General contractors (GCs) oversee the construction of building projects. They work with an architect or design team to determine the scope of a project and coordinate with subcontractors. They also handle the financial aspects of a project by bidding out construction work and keeping the costs within the client’s budget.
They usually begin their careers in the building industry as carpenters, electricians or plumbers and then move into management. Many of these people also have business training, and they often run their own businesses.
The main responsibility of a general contractor is to manage all aspects of the construction process, including acquiring the necessary licenses and permits and working with all vendors and subcontractors. They must also ensure that all work is done as per the blueprints and designs of the owner.
A GC must be able to make decisions quickly and effectively, as they will need to address issues that arise during the course of the construction. For example, if someone is injured or supplies are delayed, they must take action to fix the problem.
During the construction process, there will be many things that need to be done at once. This can cause confusion and stress to the general contractor, so they need to be able to multitask and prioritize tasks.
Another key element of their job is ensuring that the work is completed according to specifications, which may include codes and safety regulations. This is important because it means that the structure will be strong and durable.
They also need to be able to make sure that all materials used are of high quality and can be easily repaired should they break down. This will save the client money and ensure that the structure is safe for the long term.
The GC must keep track of all construction activities and communicate with subcontractors, as well as with the client. Having a good record of communication with both parties can reduce the likelihood of conflicts and disputes on the construction site.
This is particularly important if the project involves a large number of workers or construction equipment. It’s a good idea to hire an experienced GC who can oversee the work from start to finish.
A GC needs to ensure that they have good relationships with all of the subcontractors that will be working on the project. This will help them to avoid delays in the construction process, and they should also be able to help the clients save money by purchasing all of their material on an as-needed basis instead of a regular basis.
Having excellent interpersonal skills is essential in this role because a GC will be interacting with people from all over the world. Whether they are dealing with the client, the architect, or their own employees, they need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively.
As the GC has a lot of responsibilities on the construction site, it is important that they have good premises liability coverage to cover their risk of property damage caused by visitors to the site. This includes children and vandals who could be attracted to a job site after hours, and the general contractor should have a comprehensive policy in place to mitigate their risk.