What Does a General Contractor Do?

One of the first questions homeowners looking to renovate ask is, “What exactly does a general contractor do?” The answer is, “A little bit of everything.”

There is a lot that goes into any home renovation project, regardless of its size or complexity. Even the simplest kitchen upgrade, for example, could include carpentry, flooring, electricity, and plumbing. That’s four different skill sets, all of which are completely unique.

And that complexity can increase exponentially as the size and scope of the project get bigger. A complete home rehab, for example, might require a dozen different types of tradesmen.

General Contractor Skills

In some cases, a general contractor can do everything themselves. They might have plumbers, electricians, and cement workers on staff. But a more likely situation is that all or some of the work will be farmed out to expert tradesmen.

The general contractor will then coordinate all of the workers, acting as the project manager and reporting directly to the homeowner. General contractors typically have the experience (and the Rolodex) to work with a wide variety of tradesmen. The typical homeowner does not.

Do You Need a General Contractor?

So do you really need a general contractor for your next home renovation project? The answer depends on your own personal skill sets.

If you have worked with carpenters, electricians, plumbers, tilers, and other tradesmen in the past and are proficient at purchasing and keeping tradesmen working on-site, working on a schedule, and staying within the budget you may be able to act as your own general contractor.

A more likely scenario, however, would be hiring somebody with the experience and knowledge to keep your project on track and deal with a wide variety of outside contractors and vendors for you.

Even the simplest upgrade project has a lot of moving parts. An experienced general contractor can help you navigate through the job so you can save time, money, and headaches.


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