General Contractor Cambridge MA
General Contractor Cambridge, MA
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General Contractor Of Cambridge MA
A general contractor of Cambridge MA would be hired by homeowners and clients to oversee a construction project and act as an intermediate between the homeowner and the subcontractors. Their duties and roles also include being a project manager of construction projects. They have to plan projects, coordinate with relevant people, and prepare a budget for the construction site and then handle the direction in which the project goes.
Becoming A Successful General Contractor
Becoming a successful general contractor is not easy and requires a lot of effort, knowledge and experience; Wikipedia.
A general contractor of Cambridge MA would first receive proper education, like a bachelors in construction management or a related field, then he would find an apprenticeship or work with another general contractor and then get a license.
A general contractor has to be passionate about construction, because if he doesn’t like it, then he won’t put in much effort to understand it as well. The A general contractor of Cambridge MA would first understand the basics of construction, then the different processes which are involved in construction work and then he would be qualified enough to handle a project on his own.
A general contractor would have to work with different subcontractors, which is why it is important for the general contractor to know about other aspects like electrical and plumbing as well. If he doesn’t know the basics of these things, then he would face problems in handling the subcontractors and the workers. The subcontractors would get away with doing a poor job, and the general contractor won’t know what they have done.
Communication With The Team
When a general contractor of Cambridge MA is hired for a job, then he should have the skill to communicate with others. It is not necessary that the communication is of verbal nature only. Communication can happen with clients, subcontractors, designers, local authorities and the neighbors of the construction site. This communication has to be effective; the general contractor should be able to motivate workers, negotiate with the suppliers, listen to the clients and persuade the subcontractors to cut down costs.
When a general contractor is good in communication, he would be successful in his field. This is because he will be able to communicate with the client, understand the vision of the client and then make the workers and the subcontractors understand the same vision. If he fails to understand what needs to be done, because he is not a good listener or doesn’t ask questions, then the project won’t go well.
The Planning Skills
A general contractor of Cambridge MA would have the skills to plan a project properly because planning is an important step of being a successful general contractor. It is important to plan things like how to organize resources for the construction site, which equipments to rent, and how the construction process can be coordinated. The planning of the project would include planning about daily tasks and weekly tasks. The reason why daily planning is important, because at times, the customer would want to make changes in the project, and to incorporate those changes, planning is necessary.
A successful general contractor would make a construction schedule in the planning process, along with the methodologies that should be used in construction; Slideshare. This would make it easier for subcontractors and the workers to understand their deadlines and they will work accordingly.
When general contractors don’t keep track of finances, or the money they have spent on different things, then it could be really bad for their business. A general contractor of Cambridge MA would make sure that he keeps the invoice of every purchase and a receipt for every rental. He will make sure that the people who he has to pay, he does and in time. For example, if he doesn’t pay suppliers on time, then he won’t receive materials on time and that would delay the whole project.
Moreover, a general contractor should always take an advance on the project, to pay for materials and equipment rentals, and he should keep a record of them. If the general contractor doesn’t keep receipts, then he won’t be able to give a proof about the materials that he bought. This could be bad for the business and it won’t make a general contractor very successful.
Reading The contract
A successful general contractor knows how to form a contract and then read it. If there are doubts about the contract, then the general contractor should ask an expert to explain him the parts that don’t make sense. The general contractor of Cambridge MA should read the contract before the project starts.
After the contract has been signed with the other party, then the general contractor should make sure that he fulfills his obligations and the client fulfills his. The written contract signed between the general contractor and the client, is not only to protect the interests of the client, but also the general contractor’s. If the general contractor signs the contract, but doesn’t understand the legal terminologies, then it might damage his business later.
Managing & Organizing Records
There are many records that a general contractor should keep of the project. For example, if he has taken a permit for the job, like he should, then he needs to keep that permit safe; Genie-Belt. If asked for it, he should show the permit; however, if he has taken one and he loses it, then this would cause a delay in the project.
Another thing that the general contractor should keep a record of, are the changes that the client has requested. If he doesn’t keep those changes in writing, then the client can refuse in the future that he didn’t request those changes at all. Keeping records is important, because not every general contractor has a good memory and a poor memory can cause them trouble; Entrepreneur.
Understand Risks And Handling Them
General contractors should know if there are any risks to the workers on the construction site, and if there are any, then they should know how to handle them. For example, if the workers have to deal with heights on the construction site, then they need a proper ladder for it. If there are electricians working on the site, they should be given proper equipment and must know the safety procedures, so they don’t get an electric shock.
A general contractor of Cambridge MA may not know all the risks on the construction site, and this is why an inspection of the site before work starts, should be conducted. If possible, subcontractors can be involved in the inspection process as well; HowStuffWorks.
A general contractor of Cambridge MA would have to handle multiple tasks in one day, and should know the art of multitasking. For example, if two major problems arise at the same time, then the general contractor should have the skill to handle those problems smoothly, one after the other. He has to deal with interruptions during his work, he might get queries from the workers or the subcontractors and he has to plan everyday tasks for the construction site as well.
A general contractor, if he wants to be successful, can’t procrastinate because that would only delay the solving of different problems. A general contractor has to consider the consequences of his decision and if the outcome would be in favor of the construction project or not.
A general contractor should know how to work in teams and motivate others to work in teams. When workers and subcontractors are working on site together, they need to be productive and have less conflict. A general contractor should know how to make a team that consists of productive workers, and a team on which the contractor can depend on, even when he is not on the construction site.
Delegation Of Responsibilities
Even though a general contractor of Cambridge MA is hired for the job of managing a construction site and making sure that the construction process goes smoothly, he still needs to delegate tasks as well. He should coordinate the teams and let them know what they are responsible for, even if the general contractor is not managing them; All-Things-Frugal.
It is important that each worker and subcontractor know what he is hired for; they should know their roles and responsibilities and if the general contractor wants to make it official, he should write their duties in a document.
Understanding Of People
It is important that a general contractor of Cambridge MA understands people, because he is going to meet with clients, subcontractors, suppliers and workers. If a general contractor is not comfortable talking with people, from all walks of life, then he won’t be successful. He won’t be able to motivate workers, bargain with the suppliers, get to know the clients and their requirements and won’t be able to build a network of subcontractors.
Sometimes general contractors may feel that if they bid low for a project, then the client would give them the project. However, what they don’t understand is that bidding low will lead to failure. When the general contractor uses low quality materials because he doesn’t have the funds to buy good quality materials, then at some point the client will know. For example, if a painting subcontractor bid low and the general contractor hires him, but he uses low quality paint, then it is bound to come off weeks after the paint job.
Bidding low is only going to harm the reputation of the general contractor, which is why it is important for the general contractor to make appropriate calculations and then give an answer to the client.
If a general contractor of Cambridge MA doesn’t know how to market his services, then he won’t be a successful general contractor. In order to market his services, he needs to do well at the projects that he is hired for, he needs to get references from his clients and he needs to continue increasing his knowledge about construction methods.
A general contractor should make a good impression on clients, should have a website where he can promote his business and get in touch with clients. He should offer free estimates for clients, in order to attract their attention; when he is pitching sales, he shouldn’t act as a pushover and should impress clients with his knowledge about construction.
When general contractors make a sales pitch, then might seem like they are pushing the client in a corner, then the client won’t feel comfortable and he might not be ready to hire the services of the general contractor. At times, when a general contractor is very insistent with the client and won’t leave him alone until he hires his services, the client can consider this as a red flag, among other red flags.
When a client hires the services of general contractor of Cambridge MA, then the client will check reviews for the general contractor, online. There might be good reviews and there might be reviews that have been paid for by the general contractor. The client has to be careful and read all the reviews, negative and positive, and see what is common amongst all the reviews. The client should check blogs that write about construction and general contractors and see the general contractor which those blogs prefer.
If a client feels that the general contractor has more bad reviews, as compared to good, then this could be considered as a red flag; Fit-Small-Business.
The Quiet Hours
Even if a client hires the services of a general contractor of Cambridge MA, he is still going to monitor the project, and see how it is progressing. During the planning process, the client and the general contractor would decide the hours during which the workers and the subcontractors would work on the construction site. The client should visit during those hours, for at least two to three days a week, and see if they are working or the construction site is quiet.
The client has to do this, because at times, general contractors take money and they don’t do work on time. They slack off or they do sloppy work. When they are drawing a contract, they might show their enthusiasm for working on the project, but that enthusiasm might fade as the general contractor gets paid.
A client should always have a face to face communication with the general contractor that he is going to hire. If he talks to general contractor of Cambridge MA, ask him questions about how he handles his projects, then he would know that the general contractor has experience. Those general contractors who only want to scam clients out of their money, are unable to answer any questions that the client asks them. They won’t show their license to the client, because they don’t have any. If a general contractor doesn’t have experience, then he might now have the necessary skills that are required to finish a construction job.
Permits For the Project
When the client asks the general contractor to get the permit for the construction site, he refuses or doesn’t know how to get a permit. A general contractor of Cambridge MA would always get a permit, like when a project involves a structural change in the property, a remodeling job or even a major electrical project. The general contractor would know which authorities to approach and which information to provide them. If the contractor doesn’t have this knowledge, then this could be considered a red flag.
Absence Of A Written Contract
When a general contractor has no intention of starting and completing a project, then they won’t be in favor of a written contract. They would try to tell the client that a written contract isn’t necessary, and the client can monitor the whole project and see that he will get a good outcome. A client should never fall for this attempt to avoid a written contract, by the general contractor. He should see it as a red flag and should insist on getting a written contract, which would contain the bid amount, the start date, the date of completion, payment method and the license number of the general contractor.
The contract should also include whether the general contractor has an insurance policy or not. The insurance policy would be good for the client, as he won’t have to bear the burden of any accidents that take place on the construction site. The general contractor of Cambridge MA would have to pay for the unfortunate incidents and this would make him responsible for checking the safety procedures on the site.
Interpersonal Skills Aren’t Good
If a general contractor is unable to read or answer the questions of the client, without any hesitation, then this can mean that he has poor interpersonal and communication skills; Kanler-Blog. A client and a general contractor have to be in touch, so that the client can know about the progress of the project. If the communication skills of the general contractor are poor, then it would become a challenge for the client to know anything about the construction site.
If the general contractor keeps on giving short and irrelevant answers, then this can mean that it is difficult to work with them:
The client might feel that if the general contractor can’t communicate with him, then how will he direct the subcontractors and the workers?
Increase In Price Of The Project
One red flag that a client should look for is that the price of a project would keep on increasing, if the general contractor doesn’t have any experience in the field. A general contractor of Cambridge MA will always make sure that the budget provided by the client is followed to its core. He won’t make any costly or unnecessary purchases and if there is money left from the budget at the end of the project, then that money would be rightfully returned to the client.
However, a general contractor who is only in the business to scam clients, would keep on making excuses, would increase the price of the project, would buy expensive materials, would not keep any invoice to show to the client as a proof of purchase and when the client asks for a justification, he won’t have a reasonable one. This is a red flag and if the client feels that the general contractor is only getting money from him and not spending it on the project, then he should fire him right away.
In case a client finds out that the general contractor has not been visiting the construction site as often as he promised, the client should ask for an explanation. However, there are general contractor, other than general contractor of Cambridge MA, who would make silly excuses to cover their incompetence and unwillingness to do the job. They might not monitor the progress of the construction site, and not manage the workers and the subcontractors; this might be bad for the client, as he has to fire the general contractor and look for a new one.
Such general contractors are difficult to reach as well; they won’t pick up their phone when the client calls them and would avoid the client, when he visits the construction site. This is why, before a client makes the decision of hiring a general contractor, he should do his research and should make sure that the general contractor he is hiring, has a good record. The general contractor should have good reviews, he should be known around that area and must be willing to answer the questions of the client. The client should check for references and then pay for the project.