When it Comes to Renovation and New Construction, it’s Worth Hiring a General Contractor
When looking at hiring a general contractor one of the biggest questions often asked is who is a general contractor? Essentially a general contractor is a person that takes on the headache of contracting with others but leaves the construction projects up to the contractors themselves. A general contractor, principal contractor or subcontractor is in charge of the day-to-day supervision of a construction site, coordination of trades and vendors, and the dissemination of details to all involved parties during the course of a construction project. Without their experience, it would be difficult for them to perform even basic tasks like estimating materials and labor, arranging for necessary permits, negotiating terms of contracts, scheduling subcontractors and getting on with your business.
However, the right way and wrong way to hire these contractors is something many people don’t know or have not given much thought to. In most instances, it’s best to hire a general contractor the first time you’re asked to submit a project bid. This puts you in an advantageous position because the bids are already structured by professionals and include all the required elements necessary to hire the right contractors. For example, most bids for general contractors require some sort of licensing requirements. It’s the job of your bids inspector (or your construction manager) to review the contracts to determine if any licensing requirements are present and, if so, what those requirements are.
A qualified general contractor will have completed the relevant training and be in a position to perform the various duties necessary for any given construction project as efficiently as possible. He will have experience in coordinating multiple trades and multiple vendors and be able to take on large jobs without having to learn the ropes from the ground up. Your architect will be happy to submit bids and communicate issues and concerns effectively and efficiently so the project manager can resolve them quickly and without complications.
Once you’ve selected your general contractor contractors, then it’s time to sit down with them and prepare the bid documents. In most cases, this will be broken down into several major sections: contract installation/negotiation/refurbishment/overall completion; and contract administration/planning/contract reviews/payment terms. In the case of renovations, you’ll probably need to also include: architectural design & review, contractor’s qualification, preliminary/pre-qualification consultations, contract implementation & negotiation, contract review & certification, and financial statement review.
Once you have reviewed your documents, your architect should be ready to submit his bid, providing a detailed description of his work and what he expects to receive for it. You should also be impressed by the general contractor’s ability to respond to your questions, to his proposal and to his willingness to work within your budget. The general contractor should be willing to meet your deadlines and make good on your money.
If you find the general contractor to be a good fit for your project, he is likely to provide you with a written offer, a schedule, a bid package and a detailed proposal of his work. When you are reviewing this bid package, you can look for: – Is there a contract management policy? – Does the general contractor have a construction schedule? – Are there any major deviations from the schedule proposed?