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10 Tips for Working With a General Contractor

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It can be daunting to take on a new home renovation or construction project. Although you might have an idea of the look you want for your home, you may not be able to know all the details. This includes drawing plans, obtaining building permits, and sourcing labor and materials. This is where a residential contractor in chicago il can prove to be extremely useful.

What is a general contractor?

General contractors are professionals in the construction industry that oversee a project. Good general contractors are the person who coordinates with the structural engineer and architect, workers at the job site, as well as the government entity that issues permits and inspects code violations. General contractors can work for large construction firms, while others may work on their own and hire subcontractors to do tasks such as plumbing, electrical, roofing and project management.

What does a general contractor do?

General contractors are the best because they oversee all aspects of a project. A general contractor is responsible for the following:

  • 1. The general contractor drafts a schedule and budget: He consults with homeowners to determine a realistic time and budget.
  • 2. Work closely with the architect. A good general contractor will regularly check in with the building architect.
  • 3. Work closely with the Interior Designer: The general contractor may keep an eye on the interior design, which may be for his firm.
  • 4. Assures that the building conforms to standards: The general contractors apply for building permits and are present during inspections by the city, county or any other supervising entity.
  • 5. Subcontractors are hired by for construction . These subcontractors may include electricians, plumbers and roofers.
  • 6. Hires an onsite manager . This manager oversees construction and ensures compliance with building codes.
  • 7. Keeps your project on schedule and within budget: The general contractors won’t start work on another job until you have finished it.

Ten Tips to Work with a General Contractor

Make sure that you have hired the right contractor to manage any major projects before you start.

1. Refer to. Do not choose a contractor solely based on advertisements. Ask for recommendations and get honest feedback about the work of local contractors. Ask for their opinions if you have contacts in the construction or real estate industry.

2. Find licensed contractors. While most municipalities don’t require that you use licensed contractors, your average handyman might not need one. However, larger projects will almost always require the expertise of licensed professionals with many years of experience. Contractors who are licensed carry liability insurance and worker’s comp for their crews. This can help protect you in the event of an injury on the jobsite.

3. See similar projects. It is important to ensure that the contractor you hire for large kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects will be satisfied with the final result. Take a look at photos of previous work and make sure you inspect the seams between surfaces. This includes the places where walls meet the ceiling. You should not be surprised if you find evidence of poor workmanship. Instead, you need someone who is meticulous.

4. Get multiple quotes. It can be difficult for first-time homeowners to figure out how much they should pay for a home remodel or construction project. You should get at least three estimates from different contractors to get a general idea of the rate.

5. Set a price and time frame and get it in writing. You should have a written agreement signed with your contractor. This agreement will outline the cost of the project, as well as the start and completion dates. Your contractor may increase the cost if you make changes to the order, such as redesigning shelves or moving a wall after the project is started.

6. Discuss your choices with the contractor. You can choose from faucets, sinks and countertops, as well as lighting fixtures, doors, and doorknobs. These are all options that you will likely be looking for. It doesn’t matter if you know a lot about concrete, steel bars and structural wood. A good contractor will be able to tell you what to use and a building inspector can ensure that they build to code.

7. Make a down payment Most contractors require an upfront payment to start any work. This upfront payment is a sign that you are serious and allows the contractor to buy initial building materials. You should expect to pay between 10 and 25 percent of the total cost upfront. Any prepayment exceeding 25 percent is considered a red flag.

8. Create a payment plan. You will need to make additional payments during construction. You should not make the final payment before the project is complete and has been approved by local inspectors.

9. Consider a partner in the project . General contractors who are the best work with clients as partners. They don’t try to force clients into buying services or materials they do not require, and they respect the deadlines and budgets. Treat your general contractor as a master tradesperson and be polite to all workers on the job site. A respectful relationship can be built by providing access to a bathroom indoors and water, as well as snacks and water.

10. Set boundaries. If your project is not close to completion, don’t allow your contractor to dive into the next job. Ask for receipts and an accounting if there have been any cost overruns. You will have a pleasant, respectful experience, if you are polite and firm.

 

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