The general contractor (GC) has a different role to play than the specialized contractor. Whereas the specialized contractor is free to concentrate on their particular area of expertise the GC has to be a jack of all trades, literally. They’re the ones responsible for making sure everyone is pulling in the same direction so that the job gets done right. It’s a lot of work which is the biggest reason not everyone can be, or wants to be, a general contractor. In this post we’re going to take a closer look at the many hats a typical GC in Aurora or Richmond Hill needs to wear.
A Good General Contractor is a Valuable Commodity
There are a lot of GCs out there but precious few that can be considered first-class. Below is a sampling of some of the different roles the general contractor needs to assume on a given project.
- Project coordinator: Nothing gets done if the GC isn’t highly organized. On large projects there may be a dozen subcontractors in play all of which need to be juggled in and out at the right time in order to keep things moving in the right direction. Not everyone is skilled at handling such a logistical challenge.
- Mediator: Any project involving several different trades and multiple subcontractors has the potential to generate misunderstandings, oversights, conflicts of interest and outright vocal disagreements. Whose job is it to act the referee and get the warring parties to shake hands and act nice? You guessed it. The general contractor’s.
- Financial advisor: There will be times when clients are tempted to ignore the carefully crafted budget and overspend on items or materials. As the successful completion of the project could be jeopardized by tossing out the budget the job of the GC then is to sit the client down and explain why veering off the budgetary tracks is not in anyone’s best interest.
- Marriage counselor: On most projects where married couples are involved the GC will often find themselves in the middle of disagreements. One spouse may want to make a change the other is opposed to. To help stave off such uncomfortable situations the GC will often insist that both partners are always on hand for meetings where project decisions are on the line.
- Translator: Contractors speak a different language than most people and individual trades have their own construction dialect as well. The GC needs to be able to communicate with everyone and provide clear, concise responses to customer questions. For that they need to be well versed in the terminology of all the trades that are active on the site.
- Director of communications: The days of the land line and snail mail are over. Today the GC is watching his/her smartphone for calls, text message, videos, emails and more. There are photos, contracts, spreadsheets and pdfs to keep track of and suppliers, subcontractors, clients, banks, insurance agents, employees, architects and more all vying for attention.
A successful general contractor will wear all of the above hats with grace. They are some of the most level-headed people you’re ever likely to meet, which is what makes them so good at their job and frankly, so rare.
Snider Homes are the GTA’s premier general contractors for home renovations and custom home building. Our customers recommend us to their friends and neighbours because they’ve seen the ease with which we handle even the biggest jobs, bringing them in on time and within budget. It’s an ease born of 4 generations of experience delivering for the people of Richmond Hill, Aurora and the entire GTA.