A general contractor to begin with is a person who can work with blue prints, is there when a job begins, surveys the land the project is on, reevaluates the job at different phases to keep the job on tract like a navigator in an aircraft, keeps the project on budget, orders the material for the project, has management skills and hires the labor. You get it. This person is -as Truman might have put it- where the busk stops.
Now a general contractor doesn’t need to be able to do all aspects of the job as he or she can hire sub-contractors to do different parts of the job like the electrical or masonry which he or she can’t do because of time constraints. There may also be a certain job needed to be done that is perhaps more exotic and out of his or her area of expertise which the contractor let’s a sub-contractor more qualified in that area do. Too because of the mountains of new regulations, there may be added license or union requirements that the general contractor now does not meet, but which a sub-contractor does. Still, the general contractor must know if the jobs that the sub-contractor do us within tolerance of good standards.
To know this, often a general contractor will have a college degree in architecture, surveying or construction science. The contractor will more than likely have years of experience in all aspects of the job and have been a carpenter, a mason, an electrician and/or a plumber.
In addition to a general contractor’s license, there may be permits needed for different aspects of contracting. This can including building permits or environmental clearances. Laws vary state to state. The work that general contractor do can range from the smallest of home projects where contractors do their own work and are masters of many trades to the building of a neighborhood development of homes. Often it is industrial in nature.
Even when hiring a general contractor for projects that may stretch out for years, developers prefer to hire contractors as non employee because it’s easier to release a person if they are not an employee when the need arises. The contractor in these cases would then be responsible to pick up his or here insurance and benefits packages. This would all be prices into the contract the general contractor received though.
When hiring a contractor, there are free services on line in most States that allow a license check. A contractor; of course, should have pictures of prior jobs done and also have references. If the job involves large sums of money, there are firms that will bond parties, contractor and developer, to insure completion and payment for services rendered.