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General Contractors: What You Need to Know Before Hiring One

General contractors are the backbone of any home renovation or construction project. They are responsible for managing the entire project, from concept to completion. They oversee subcontractors and ensure that the job is done on time and within budget. Therefore, hiring a skilled and experienced general contractor is crucial for the project’s success. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know before hiring a general contractor.

Why Do You Need a General Contractor?

The general contractor is responsible for coordinating all aspects of your home renovation or construction project. They will ensure that the project adheres to local building codes and regulations, and they will also coordinate with the subcontractors necessary for the job (such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters). They are responsible for overseeing the project to ensure that it is completed on time and within budget, and they handle any issues that may arise during construction.

Hiring a general contractor is especially important for larger projects that require multiple subcontractors. Coordinating these subcontractors requires a lot of time and expertise, which is why it’s necessary to have a project manager like a general contractor overseeing everything.

How to Choose the Right General Contractor

Choosing the right general contractor for your project is crucial. You want someone who is experienced, licensed, and insured. Here are some things to consider when choosing a general contractor:

Experience: Make sure that the contractor you hire has experience with projects similar to yours. You want someone who understands the requirements of your project and has experience working with subcontractors in your area.

Licensing: Ensure that the general contractor you hire is licensed in your state. Every state has different licensing requirements, so be sure to check with your state’s licensing board to make sure that the contractor you are considering is properly licensed.

Insurance: Your general contractor should have liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect both you and their employees. If the contractor you are considering doesn’t have insurance, it’s a red flag.

References: Ask the contractor for references from previous clients. Contact these clients to ask about their experience working with the contractor.

Budgeting and Timelines

Before hiring a general contractor, you need to determine your budget and timeline. You should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your renovation or construction project, as well as a realistic budget and timeline for the job. Your contractor will use this information to create a detailed project plan.

It’s important to remember that things can go wrong during the construction process, even with the most experienced contractor. Unexpected issues can arise, such as finding mold or asbestos during the demolition phase. Therefore, it’s important to build some flexibility into your budget and timeline to account for these unexpected issues.

Project Management

Once you’ve hired a general contractor, they will take over the project management responsibilities. They will coordinate all aspects of the project, from obtaining the necessary permits to ordering materials and coordinating subcontractors. Your contractor will also manage the timeline and ensure that the project is completed on time.

It’s important to communicate openly with your general contractor throughout the project. If you have concerns or questions, don’t be afraid to bring them up. Being upfront and honest will help ensure that your project runs smoothly.

Building Codes

Your general contractor should have a thorough understanding of local building codes and regulations. They will be responsible for ensuring that your project meets these codes and regulations.

Obtaining the necessary permits is also the contractor’s responsibility. They will work with the local government to obtain any permits required for your project. Failing to obtain the necessary permits can result in fines and delays, so it’s essential to have a contractor who understands the local regulations.


Your general contractor will coordinate with subcontractors necessary for your project. Subcontractors can include electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, among others. Your contractor will be responsible for hiring and managing these subcontractors to ensure that the project runs smoothly.

It’s important to note that subcontractors can add to the cost of your project. Therefore, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the subcontractors involved in your project and how much they will cost.


Your general contractor should have liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects your home and property in case of damage caused by the contractors’ work, while workers’ compensation insurance protects the contractor’s employees in case of injury while on the job.

Failing to hire a contractor with insurance can result in significant financial liability for you if something goes wrong during construction. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your contractor has adequate insurance coverage.


Hiring a general contractor is an essential part of any home renovation or construction project. They are responsible for managing the project, coordinating subcontractors, and ensuring that your project

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