What Does it Take to Be a General Contractor?
General contractors oversee the construction of projects, usually for commercial businesses. They coordinate with vendors, subcontractors, and clients, and ensure that projects are completed in a timely manner. In addition, they make sure that the project meets quality standards. Some general contractors specialize in particular types of construction.
Most general contractors have a bachelor’s degree, and some also have certifications. If you want to work as a general contractor, you should have a strong knowledge of building materials and trade skills. It is also important to have a good level of communication. You will need to know how to interact with different people and be able to highlight positive aspects while delivering bad news. A good general contractor should also have the ability to handle liability issues throughout the construction process.
Before working as a general contractor, you will need to obtain a license from the state in which you are doing business. The requirements vary by state, from passing exams to possessing liability insurance. Typically, a license is required for any contractor working on projects that are over $500. Unlicensed contractors can face penalties. Those who are convicted of unlicensed construction can also face jail time.
While working as a general contractor, you may find that you need to hire workers. Construction laborers are often needed on project sites, and you’ll need to provide them with clear guidance. Also, you’ll need to be sure that your site meets all the building codes. To do this, you’ll need to document your plans and specifications to meet these requirements.
In some cases, you’ll be required to carry a surety bond. This can be a huge financial burden. However, it is possible to find ways to cut costs. One of the most common methods is to streamline the paperwork involved. Another is to increase the visibility of your subcontractors, so that they can be easily paid. By doing this, you can save a considerable amount of money.
A general contractor is responsible for obtaining necessary permits, coordinating the delivery of construction materials and equipment, and ensuring that the project is complete on time. He or she also helps the project to run smoothly, and is the primary point of contact between the client and other construction workers.
Depending on the size of the project, a general contractor may be in charge of hiring subcontractors to complete specific tasks. This can be a helpful tool to keep a project on track, especially if it has a lot of moving parts. Other tasks that a general contractor may take on include scheduling work, ordering supplies, and reordering if there is a shortage.
General contractors can also serve as construction managers. Many of them are hired to work from the outside, and they are typically self-employed. Their salary varies, but they can make as much as $116,500 a year. Those who work for a construction management company can be paid as much as $169,000 a year.