Finding the Right Pro: What a General Contractor Can and Can’t Do

If a general contractor says they can do-it-all, they might be breaking the law.

When remodeling your home, it’s unlikely that one contractor is going to complete the entire project alone. Some contracting companies have the capabilities to do-it-all but it’s important to recognize possible legal restrictions and know which aspects of the remodel they’ll have to hire a subcontractor for.

A General Contractor is the best professional to hire when your project:

  • involves different speciality trades (plumbing, electrical etc).
  • requires a team of contractors that will need to be managed.
  • involves applying for more than one permit.

 

A General Contractor should not:

Do all the labor themselves.
The laws around what licenses are required by a general contractor to perform certain projects change all the time. If a contracting company has been in business for a long time then they may have been able to do-it-all in the past. If your project includes any speciality work, then recent law may require them to appoint a subcontractor. This usually includes projects such as framing, masonry, siding, roofing electrical, plumbing and HVAC.

Ask you to provide permits.
One of the reasons you hire a general contractor is to organize the entire project. This includes requesting any permits needed to complete the project.

Blame poor quality work on bad subcontractors.
It’s the general contractor’s job to hire the subcontractors, if they damage property or jeopardize the quality of the project then the responsibility falls to the general contractor (that’s why they have insurance).

Certified General Contractors will all have:

  • a $12,000 bond
  • a General Contracting License.
  • a state issued General Contracting License

(This is on a state-by-state basis, you can easily check online what is required in your state by searching for “contractors board” in your state or by calling Porch’s Homeowner Support Team on (855) 494-5972.)

 

If you’ve decided that a General Contractor is right for your project:

Hire a General Contractor

Holly Miller

Holly Miller

Contributor, Porch.com. Holly is part of the Homeowner Support Team at Porch. With a love for all things cozy, she loves decorating with lots of throws and pillows and drinking tea. Holly’s dream home would include exposed brick, hardwood floors and an abundance of standing lamps.

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