The general contractor may be one of the least appreciated professionals working today, yet without them most construction sites in Toronto would grind to a halt. They hold the different aspects of a project together and make sure everyone has an opportunity to do their job effectively and efficiently. If you are contemplating a home remodeling project that will require the services of 2 or more building trades and you don’t hire a general contractor, you’re asking for trouble.
The Many Hats Worn by the General Contractor
If construction were football the general contractor would be the quarterback. If construction were music the general contractor – or GC – would be the conductor. The GC needs to wear a lot of hats to ensure a project is completed on time and within the budget. Some of those hats include:
- Traffic cop – A construction site is an incredibly confusing thing. Everyone wants to get their people in, get the work done and get out. Someone has to oversee the coming and going of the various trades in order to avoid gridlock and accidents. That someone is the GC.
- Diplomat – Have you ever tried to intervene in a dispute between two subcontractors? It can get heated at times. The GC has to be able to look at the situation objectively, let both sides have their say and devise a settlement that will satisfy all parties and allow work to proceed.
- Translator – If a subcontractor tells you he needs to “install a pig tail in order to have a better view of the bottom plate” do you know what he or she is talking about? The GC speaks fluent ‘contractor-ese’ and can translate important points for you.
- Talent evaluator – It’s up to the GC to find and secure the services of honest, dependable craftsmen and women. This is typically an ability that results from years of trial and error. Which is one big reason why it’s preferable to hire a GC with plenty of experience.
- Financial advisor – The GC will be able to tell a client if they’re taking on more than their budget can chew and also advise them on how to deal most effectively with some of the other financial players involved in large projects; like banks and insurance companies.
- Motivational speaker – Sometimes a subcontractor will fall behind for no discernible reason. When that happens the GC needs to talk with them and make sure they understand their responsibilities and how delays can affect everyone waiting in the wings to do their part.
- Lawyer – The GC needs to know which permits are required for which jobs and secure them in advance. They also need to be able to look at a subcontractor’s work through the eyes of the building inspector and raise a red flag if its seems something isn’t code compliant.
- Mediator – Believe it or not there are times when couples don’t always communicate perfectly. This can lead to conflicts when one spouse okays something the other spouse then quickly vetoes. In these types of cases the GC needs to bring everyone together, listen objectively and encourage an amicable solution without taking sides.
Karen Homes has more than 15 years experience acting as a general contractor for both residential and commercial projects in Toronto and has built a reputation for reliability and sound decision making. Our only goal when taking on a project is the complete satisfaction of the customer and all our efforts are focused toward that end. Give us a call to discuss any remodeling or home addition project you might be contemplating. We’ll help you get off on the right foot.