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What Can a General Contractor Do: A Brief Guide


The term “General Contractor” is very common in the construction industry, sometimes also referred to as “GC”. It can be succinctly described as a person or company that is responsible for the execution and management of your construction project from start to finish. They are the ones responsible for building your project.

Dealing with construction projects is not an easy task. Construction projects are notorious for their complexities and large number of trades involved. Whether it’s a commercial or residential project. For the successful completion of your project, it is necessary that each trade must be handled carefully by a skilled person.

A general contractor is the one who deals with all these challenges. While general contractors can have a team of professionals having skills in various trades working under them, mostly they will hire a subcontractor for various trades involved in the project. From blueprints to timelines and budgets, they will manage everything to complete the project.

However, the task isn’t completed there. The General Contractor is the one who makes sure that everything is going in the right direction. If any accident occurs on the site, he is the one securing compensation for workers and insurance for everyone who’s associated with the project.

Role of a General Contractor

1.    Hiring Subcontractor

Construction projects involve dealing with a variety of trades and each trade demands a skilled contractor. From concrete works to flooring, Roofing, lumber, and interior finishes, each task is best performed by a skilled contractor. A GC is the one responsible for hiring a quality subcontractor for each work. He makes sure that the subcontractor uses the best quality materials for completing the job and finishes the work on the agreed-upon time.

2.    Transparent Communication

A GC acts as a bridge between various parties involved in the project. These parties include the owner, architect/engineer, and subcontractors. The general contractor is the main source of communication and coordination between these parties. Making sure that everyone is on the same page and progressing towards achieving a common goal.

Besides, transparent communication between the parties involved is necessary to achieve the desired goal.

3.    Project Planning and Scheduling

The primary goal for any subcontractor is to deliver the project on the agreed-upon date. All construction projects require beforehand planning and scheduling of various trades and subcontracting works for efficient and smooth progress. These include

  • Arranging the desired material and their on-time arrival
  • Arranging subcontractors of all the trades involved
  • Arranging skilled labor
  • Preparing a detailed implementation plan
  • Preparing plans to deal with potential risks and challenges
  • Ensuring all legal criteria are fulfilled

A GC checks all these constraints and makes proper arrangements to tackle all these challenges to ensure the smooth progress of the project. Ensuring to deliver the project on the agreed timeline.

4.    Legal Prerequisites

Apart from handling the technical work a general contractor also deals with all the legal works. This involves handling all the legal permits and licenses from the concerned departments and fulfilling all their requirements. Moreover, they must also ensure that all the building laws are met. Failing to do so can have serious legal implications for the owner.

These are the reasons why a general contractor is more than just a builder. They act as your advisor during the whole project, giving you the best advice protecting you from all legal complications, and helping you build a sound structure.

5.    Project Management and Tracking

Managing and tracking the whole project are the major responsibilities of any general contractor. Managing includes the uninterrupted provision of everything from labor, materials, tools, funds, and all other aspects of the work that can interrupt the flow of the project.

Apart from managing a GC also has to track the project at every stage to ensure the quality of work for the project. He must use cost-effective techniques that also provide complete quality assurance.  

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