Different specializations exist among home remodeling professionals. A handyperson could replace bathroom cupboards or light fixtures, for example, to give the bathroom a fresh look. Hiring a general contractor is better if you’re entirely redesigning a room, changing the layout, and adding new pieces.

In the construction industry, a general contractor is a company responsible for overseeing a construction project, such as KS Renovation, a highly experienced contractor with extensive experience in the field. 

General contractors are essential for both complicated commercial and residential construction projects. A general contractor may not be required for particular work, such as rebuilding a roof or installing new flooring. On the other hand, a general contractor will almost certainly be needed for any project that necessitates the coordination of numerous phases or the involvement of multiple professions.

Continue reading to learn more about general contractors’ building roles, evaluating if a general contractor is needed, and how they are licensed and paid.

What Is General Contractor? 

A contractor is a person who coordinates and supervises all aspects of a construction or remodeling job. This includes obtaining the necessary permissions and hiring, scheduling, and managing the work of other subcontractors. A general contractor oversees a building project from start to finish, but what does that entail?

Licensed general contractors are in charge of the entire job site, which means they are covered by workers’ compensation and liability insurance. The contractor takes care of the problem if a worker gets harmed on the job or if your property is accidentally damaged. In other words, if something goes wrong, the general contractor has the financial burden of repairing it.

What Is a General Contractor Responsible For?

The project’s delivery approach determines the general construction tasks. For example, the general contractor may be in charge of design and construction on a design-build project. In a standard design-bid-build project, the general contractor takes over after the architect has completed the design and specifications.

A general contractor has critical tasks before, during, and after the general contractor has essential duties before the construction process.

Before Construction 

A general contractor may be responsible for some or all of the following before construction begins:

  • Making and keeping track of a building budget
  • Subcontractors are hired to do specific jobs.
  • Work with the architect to ensure the design is carried out.

While all of these activities begin before construction, the general contractor will continue to manage the budget, collaborate with the architect, and deal with subcontractors throughout the project.

During Construction 

While the project is in progress, the general contractor will most likely focus on the following:

  • Using construction specs to supervise construction work
  • Maintaining the project’s timeliness
  • Reacting to delays in the schedule and other difficulties

A general contractor’s job during construction is to ensure everyone is on the same page and that any problems that arise don’t derail the project’s schedule or budget.

After Construction 

A general contractor still has tasks once the building is finished, including:

  • Lien waivers are collected and tracked.
  • Ensure that subcontractors are compensated for their services.
  • Managing payment-related difficulties further down the payment chain

Because the general contractor is the primary contact between subcontractors and the building’s owner, the general construction ensures that work is done according to specifications before disbursing payment.

In a nutshell, a general contractor is responsible for all of the moving components that enable a construction project to be completed from start to finish. On most construction sites, the general contractor is the project manager, while subcontractors do the work.

General contractors are one of many distinct sorts of contractors. Still, they are essential in ensuring that a project is completed and that all parties engaged in the building process are paid.

General Construction Licensing Requirements

State regulations often require contractors to be licensed, including general contractors.

All parties engaged in a building project profit from licensing. Various parties profit from licensing regulations in the following ways:

  • States and municipalities use licensing to control contractors and ensure that they fulfill insurance, tax, and safety regulations.
  • Licensing also benefits property owners since it allows them to discover contractors who have shown their reliability and integrity.
  • Contractors benefit from being licensed as well, with several states allowing them to safeguard their lien rights.

Partnering with licensed contractors is crucial to ensuring that all parties involved in a building project are compensated.

Finding and Employing a General Contractor

Working with a great general contractor is crucial to getting a project off the ground. Keep the following in consideration while looking for a contractor:

  • Prequalify the general contractor: Look at a general contractor’s employment history and credit history to obtain a feel of their work quality. Make contact with subcontractors that have worked on the general construction as well. This prequalification procedure might save you time and money in the long run.
  • Be aware of the warning signs: Any general construction that displays traditional warning signals of a substandard contractor, such as shady permission processes or a lack of professionalism, should be avoided.
  • Check payment profiles and reviews: Use publicly accessible reviews and payment profiles to ensure that the General Contractor you intend to work with is credible.

An excellent general contractor may assist with budgeting, scheduling, construction, and payment issues throughout a project.

General Contractors VS Subcontractors, Prime Contractors, and Construction Managers

While general contractors play a significant role in overseeing the construction process, they are not the only contractors or managers in the industry. Many job sites will require several different responsibilities, especially for large-scale projects. Here are a few you should be aware of:


The general contractor engages a group of experts known as subcontractors to undertake specialized duties on the job site. In a typical project, the owner pays the general contractor directly, while the GC pays the subcontractors.

Prime contractor

The Prime Contractor is the one who has the principal contract with the owner. Although the general contractor is frequently the prime contractor, some project delivery techniques necessitate using non-general constructions as prime contractors.

Construction managers

A Construction Manager (CM) has comparable obligations to a general contractor (general construction), but they are frequently hired directly by the owner, who entrusts the CM with estimating costs, engaging a general structure, and other project management activities.

These are just a handful of the major players on a construction site; many more work for construction firms in various capacities.

The Function of a General Contractor in the Payment Transaction

The property owner usually pays the general contractor directly. However, settling in the construction industry is sometimes perplexing, and available contractor payment is no exception.

General contractors are a crucial aspect of the payment chain, which is the money moving from the property owner to subcontractors and suppliers at various levels. Before they can disburse cash and get paid themselves, a general contractor frequently has to secure lien waivers from everyone working under them on the project. On the other hand, poor communication and visibility might slow down the process, resulting in late payments for all parties engaged in a project.

The following are some of the issues that general contractors may encounter throughout the payment process:

  • Visibility may be restricted. A general contractor could only know their immediate subcontractors, but not their sub-subcontractors or suppliers.
  • There is always the possibility of danger. If a general contractor does not get lien waivers, they risk not being paid.
  • Payment is almost always conditional. A general contractor must also meet specific criteria to be paid, significantly complicating the movement of cash down the payment chain.
  • Paperwork may be taxing. Before disbursing money, a general contractor might spend weeks gathering physical copies of lien waivers to ensure they’ve met all of their contractual obligations.

Fortunately, there are techniques to expedite payment in the construction industry and ensure everyone is paid on time. Increasing subcontractors’ visibility, reducing paperwork, and keeping open communication lines can help resolve payment delays.

Before Hiring an NYC General Contractor, Ask These 5 Questions

Now that you’ve established the fundamentals, you’ll need to know what questions to ask a contractor while remodeling your house. These five inquiries are a fantastic place to begin:

Going Over The Basics

You should perform your study before coming up with a list of questions to ask a general contractor before employing one. For example, you should double-check each potential contractor’s license on your state’s or city’s website to ensure it’s valid. General contractors in New York City must be licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, which provides an online system for checking licenses.

May I View Previous Projects?

References are crucial but should not be overemphasized. They’re likely to be accurate unless you’re your friends and family. Would you give a connection that didn’t speak well of you? Instead, request to witness a makeover in person, particularly ones comparable to yours.

How Would You Go About Doing This In Your House?

The top general contractors in New York City know how to strike a balance between affordability and quality, which allows them to offer helpful recommendations on materials, layout alternatives, and more. Even skilled contractors will be restricted in what they can accomplish for you if you are too focused on pricing. Keep an eye on the budget, but also inquire about how contractors would handle the job if it were in their own house and why they would make confident decisions.

When Should My Project Be Completed?

People frequently make the mistake of overlooking the behind-the-scenes details when selecting a contractor. Who will accept, inspect, and deal with defective materials? If your contractor doesn’t include these in their proposal and timeframe, you’ll be responsible for them. One of the most critical questions to ask a general contractor before employing them is what type of timeline you can expect. A typical NYC kitchen or bath remodel four to six weeks in an apartment building and a little less in a private house, including the effort. Any timetable that is much shorter than that should be avoided.

What Should I Expect Out Of the Box?

Your contractor should help you implement your idea, but it’s a scam if they agree to everything you propose. A skilled contractor can assist you in determining what is doable and preparing for unanticipated obstacles. You don’t want your contractor to dismiss everything, but they should be able to tell you whether or not what you’re requesting is challenging. This includes getting your building’s board of directors’ approval, processing materials, and acquiring finishes.

What Is Not Included In Your Proposal That You Will Require To Complete Your Project?

This is a crucial topic since not all New York City general contractors are made equal. Some companies merely supply labor and basic materials, leaving the client to purchase and deal with the final finishing. Full-service organizations, such as ours, take care of every detail of your project. Some contractors may be deliberately ambiguous about what is and isn’t included in their services. They frequently do so while offering attractive pricing, but this contractor is preparing you for change order hell.

Learn More With KS Renovation General Contractor

Now that you’ve read this article, you understand who a general contractor is and their indispensable role in your project. We advise you to make a wise decision and sign up for a free consultation with KS renovation. 

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