It’s safe to say that most people have seen one of the incredibly popular home design shows on television. A lot of these programs focus on amazing home “flips,” where an older, outdated home is essentially torn down and rebuilt into a beautiful, modern home. The people shown calling the shots about what walls can be blown out and which ones have to stay are usually contractors. These professionals play a huge role in homebuilding and remodeling. But what exactly are contractors and what exactly do they do? Read on for a more in-depth look.
A general contractor is someone that is in charge of the entirety of a construction project. This can be commercial or residential. They are responsible for bidding on a job, obtaining it, providing the necessary materials, labor, and equipment needed to complete the project, and overseeing it to completion. Although these professionals are in charge of most of the work associated with a construction project, specialized work like plumbing, electrical, and mechanical may be subcontracted out.
To become a general contractor, no degree is technically necessary. Many professionals in this field earn a bachelor’s degree in construction science, however, especially if they plan on working for a larger company. Every state requires that people in this position pass an exam on construction practices and laws. Passing this test allows them to obtain a license to work.
The first thing that contractors typically do during the long process of building or remodeling is submit a construction bid to the owners of the properties to get hired to manage the project. They will estimate the cost of the materials for the project and add in their projected cost for labor. They’ll also add in work that must be subcontracted out of necessary. This all goes into a contract that is given to the property owners for approval.
Once the contract is signed and all the paperwork in done, the actual work begins. From this point forward, the contractor is in charge of everything that gets done on the property and oversees all aspects of the project. More importantly, they are responsible for any complications that may arise during construction. Delays or issues with the project can lead to money out of their pocket unless specifically stated otherwise in the terms of the contract. Even if they’ve hired out a bunch of different subcontractors, they are still ultimately the ones responsible for both the timeliness and quality of work.
So if you’re in the market for a contractor, make sure you do your homework! These individuals are involved in nearly every aspect of construction, so you want to know you’re working with someone you can trust. Get recommendations and reviews for each company you’re considering working with, paying close attention to any information about timeliness and accuracy of a cost estimate. When you work with the right people, getting the home of your dreams is easy!