How to Be a General Contractor
Before creating an estimate for a job, a general contractor should visit the worksite and speak with reliable subcontractors. They should discuss the scope of the work and agree on prices, then create a detailed estimate for the customer. The contractor should consult his or her pricing guide, which should include standard unit costs for common materials and subcontractor labor rates. This way, the contractor can determine if the project will be affordable. Using this guide, the contractor can avoid making major mistakes, and can ensure that the client is completely satisfied with the estimate.
Before you begin work, you should get the necessary licenses. It requires a general contractor to be at least eighteen years old and to be of good moral character. You must also pass a background check, which will be conducted by the city’s licensing department. After passing the background check, you should schedule a second appointment with a licensing specialist to complete the actual application process. To complete this process, you will need to complete the General Contractor Registration Form.
If the project is complex and requires coordination from many different parties, the general contractor must make sure everyone involved is on the same page. The contractor must be aware of the appropriate language to use with different audiences. Construction laborers and subcontractors need clear guidance about project stages and milestones. A general contractor should avoid discussing details of material acquisition and the bidding process with these groups. Providing clear guidance is critical to a successful project. If a GC does not communicate the right information, the project could fall into a tangle.
Payments should be made according to the project schedule. Some GCs may ask for a down payment when they are starting work and the remainder is due upon completion. For large projects, multiple payments may be required. If the GC asks for payment upfront, it is a good idea to choose another contractor if the first one did not meet your expectations. In addition, paying upfront carries substantial risks. If you’re planning to pay the contractor up front, make sure you fully understand the terms of payment.
In addition to a fee for materials, a general contractor can charge a percentage of the project’s total cost. In addition to the fee for labor, the general contractor will also charge an administrative fee. This fee will be added to the total cost of the project. So, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, a flat fee bid will be a better option. However, it’s important to remember that general contractors’ fees should be based on the markup of the project’s total cost.
A high school education is recommended. Many states require that contractors have a license to practice. A license is required for any contractor who works on a project valued at $500 or more. The Contractors State License Board oversees licensing in and sets the requirements. The Board also lists exceptions. The California Department of Consumer Affairs oversees the Contractors State License Board, which establishes licensing requirements. The Associated General Contractors of America has a wide range of training opportunities that can help you become a successful general contractor.