General contractors are sometimes viewed as optional when it comes time to doing renovations, additions, and even new construction. However, many homeowners who have tried to complete their projects without the help of a general contractor have struggled with getting the work approved by code inspectors, shoddy workmanship, multiple delays, scheduling problems, and many other headaches that you just aren’t necessary.
The investment you make in an experienced general contractor will pay for itself in the form of a project that is completed on budget and on schedule, and most importantly, in the form of high-quality work that passes inspection the very first time.
The Role of General Contractors
A general contractor is responsible for overseeing a construction project. This includes hiring specialized subcontractors for different areas of the job, such as electricians for wiring or masons for brickwork. They are responsible for coordinating the efforts of all those involved so that the project is completed on deadline and within budget.
General Contractors are also in control of the finances for the project, paying the subcontractors as required, renting equipment, and purchasing construction materials. They bring a specialized knowledge of construction to the project that enables them to see it through to a timely and satisfactory conclusion.
General Contractors Know Building Codes
General contractors are intimately familiar with local building codes, including what permits need to be pulled for a project and what the most common issues are likely to be. State and national codes can apply to the project as well, and a knowledgeable general contractor will be aware if and when these apply. An experienced contractor can quickly review the work of a subcontractor and know if it will pass code inspection, saving a significant amount of time and frustration.
Most homeowners will not be able to recognize whether code requirements are being met, nor will they be aware of the key things to look for when reviewing the work before an inspection is scheduled. Getting the work approved the first time around saves time and inspection fees.
Contractors can also schedule inspections in such a way that they don’t conflict with other work that is in progress. If a problem arises with an inspection, the general contractor will see that it is fixed right away and then re-inspected. They usually know the inspectors, too, and may be able to get priority scheduling when it comes time to have an inspection done.
A general contractor is very familiar with the process of getting a construction job completed efficiently, whether it’s a simple kitchen remodel or the construction of a home from the foundation up. They know that you can’t lay flooring in the bathroom until the plumbing is complete, and that you can’t put drywall up until the wiring has been installed. You don’t want the flooring laid before the walls and woodwork have been painted. Contractors know how quickly the concrete driveway will set and how fast the stucco will cure. You may be able to juggle a few details like these, but the average homeowner simply cannot keep track of what needs to be done and when in a complex remodel or home construction project.
A general contractor can orchestrate the work of all of the subcontractors so that each job follows in its natural order, and he keeps the individual jobs from falling behind schedule. In fact, your contractor will spend a great deal of time on the phone verifying where your project falls on the subcontractors’ schedules. If one subcontractor fails to show up when scheduled, it can have a domino effect that will negatively impact your entire project. When you have 20+ subcontractors (which isn’t unusual on even the most basic home construction job), it’s a challenge just to keep the schedule straight and on task.
Relationships with Subcontractors
When it comes to hiring subcontractors and builders, general contractors will have a working knowledge of who does quality work and who to avoid. Subcontractors are going to be far more responsive to general contractors they know and hope to work with again than with a homeowner they may never see again once the job is done.
Good subcontractors will be particular about the jobs they take, looking for people who pay on time, let them complete the job with minimal interruptions, and have some level of construction knowledge. That means it can be hard for a homeowner to get the best subcontractors without the involvement of a general contractor.
General contractors know how to interpret subcontractor contracts and how to hold the subcontractors to those contracts. They can also do things like recognize bogus surcharges and tell whether a change order is valid or not.
Contractors know about what types of building materials should be used, safety protocol that needs to be followed, and proper construction methods – and they make sure that all of these are properly enforced. General contractors will spot potential problems before they happen. Having this kind of specialized knowledge and experience is not typical for the majority of homeowners.
Better Prices on Labor and Materials
General contractors have access to much better prices on labor and materials. With labor prices, they have established relationships with subcontractors and will be given more favorable pricing. They buy materials in volume, which results in lower prices, too. This can represent a significant savings in the cost of a project.
Hire the Best General Contractor in Delaware County
For over forty years, Mancill Builders has been providing the highest quality general contractor work in Delaware County and the surrounding areas. We have the knowledge, skills, and relationships needed to make your dream project a reality. Our knowledge of local building codes is unparalleled and we do additions and renovations on all types of homes, as well as new construction. We also specialize in kitchen remodels, sunrooms, basements, bathroom remodels, garages, and more. Contact us today for more information!