Hiring a Contractor or Remodeler? What You Should Know: Are you planning to hire someone to work on your home or property? If so, do your homework. Shop smart. While the law provides some protection from fraudulent or incompetent contractors, it doesn’t guarantee honest transactions or perfect performance. Protect your investment by being an informed, cautious consumer. Generally, work that “adds to or subtracts from real estate” must be done by a registered contractor. Contractor registration is also required for anyone who provides construction consultation, develops residential property or “flips” houses.
What is required by law? In Washington, all contractors who perform work or who advertise or submit bids in this state must be registered with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), post a bond and carry general liability insurance coverage.Did you know Custom Home Builders and Home Improvement Contractors are Required to be Licensed
Depending on what State you are from, you may not be aware that most States require contractors to be licensed. Think about this; would you want an unlicensed dentist, doctor or lawyer working for you? So, why would anyone take a chance while working with a contractor who is not licensed! You don't want to risk your safety and you want to protect the value of your home, protect yourself, your family and your neighbors; use only licensed professional contractors. Whether building your dream home, a cabin or outbuilding or for that long overdue remodel. Hire a professional!
What is a General Contractor?
A general contractor will first assess the specifics of the construction project. In the case of remodels or renovations, typically a site visit is required to get a better understanding of the project. The contractor will then calculate a price, also called an estimate. The general contractor considers the cost of materials and equipment as well as the cost of labor to provide the owner with an approximate price for the project.
Contract documents may include a budget, any general and special conditions, and blueprints and specifications prepared by a design professional such as an architect. In many instances the general contractor is the project engineer or project manager for construction projects.
A general contractor is responsible for providing all of the material, labor, equipment and tools necessary for the construction of the project. The general contractor hires specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work.
Responsibilities may include applying for building permits, securing the property, providing temporary utilities on site, managing personnel on site, providing site surveying and engineering, disposing of or recycling construction waste, monitoring schedules and cash flows, and maintaining accurate records.
General contractors often start out as construction workers. While gaining work experience, they learn about different aspects of construction, including masonry, carpentry, framing, and plumbing. Aspiring general contractors communicate with subcontractors and may learn the management skills they need to run their own company.
Experience in the construction industry as well as references from customers, business partners, or former employers are demanded. Some states require candidates to provide proof of financing to own their own general contracting firm.
General contractors often run their own business. They hire subcontractors to complete specialized construction work and may manage a team of plumbers, electricians, builders, carpenters and other specialists. General contractors build their business by networking with potential clients, buying basic construction tools, and ensuring that their subcontractors complete high-quality work. General contractors can manage workers effectively.
There are no set educational requirements to become a general contractor; most employers prefer a bachelor's degree. Some general contractors obtain bachelor's degrees in construction science, building science, surveying, construction safety, or other disciplines.