When do I hire a general contractor?
A residential general contractor is needed when the project in your home will take more than a day to complete, and more essential tools and insurance is necessary. For example, you can hire a handyman for patching a hole in your drywall. However, should you want to replace the whole wall and add a staircase, you will need a contractor. Adding a bathroom, a room, a staircase, and rerouting electrical wiring, are some examples of jobs that require a contractor to check the layout, foundation, and plans of your home. To start the renovation, a permit is needed to ensure that the additions or revisions still adhere to the building laws of the original foundation. The Building Code is mandated by the local government to minimize the threat to the integrity of your building or home.
Here are some other responsibilities of general contractors:
1. Sourcing and Procuring Materials
Contractors are responsible for finding the right materials for your home. They need to purchase and deliver them at the right time. Some materials like cement, glue, wood, and other materials that change form due to the temperature should be bought in the right amount because they can’t be stored or left outdoor for long periods.
2. Identifying the Scope of a Project
Contractors today sit down with you and a designer or architect at the very beginning to conceptualize the plan. So, it is easy for them to visualize and set a deadline.
3. Workforce and Schedules
This may be one of the most difficult across all industries - getting the right people to get the job done correctly. Frequently, general contractors have a pool of subcontractors ready to take on tasks that they require their expertise on. When you hire a general contractor, you’re also hiring someone who will employ not just hire qualified people but also monitor their progress and output quality, and take care of paying them on time.
4. Applying for Permits
There are house renovations that will require alterations to the foundation of the home, automatically you’d need to consult an engineer. Moreover, you will need an architect to draw up the design and an engineer to ask when there are alterations to the foundation of the home. Hiring a general contractor helps speed up the process of applying for your permit. They are well connected to reach out quickly to engineers and architects and are well versed in the building code.
5. Keeping Records
Last but not the least is paperwork. Like every project, proper documentation is crucial to the continuity and flow of information. Some of the paperwork your contractor needs to prepare and keep are the list of materials, home plan, subcontractors directory, project timelines, building permits, equipment control sheets, insurance documents, payroll, and many more.