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Use a General Contractor and Save yourself Time, Money, and Headaches

By Jeffrey Anderson
You have probably been amazed by how quickly construction projects in your neighborhood have progressed and how clean the site always seemed to be. The person responsible for that is the project's general contractor.

A remodeling project in your home isn't a project that you drive past, it is a project that you will be living with while underway. Do you want it to move quickly with quality workmanship, a clean work area, and to end up with a finished product that you are happy with? Of course the answer to that is "yes" and the way to achieve that is by hiring a good general contractor.

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What Does a General Contractor Do?

A general contractor should be licensed and insured. He or she will:
  • Obtain permits
  • Ensure that qualified professional sub-contractors work on the project
  • Schedule the project to progress in an organized timely fashion
  • Hold all sub-contractors responsible for completing their work 100 percent
  • Keep the site clean and inspect all phases of the work
  • Pay all sub-contractors and vendors
  • Work with the local jurisdiction to pass all official inspections

Protect Yourself with Estimates and Contracts

A good general contractor will provide you with complete estimates of the costs for the project. Sit down with the general contractor and discuss the proposal item by item so that the general contractor and you have a total understanding of what you are expecting and what services are being provided. Prior to work commencing ensure you have the following:

  • References. Get a list of projects the general contractor has recently completed and contact the customers to make sure they are happy
  • Contract. Ensure you have a contract specifying what the total prices for the project will be, when payments will be made, and that any variations from the quoted amount will need to be approved by you prior to incurring additional costs
  • Scope of Work. A detailed description of all of the work that will be done on the project

About the Author

Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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