What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of a General Contractor?

Are you gearing up to renovate your space or build a new one?

If so, you must choose the right building professionals for the job. One of the most important positions that you must fill is that of the general contractor. Without them, the process is difficult to start.

First, let’s learn a little more about this position and why you need them around. We’ll go over their most important roles. We’ll also look at their responsibilities on a construction site and behind the scenes.

The Basics

Contractors are kind of like a “jack of all trades” when it comes to a renovation or building project. Now, they aren’t doing everything themselves in that sense. But rather, they must effectively manage the masters of all the other trades (aka the subcontractors). They must also oversee the needed supplies.

Leader of the Specialists

Think of a general contractor as the conductor of a symphony, leading all the musicians in one cohesive piece. Each musician in this symphony represents a different specialist that is vital to the construction project. These specialists are known as subcontractors.

These additional workers may include experts such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters, roofers, and more. The general contractor must hire the right number of people to work on any given project, ensure that they are paid on time, and keep them on schedule and budget.

Suppliers Master

In addition to hiring the people that a building project requires, contractors are also in charge of supplies. Without the right materials around, even the best job is impossible to complete. Contractors must contact the appropriate vendors and acquire things such as lumber, electrical equipment, plumbing, and more.

Other Responsibilities

·        Acquire the Proper Certifications

In most states, contractors must be licensed. To obtain an official license, an individual must complete the appropriate training courses. These courses are then followed by an exam. Exams vary by state, of course. For example, someone pursuing a career in Florida would need to take and pass a Florida contractor's license exam. Make sure the professional you choose has the proper certifications.

·        Pay the Appropriate Fees

Professional contractors must also pay any regulatory fees associated with their position. This may be anything from local city requests to state-level fees. Failure to do so may result in the delay of or suspension of a license.

·        Abide by All Local and State Laws

If a contractor has completed all necessary courses and training, they should be familiar with state and local laws. They should understand how the law affects their business. As they continue to run that business, they should stay updated on any relevant changes in legislation.

·        Uphold the Integrity of the Client’s Vision

This is one of the most important responsibilities of a general contractor. When a client hires one, they are entrusting that person with their vision. That professional must maintain open, regular communication with the client and provide them with updates.

·        Keep the Jobsite Safe

Last but not least, contractors must keep the job site safe for their workers. They will ensure that the site is up to code, has temporary utilities on site, and more. They will also arrange site surveying and engineering.

In addition to these responsibilities, the building professionals we’ve discussed must:

  • Obtain building permits
  • Dispose or recycle waste on site
  • Maintain records


If you are ready to embark on the renovation or building of your dreams, start with the people that can make that project possible. Take the time to learn what their job is. This way, you know exactly what you’re looking for in your next construction professional!

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