The Role of a General Contractor

General Contractor Richmond VA is responsible for transforming construction visions into realities. They also help with budgeting and planning. They may even be licensed by the government to ensure they follow specific guidelines on insurance, taxes and safety.

They often work closely with city inspectors and can obtain perks and concessions that homeowners won’t receive. This helps them complete projects faster and get paid for their work sooner.

A general contractor is a vital part of any construction project, and their services are not cheap. They can charge up to 25 percent of a building’s total cost, depending on the size and complexity of the project. The fees are not paid all at once, however, and are typically spread out over the course of the construction period based on a payment structure that you and the GC agree upon. This helps ensure that the contractor is not hampered by payment delays and can complete the project on time.

GCs also have the experience and expertise to troubleshoot problems on the job site, resolving conflicts and ensuring that work is done properly. This can save homeowners a lot of money in the long run by eliminating costly mistakes and rework.

Large construction projects require a great deal of raw materials, and a GC can help ensure that the right supplies are delivered in time to keep the project running on schedule. The GC can also negotiate with vendors to get better pricing and delivery times, which can result in significant savings for the homeowner.

Another important function of a GC is to monitor the project’s progress and communicate with the architect, owner and other contractors. They also help to manage a budget and work with the design team during pre-design. In addition, they can oversee a construction budget and handle the intricacies of purchasing raw materials and components.

A GC can also save homeowners money by ordering materials in the off-season, when prices are lower. This is a good way to cut costs without compromising on the quality of the final product. In addition, a GC can help with the selection of materials to ensure that they are durable and low-maintenance, saving on maintenance expenses after the project is finished.

General contractors are licensed in their field, so they know how to build and remodel homes according to city and other building codes and specifications. They may also have access to a wide variety of suppliers and manufacturers and can offer discounts on specialized materials. They also have the experience to understand what materials will last over the long term, so homeowners can avoid expensive repairs or replacements.


The role of a general contractor is critical in construction projects. They are responsible for scheduling, budgeting, and ensuring that all parties involved with a project meet their deadlines. They also ensure that work is completed as per the design and blueprints. GCs are typically licensed by a state and must complete continuing education courses to stay up-to-date with best practices. This helps to keep them qualified and ensures that their clients can trust them.

Large construction projects often have several different vendors supplying raw materials and building components. GCs oversee the vendor management process to handle the intricacies of sourcing, estimates, capacities, quality work, turnaround times, and invoicing. They also ensure that all vendors are paid on time.

GCs usually receive between 10 percent and 20 percent of the total cost of the project, which is roughly $282,000 for a single-family home. This fee isn’t paid all at once, however, and is provided in several different payments based on the construction schedule. It’s important to look for a GC who offers a transparent payment structure and is upfront about how much they charge for their services.

A GC’s job is to ensure that the building process takes place as per the plans and designs that are approved by the architect or client. They are also responsible for arranging and securing all required permits and city inspections. This is a crucial aspect of a successful building project because it ensures that the construction will meet all standards and adhere to local regulations.

Another important task of a GC is to monitor the progress of the construction and work closely with the owner to make sure that the project is completed on time. This requires excellent time-management skills, especially for complex projects. It’s essential to carefully consider all factors when choosing a GC, as the wrong choice could lead to significant delays and increased costs.

In addition to having the appropriate skills and experience, a GC must have good financial management. This means that they must be able to estimate and forecast project completion dates, manage subcontractors and suppliers, and communicate effectively with the client. They should also have a plan in place to address any potential delays or setbacks that might occur during the construction process.


Communication is a critical component of general contractor services. It helps to keep projects on track, and it ensures that everyone is working together in a collaborative manner. It’s important to communicate in a timely fashion, and it’s also crucial to respond to questions or concerns promptly. This can help to prevent delays or even potential disputes. In addition, a good general contractor will be able to provide information about the construction process in a way that is easy to understand.

A GC will have strong management skills, and this ability to coordinate different teams is essential for a large-scale job. This is because every project involves a variety of professionals and tradesmen who need to stay on the same page. The GC will also be able to control the overall project budget and interact with additional contractors throughout the construction process.

For larger commercial and public construction projects, the GC will typically work under a design-bid-build model. The architect and/or owner will share the project plans, drawings, and other specifications for a bid package, often referred to as an RFP (request for proposal), RFQ (request for qualifications), or ITB (invitation to bid). The GC will then review the bid packages and provide a cost estimate and scope of work. Afterwards, the GC will meet with the architect and/or owners to discuss the estimate.

During the construction process, a GC will oversee a project’s schedule and budget, work with the architect and other team members to make sure that all necessary permits are obtained, and manage the construction site. This includes coordinating with utility providers to get the services they need on site and securing the building. The GC will also be responsible for the purchase and installation of materials and equipment.

In the case of a negotiated contract, a property owner will choose a GC to work with on a project directly, rather than having it put up for bidding. This type of arrangement usually only happens after the GC has worked on multiple projects with the property owner and has established trust through quality and reliability.


A general contractor’s reputation is a critical part of his or her business. A good reputation can lead to more business and help build credibility and trust in the industry. Having a good reputation can also increase the chances of getting referrals from past clients. A high-quality GC will always seek to maintain a positive reputation and be responsive to customer complaints.

The best way to find a general contractor with a good reputation is to ask for referrals from family, friends, and colleagues. In addition, you can look for reviews on websites like Angie’s List and Home Advisor. These sites encourage customers to write reviews and provide feedback about their experiences with the contractors. However, not all online reviews are created equal. Beware of fake or biased reviews that are meant to damage a company’s reputation.

It is important to hire a reputable general contractor for large projects, such as kitchen remodels or room additions. These professionals have the experience and expertise to handle these complex construction projects, and can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes. In addition, they can recommend reliable suppliers who offer better pricing than you can find at a home improvement store and subcontractors that have the expertise to deliver professional-quality work. Moreover, they can take care of the permits and inspections required for the project.

Licensed general contractors can provide peace of mind to property owners by ensuring that all work is completed according to state and local codes. In addition, they can protect lien rights and ensure that all parties involved in the project get paid. Licensing also helps in the prevention of fraud and misrepresentation, and provides a level of accountability for the general contractor’s staff.

While a high school diploma is the minimum requirement for becoming a general contractor, some contractors pursue a two-year associate’s or bachelor’s degree in structural engineering, building, or other relevant fields. Additionally, some contractors become certified in specialty areas such as plumbing, well-drilling, and HVAC.