Homeowners are used to hiring repairmen for specific jobs – replacing a toilet, putting down carpeting, etc. But when it’s a big job, like remodeling a kitchen, things can quickly become complicated. Several specialists will need to be hired, and scheduled to perform their work in the proper order. Plumbers, flooring installers, countertop specialists – all of these workers need to managed and coordinated with each other.
This is usually when a general contractor is needed. A general contractor will assess the project from the initial meeting with the homeowner and devise a plan to guide the job all the way to completion. Seasoned contractors should have a strong understanding of every aspect of home remodeling and be able to answer questions on everything from the types of building materials needed, the skill level and number of workers required, timelines for completion and the necessary building permits to ensure the project is finished in a safe manner and up to code.
General contractors get paid by taking a percentage of the overall cost of the completed project. Some will charge a flat fee, but in most cases, a general contractor will charge between 10 and 20 percent of the total cost of the job. This includes the cost of all materials, permits and subcontractors.
Ultimately, the role of a general contractor is to oversee the day-to-day operations of a project while acting as the communication liaison for all parties involved. As homeowners who have been through major projects can attest, this can go very smoothly or it can go badly. The most important thing the homeowner needs to do is hire the right contractor, and then make sure that contractor fully understands the homeowner’s intentions – down to the last detail.