One of the most difficult, but important decisions to make in a remodeling project is choosing between professional contractors. The choice becomes especially difficult when it comes to those who are referred to as general contractors and subcontractors. The general contractor is responsible for all aspects of the construction project including pricing, scheduling, materials, etc… While these duties are typically shared between different contractors at some point, construction managers often prefer to have one person handle all of these responsibilities. In many cases, however, the cost savings that result from having a single contractor on staff far outweighs the time and effort involved in managing multiple contractors and subcontractors.
Whether you choose to employ the services of one individual who is commonly known as a general contractor or to employ several different general contractors, you need to be very clear about your licensing requirements. There are a wide variety of professional licensing exams that must be passed before a contractor can practice legally in his or her particular area of expertise. Many states have very specific requirements, while others require less, so it’s a good idea to consult with your state’s licensing board to be sure you are meeting all of the necessary licensing requirements.
The most common licensing requirements for general contractors are a professional degree in a relevant field. The vast majority of states require individuals seeking a general contractor position to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, including construction. In addition, most states require individuals seeking employment in this field to pass an exam, called the National Contractor Examination. Although this examination may not be required of every individual pursuing a career as a general contractor, most states do require that candidates pass it. Many potential employers also insist that candidates pass an exam for each major subcontractor they hire.
Not all contractors work in the same areas of construction work, so it is important to consider what specific training and experience you need before making your final decision. While most general contractors often enjoy a long list of construction projects under their belts, it is a good idea to make sure you are aware of your field of specialization and what additional skills you will need in order to perform your job to perfection. Different types of projects usually call for different levels of expertise.
General contractors often work on comprehensive jobs. This means that, if you are working to complete a home or office building, a major consideration will be electrical, plumbing, heating, and security systems. If you are working to remodel a kitchen or bathroom, the tasks involved may include tile removal, flooring installation, countertop installation, and plumbing. Most other general contractors often only work on smaller jobs that involve remodeling. Therefore, if you are a general contractor, it is important to understand what subcontractors you will be working with.
Before hiring a professional contractor, it is important to check your state board of licensing and verify that the individual meets all professional contractor requirements. Each state has its own licensing requirements for certification. Some states require individuals to receive a certain amount of training and experience before being licensed. As a last resort, if these requirements are not met, the individual can be charged with fraud or a misdemeanor.