety, budgeting and monitoring cash flow, and maintaining accurate records throughout the construction project.
License Requirements for a General Contractor:
Licensing requirements to work legally on construction projects vary from state to state. In the Unites States, it is the states’ responsibility to define these requirements. For example, here in the state of California, the requirements are stated as follows: All businesses or individuals who work on any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in California must be licensed by the California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) if the total cost of one or more contracts on the project is $500 or more. CSLB requires candidates to provide work experience in the construction industry as well as references from clients, business partners, or former employers in order to be issued a license number. Some states require candidates to provide proof of financing to own their own general contracting firm.
License Qualifications for a General Contractor:
General contractors often start out as construction workers. While gaining hands-on work experience, they learn about the different trades in the construction field, including concrete, carpentry, framing, electrical, and plumbing. Aspiring general contractors communicate with subcontractors and may learn the management skills they need to run their own company. General contractors often run their own business. They hire subcontractors to complete specialized construction tasks and manage teams of plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other specialists. General contractors build their business by networking with potential clients, buying basic construction equipment, and ensuring that their subcontractors and in-house construction crews complete every project with high-quality workmanship. A successful general contractor is familiar with important construction techniques by hands-on experience and having gained valuable knowledge out in the construction field. By working side by side with specialized tradesmen on construction projects, a general contractor has earned the necessary skills to manage construction work crews effectively and complete building projects successfully.
Joel & Co. Construction
11693 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049