A General Home Contractor

Who is a general home contractor?

A general contractor also known as a main contractor or a prime contractor is a person whose work is to oversee the day-to-day work that takes place in a construction site, management of trades and vendors and communication of information to the involved parties during the course of a building project.

A general contractor is employed by the client to advise the architectural technologist, the architect, the engineer or even the client himself if they act as the manager.


What are the responsibilities of a general contractor?

A general contractor should first make an assessment of the project specific documents known as bids, proposals or tender documents. If the project involved is a renovation, a site visit is mandatory so that he can understand the project better.

The general home contractor considers several things when determining the price of the project such as the cost of home office overhead, equipment and materials, cost of labor as well as the home office overhead.

A general home contractor is responsible for providing all the materials required for the construction project. These may include things like labor, vehicles, engineering tools and services necessary for the whole construction project period.

The general contractors may hire a subcontractor to portions of the construction project or sometimes all of it.

Other responsibilities may include provision of temporary utilities on site, management of the personnel on site, application of building permits, securing of property, provision of site surveying, monitoring of cash flows and schedules, disposition of construction waste and maintenance of accurate financial records.

What are the licensing requirements and qualifications for a general home contractor?

Licensing requirements for one to work legally as a general home contractor vary in different places.

There are no set educational qualifications to become a general home contractor, although, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree. General home contractors can either obtain a bachelor’s degree in construction science, building science, construction safety, surveying or other disciplines.

What are the tips to consider when hiring a general home contractor?

Ask for referrals when searching for a reputable contractor. Be mindful of contractors that you have not seen where they purchase their building materials or one that only a few people have heard of.

Be careful of contractors who only have a P.O box and do not have a physical company location.

Get at least 3-4 bids on your project and choose the best.

Do not choose a contractor with the cheapest price. Although tempting, the lowest contractor could be cheap because of having products of low quality.