Choosing the Right General Contractor for the Job (Part 1 of 3)

July 14, 2014

This is the first of three blog articles that will go through the reasoning of why it is highly important to choose the correct general contractor for your upcoming renovation or construction process. The reason for this is that there are many misconceptions about general contractors and the role they play in a project. Many times GCs are viewed as the team rather than merely one piece of a much larger puzzle. Others believe that contractors are simply an extra expense and that the price paid to bring one on to a project is not worth the value they receive. While this may be the thinking of some, a good GC will be able to provide a wealth of knowledge and value that will save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.


There are many things going through your mind once you finally decide to move forward with a construction or renovation project. What most people do not realize is that from the inception of the idea, to the pre-construction services, actually performing a project, and then to the final close-out and conclusion, you’re really looking at a period of anywhere between one and two years. And one year is if everything goes smoothly, there are no hiccups, and most of the time, if everything runs ahead of schedule. Therefore, it is important to choose a company that you can work well with for at least a full year.


Look at this as hiring a new employee. You cannot be offended if the contractor decides that they don’t want to work with you. The relationship has to be mutual, and the expectations and goals for both sides must be realistic. If the contractor knows that they can’t deliver on the expectations you have for the project, then it will not be a good fit. The last thing you want is to bring on a GC that won’t be able to give you what you want, but the expectations also have to be realistic. A good GC will try their best to personalize your service to the best of their ability and give you undivided attention when requested, but it is important to keep in mind that just like any company, its hands are in many different pots, so sometimes patience and understanding is necessary.


With that being said, if you are planning on hiring a GC to help oversee the project at hand, you want to hire them as early on in the process as possible. This is an important process because in order to get the most “bang for your buck” it is much easier for this entity to come in early on in the process when they can help guide it in the right direction, rather than trying to fix the path if they come in halfway through. Most people do not understand that the physical work portion of the project—the part you actually see being done—is one of the smallest parts. If the average project takes 18 months to complete, and the physical work only takes two months, then that means it is only 11% of the work that needs to be done. Believe it or not, most of the work that is completed is behind-the-scenes and will take work from both parties.




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