Is a General Contractor the same as a builder?
Are you confused between the two professions – general contractors and builders? General contractor home builder is a confusing term for most people. Some may use the terms interchangeably too.
But you should know that there’s a difference between the two. Here’s a post that unravels the difference between the two roles.
We will answer all the queries that are crisscrossing your mind.
Perhaps you want to get a home addition or build a new home from scratch but you aren’t sure whom you should call.
This article will unravel the difference. Dive right in to find out.
Table of Contents
What’s a Builder?
A builder is an individual whose job is to build and repair houses and other structures. A contractor takes care of the whole construction project, whereas the builder takes care of the construction of the structure or building. Builders usually hire personnel or have a crew who work on-site. From initial sketches to the construction of the building – a builder stays with you till the end of the project.
So, what exactly does a general contractor do?
You can see the difference between a builder and a general contractor by taking a close look at their duties.
First, let us highlight the duties of a builder. What are they responsible for?
The Duties of a Builder
A builder is responsible for anything related to the construction of your house. Roofing, laying the foundation, framing, etc are some of the duties of a builder. Although they have a team who work on-site on the building project.
There are many responsibilities of a builder that includes:
- Spinal roofing
- Operation and preparation of machinery and equipment
- Dismantling or erecting scaffolding
Builders ensure that safety regulations are being followed, and the architectural drawings turn into a living reality.
You can hire home builders contractors near Bangor, ME for any of the services.
Now, let us take a look at what a general contractor is.
What is a General Contractor?
A general contractor is an individual hired by an owner or a client of a construction project. They plan and coordinate all the activities that take place at the construction site.
These general contractors are responsible for the whole project, including finding out the effective way to complete it within the given budget and time frame.
There are times when a contractor may not have the required expertise to finish all the tasks. In this case, the contractors may hire subcontractors who will finish other aspects of the project. A general contractor’s job is to supervise the building contractors and subcontractors.
The Duties of a General Contractor
Now that you have gotten a gist of what general contractors do, here is a list of duties they take care of:
- General contractors create a project plan that describes every activity that needs to be carried out. They will also ensure that everything is done within the specified deadlines.
- Contractors are responsible for the management of the building project. They will hire the right staff, purchase the building materials, rent equipment, and manage all the payments.
- When building a structure, timelines have to be met. General contractors monitor progress and make changes if needed to keep everything on track.
- The general contractor is responsible for overseeing regulatory and legal issues. If permits or licences need to be acquired, they will help get those too.
Building contractors near Holden, ME can be hired for the project. Their presence makes the process easier because they ensure the construction project goes smoothly and finishes within the stipulated time frame.
The Difference Between a General Contractor and a Builder
Many people believe that builders and general contractors are the same. There is nothing wrong with that because the duties are much the same, and the profession may overlap with each other. Sometimes general contractors and builders work together to make a residential project owner realise their dreams. The collaboration of both professions can be fruitful for the project.
As for the differences, there are a few that we can point out.
Builders usually handle the construction of houses but they are not involved in the mechanical aspects such as cooling units, heating units, plumbing, and electrical work.
But a general contractor will oversee all the work, and they also have a team of subcontractors who can get the work done. You may call a general contractor a ‘big picture’ person!
A general contractor will also be the builder of the project, but they have subcontractors for mechanical as well as construction work.
Did you know that in remote areas builders are also general contractors? It makes their business thrive. When you come to a city setting, the work is divided where the builder does everything related to the construction of buildings, and the contractor oversees the entire project.
It may seem confusing at this point, but the situation is easier when you speak to a contractor and builder. Once you explain the project, and they tell you about the services they provide, it is easier to decide which professional you should choose.
Who Should You Hire For Your Project?
Choosing between a general contractor and a home builder can be a challenging task, but as we mentioned before, it depends on what YOU require.
When you have a project in mind, evaluate the needs you have. These will help determine the best option. So, when you hire a general contractor, there is less of a need to hire other specialists such as architects and designers.
You may notice some general contractors play both roles. They are builders, but they also take care of all the other requirements such as plumbing, electrical wiring, and more.
A general contractor will hire subcontractors, so your project will finish within the stipulated time frame. So, whatever your project may be, find a company that offers all solutions under one roof. This way, you will save a lot of time and money. You wouldn’t have to hire other specialists separately.
What criteria should I consider when choosing a general contractor?
A general contractor needs to have exceptional management skills. They will be overseeing the whole project, so the general contractor needs to be hard-working. These experts have to maintain a good relationship with subcontractors. Moreover, you need someone who is an expert.
Whether it is a residential or a commercial building project, everything needs to happen promptly. Besides time sensitivity, the contractor should be good at cost-effectively handling everything.
Tips on Hiring the Best General Contractor In Your Area
Home builders contractors near Brewer, ME, need to have a list of skills and a fair bit of experience in handling similar projects.
This section shares some tips on hiring the best general contractor in your area. Take a quick look!
Step 1: The first step is to ask for recommendations. If you have family members living in the same area (near Bangor), you could ask them about the best general contractors. Speak to your relatives, colleagues, and friends too. Besides this, you can do an Internet search. The World Wide Web has some great listings where you can find reputable contractors. You need a general contractor who has good reviews, but that’s not enough.
Step 2: Make a list of the best contractors in your area, and ask relevant questions to each. You should ask for a price quotation for the project too.
But before asking about the pricing, you have to ask other relevant questions. Here’s a list of questions that may help:
- How much experience do you have in the business?
- Have you worked on a similar project before?
- Do you have the required licences and permits?
- Do you have any references?
- Are you insured?
- What would be the timeline for this project?
Your goal should be to get a quality general contractor home builder who knows how to handle the project efficiently.
Based on the answers to the questions, you will be able to decide which general contractor is best for your project.
Also, you should check the references too. It is advisable to speak to the past clientele and ask about the working relationship and the punctuality of the general contractor. Did they have a positive experience with the contractor?
A legit general contractor will give you a list of references, and if not, consider that a red flag. Always remember that you’re the consumer, so you have the right to ask as many questions to the prospective general contractor.
Step 3: Once you start your talks with prospective general contractors, you must ask about the payment methods and schedule. Upfront payments can be risky, so you have to discuss the possible payment options and the budget. Every contractor has a different way of working.
Ideally, you should not pay in cash. Always pay by credit card or cheque. Take their official company account details to make the payment.
If your ‘contractor’ is asking for cash, it is most likely a scam alert. Yes, you can pay down payments, but check the state limit of how much money a contractor can take as a down payment.
Legit Building contractors near Holden, ME will not ask for the entire sum at the beginning of the project. Do a bit of a background check before making any down payment. You don’t want to pay money to a ‘so-called’ contractor or lose your hard-earned bucks.
Step 4: We believe that every consumer should sign a contract before investing money or signing up for any service. A contractor with the contractor will protect your money just in case something goes wrong. In case the contractor is not able to fulfil what they promised, a contract will protect you. You can use the contract while filing a case against this contractor. The contractor must sign it too before they begin any work.
Red Flags To Watch Out For:
Unfortunately, some people are trying to make easy money by scamming others. You must stay away from those contractors who don’t have insurance, licence, references, physical office, etc. Stay away from those who do not sign a contract or need upfront cash payment.
These are all signs that you should stay away from these ‘so-called’ contractors.
If you see more than one red flag, you should find another general contractor for the project.
As per state law, the general contractor needs to have a licence to carry forward the project. Make sure the licence and the insurance are in place.
Building a home or any commercial project happens to be your dream. It will be exciting, but don’t forget that there will be challenges along the way. Having the best general contractor by your side can save you from all the needless stress.
Everyone wants their dream project to go smoothly. This is your chance to choose the best contractor, so don’t be in haste. Conduct extensive research, interview prospective contractors, take a pricing quote from each, and then make a decision.
Making the Final Call
Now that you understand what a home builder does and how they are different from general contractors, making a decision would be easier.
Whenever you start a project, evaluate the needs and then decide which one fits your requirement. If you are hiring a general contractor, you may need designers and architects. But, some companies can offer a bouquet of construction solutions.
Speaking of general contractors and efficient companies, you can choose Spring Wood Builders LLC because we build your dream residential and commercial structures.
All you have to do is connect with us, and share your requirements, budget, and timeline.
We will take care of the rest! And the good news is – we can build and also take care of everything that a general contractor does. From construction to all the mechanical requirements – we’re excellent at everything.
Call Spring Wood Builders LLC today, and get one step closer to building your dream home or commercial space.