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What Does a General Contractor Do?

A general contractor oversees the construction of a building or renovation project from beginning to end. This involves managing construction teams and ensuring they stay on schedule and adhere to safety standards.

The duties of a general contractor vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. They are responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors, applying for licenses, obtaining permits, providing safety training to employees, and ensuring the project meets all legal and safety requirements.

They are also responsible for submitting bids and proposals to clients and providing the client with a fixed price or cost-plus quote based on their assessment of the specific project. This helps to ensure the project is priced within budget.
Licensing and Registration

The licensing process for a general contractor varies by state, but it usually involves passing exams and meeting other qualifying criteria. Most states require that applicants submit a firm’s business and financial information, pass background checks, provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance, and pay an application fee.
Education and Qualifications

Bare minimum, a general contractor must have a high school diploma, though some college education is necessary if they plan to work as a construction manager in the future. They can also acquire industry experience and earn a professional designation to advance their career.
Problem Solving Skills

During the construction process, there may be unexpected issues that need to be addressed. A general contractor should be able to resolve these problems to avoid delays or additional expenses. They are often the lead contact for the client, so they should be able to handle calls and emails from related parties while also working to keep the project on track.
Supply Chain Management

General contractors often appoint a team of skilled supply chain professionals to oversee the logistics of the project. This includes managing the transportation of materials to the job site and the proper coordination with wholesalers. This ensures that the materials arrive on time, and that all parts of the project are stocked correctly.

This is especially important for large projects where there are a lot of moving pieces, as it can be difficult to keep the work area safe and secure at all times. Having good supply chain managers can make this job much easier for a general contractor.
Communication and Teamwork

A general contractor works closely with a number of people during the course of a project, including the owner of the building. They communicate regularly with these people to keep everyone on the same page and ensure that everything is running smoothly.

They should also be able to handle unexpected situations that arise, such as injuries or delays in delivery of supplies. They should be able to effectively handle these situations while still maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and customer service.
Finance and Accounting

A general contractor’s finances are in the hands of a team of qualified accountants and bookkeepers. This team is responsible for maintaining accurate accounting and bookkeeping for all aspects of the construction project. This will help to ensure that all costs are within budget and that the project runs as smoothly as possible.

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