Posted in Career Insights

Construction and renovation projects are often complicated because of the number of different workers involved.

To make sure the project gets done on time, a general contractor is usually hired.

But what does it mean to be a general contractor, and what does a general contractor do?

What is a General Contractor?

Simply put, a general contractor is hired to take complete control of a construction project. They can be a single person, or a company. Whether the construction project is large and commercial or much smaller and residential, a general contractor helps organize everything to make sure it goes smoothly.

What Does a General Contractor Do?

As the person in control of the construction project, a general contractor coordinates with workers and subcontractors to turn a set of plans into a finished project. This includes managing workers’ schedules, ordering materials, and doing paperwork.

Ultimately, a general contractor’s day-to-day work is different depending on the project. However, a general contractor can still expect to deal with some of the same general duties and responsibilities.

A general contractor also arranges the various subcontractors, like plumbers, electricians, or other specialty trades. The general contractor is responsible for making sure these subcontractors follow the plans and meet deadlines.

What this means is that when a general contractor is hired, the rest of the logistics are handled by that contractor rather than the person hiring them. The GC will provide all materials needed for the project, supply the necessary labor, and provide the vehicles, equipment, and tools. In many ways, a GC is a one-stop-shop (at least from the hirer’s perspective) for all of the moving parts in a building project.

As the person in charge, a general contractor is also responsible for overseeing the quality of the work being done by the various subcontractors.

Differences Between a General Contractor and a Subcontractor

One of the biggest differences between a general contractor and a subcontractor is that the subcontractors do not interact with the person who hired the GC. Instead, they interact with the general contractor, who acts as their boss for the duration of the project.

The general contractor, on the other hand, works directly with the client, whether it’s a homeowner or commercial developer, to make sure the project is completed to the correct specifications.

Another big difference is that where subcontractors are experts in a specific task they are skilled in (like installing appliances, carpeting, or insulation), a GC handles the broader responsibilities in a building project. A general contractor is also capable of handling a variety of different kinds of projects. New construction, renovation, and repairs can all be handled by a GC.

Want to Learn More About Being a General Contractor?

An understanding of the fundamental concepts of building and project management is a great place to start. Consider enrolling in the Stratford Career Institute’s Contractor and Construction Management training course today!


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Become a General Contractor

Become a General Contractor

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