Working As a General Contractor – Is It Right For You?
A general contractor, principal contractor, or developmental contractor is ultimately responsible for the management of trades and vendors, day-to-day oversight of the construction site, and coordination of information among all involved parties during the course of a project. Generally, they are hired by a builder to oversee and contract work out. The latter includes such things as contracts with contractors, suppliers, and subcontractors. They are also responsible for any problems that may arise during the build process itself including scheduling and bids. This can range from inspecting worksite conditions and general safety to actually negotiating a warranty with a particular vendor on a specific workpiece.
All contractors, whether they are working directly with a client or acting as third-party representatives for a licensed professional, are governed by a set of general contractor regulations. These regulations apply to individuals who are seeking to hire new employees, contractors seeking to hire new workers, as well as developers and owners of residential or commercial real estate. All these entities are required to be licensed by the state in order to engage in business. In order to qualify for a license, all applicants must pass both an examination and an inspection.
In terms of the examination process, all applicants for a general contractor’s license must successfully complete the examination conducted. This examination is known as the Contractor Qualification Examination. Applicants must not only pass the examination but must also pass the contractor general liability, building, and electrical systems exams. The examinations for the Contractor Liability and Commercial General Liability categories are distinct, so it is important to discuss these requirements before contracting with any contractor. Likewise, when hiring subcontractors to complete portions of the job requires that all subcontractors are properly licensed bypassing each of the subcontractor’s tests.
As mentioned previously, contractors who wish to acquire a general contractor license must complete the Contractor Qualification Examination. While each state has its own licensing requirements, most of them are identical. When applying for a license, you will be required to submit a completed Contractor Liability Examination along with all the necessary documentation. Some states may require additional materials such as copies of permits and licenses. As a general contractor, you should always seek out all necessary information before submitting your application.
After completing the Contractor Qualification Examination, candidates must then be referred to the National Underwriter’s Board for further examination. Candidates must then pass the examination in order to meet the state’s certification requirements. If successful, the general contractor will then be referred to the National Contractors Association (NCEA) for licensing. The NCA is the body that licenses most general contractors in the United States. In addition to becoming licensed through the NCA, most states require potential subcontractors to pass a significant amount of labor experience within the construction industry in order to be eligible to hire by a general contractor.
Although it can be difficult to find work, hiring a general contractor through a good construction company is often the best option. For one thing, working as an independent contractor allows you to have a great deal of control over many aspects of the project, which makes it easy to excel in the field of construction. A general contractor typically has a lot of experience in the construction industry, which means that they know what works and what doesn’t work, which makes their job much easier than working as an independent contractor. It’s also a good idea to consider if a contractor can work with both residential and commercial projects, since some general contractors choose to only focus on one type of work. With that said, working as an independent contractor gives you the opportunity to start your own business and build a career that you’re comfortable with.