All You Need to Know About General Contractors: Their Responsibilities and Expertise

what do general contractors do

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Have you ever wondered what do general contractors do? If you plan a construction project, these questions might have crossed your mind. General contractors are pivotal in overseeing and managing construction ventures from inception to completion. Their expertise extends beyond bricks and mortar as they orchestrate a symphony of tasks, ensuring your project is executed flawlessly. 

In this article, we will unravel the mystery of what does a general contractor do and shed light on how they can turn your construction dreams into reality. Let’s dive into the construction world and discover a general contractor’s key roles.

What Is a General Contractor?

What Is a General Contractor

Within the construction industry, a general contractor assumes the crucial role of overseeing and managing a construction project from start to finish. Property owners often enlist the services of general contractors to ensure that their construction ventures are completed with utmost safety, adherence to timelines, and compliance with specifications.

General contractors, commonly called GCs, hold significance in intricate commercial constructions and simple residential projects. While specific tasks, like roof replacements or flooring installations, may be delegated to specialized subcontractors, a general contractor is typically essential for projects that involve coordinating multiple stages or engaging various specialty contractors to achieve successful completion.

Types of General Contractors

When undertaking a construction project,  knowing what does a general contractor do and choosing the right type of general contractor is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success and efficiency of the endeavor. Depending on the nature and complexity of the project, different types of general contractors are available, each specializing in specific construction areas. This section will explore the various types of general contractors and their unique areas of expertise, empowering you to make an informed choice for your next construction venture.

Residential General Contractors

Residential General Contractors

Residential general contractors focus on home construction and remodeling projects. From single-family homes to multi-unit housing complexes, these contractors have expertise in all aspects of residential construction. Whether building a new home from the ground up, renovating an existing property, or adding an extension, residential general contractors excel in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing living spaces.

Commercial General Contractors

Commercial General Contractors

Commercial general contractors are the go-to experts for large-scale commercial projects, such as office buildings, retail spaces, and hotels. These professionals are well-versed in handling the complexities of commercial construction, including adhering to specific zoning regulations, safety codes, and industry standards. They have the experience and resources to manage projects of significant scale and complexity, delivering exceptional results to meet the unique needs of businesses.

Industrial General Contractors

Industrial General Contractors

Industrial general contractors specialize in constructing industrial facilities, such as factories, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and distribution centers. These projects often involve specialized equipment, intricate mechanical systems, and adherence to strict safety standards. Industrial general contractors possess the expertise to efficiently manage these large-scale projects, ensuring that the facilities are optimized for productivity and safety.

Infrastructure General Contractors

Infrastructure General Contractors

Infrastructure general contractors focus on large-scale public projects that involve building or renovating essential infrastructure. These projects may include highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and public utilities. Infrastructure general contractors work closely with government agencies and municipalities to ensure these critical projects are completed precisely and adhere to strict regulations.

Green Building Contractors

Green Building Contractors

With a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendly practices, green building contractors specialize in constructing environmentally conscious and energy-efficient structures. These contractors are well-versed in implementing sustainable materials and technologies to reduce the project’s environmental footprint while maximizing energy efficiency and resource conservation.

What Do General Contractors Do?

“What do general contractors do” is a common question that arises when it comes to the construction realm. These professionals hold the crucial responsibility of overseeing the entire construction process. Their role involves ensuring the engagement of skilled and proficient professionals for each task while also taking on various other essential duties.

However, for a more precise understanding, let’s dissect the construction process into its three main phases to explore the specific tasks handled by general contractors in each stage.


Cropped image of engineer drawing construction plan

Before construction commences, general contractors play a pivotal role in laying the groundwork for a successful project. During the pre-construction phase, they undertake various tasks to ensure that all aspects of the project are meticulously planned and organized. Here’s what general contractors do during the pre-construction phase:

  • Project assessment: General contractors thoroughly assess the project’s scope, goals, and requirements.
  • Budgeting and cost estimation: GCs work closely with estimators to develop a detailed budget and cost estimation for the project.
  • Obtaining permits and approvals: General contractors are responsible for securing all required permits and approvals from local authorities.
  • Scheduling and timeline management: GCs create a well-structured timeline for the construction project, outlining each stage’s start and completion dates.
  • Hiring and managing subcontractors: General contractors select and hire qualified subcontractors for specialized tasks during the pre-construction phase.

During Construction

During Construction

Once the construction phase is underway, general contractors actively oversee and manage the execution of the project. Their hands-on involvement ensures that everything proceeds smoothly and according to plan. Here’s what general contractors do during the construction phase:

  • Supervision and quality control: GCs regularly visit the construction site to supervise the work being carried out by subcontractors.
  • Communication and coordination: General contractors facilitate effective communication and ensure that everyone is working collaboratively towards project goals.
  • Problem-solving: GCs are adept at troubleshooting and finding solutions to unforeseen issues that may emerge during construction.
  • Materials and resource management: General contractors oversee the procurement and delivery of construction materials.
  • Safety and compliance: GCs implement safety protocols, conduct regular inspections, and ensure that all work on the site complies with safety regulations.



The responsibilities of general contractors continue even after the construction phase is complete. They continue to be involved in the post-construction phase to wrap up the project successfully. Here’s what general contractors do after the construction is finished:

  • Final inspections and walkthroughs: GCs conduct final inspections and walkthroughs with the property owners to address any final concerns or adjustments.
  • Punch lists and completion: General contractors create a punch list outlining any remaining minor tasks that need to be completed. 
  • Project closeout: GCs handle all the paperwork and documentation to finalize contracts, obtain warranties, and settle all financial transactions.
  • Client satisfaction: Throughout the post-construction phase, general contractors prioritize client satisfaction. They seek feedback from property owners and address any post-construction concerns promptly.

Qualities to Look For When Hiring a General Contractor

General Contractor Qualities

When hiring a general contractor for your construction project, selecting the right professional can make all the difference between a smooth, successful endeavor and a stressful, disappointing experience. To ensure you find the best fit for your needs, several essential qualities and factors must be considered before making your decision. Here are some key aspects to look for in a general contractor:

Experience and Expertise

A reputable general contractor should have substantial experience and expertise in managing various types of construction projects. Look for a contractor with a proven track record of successfully completing similar projects to yours. Experienced professionals are better equipped to handle unforeseen challenges and deliver high-quality results.

Licenses and Insurance

Ensure that the general contractor you choose holds all the necessary licenses and certifications required by your local and state authorities. Additionally, verify that they have comprehensive insurance coverage, including liability insurance and worker’s compensation. This ensures that you are protected from potential liabilities and accidents that may occur during the construction process.

Strong Reputation and References

Check the contractor’s reputation by reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients. A reliable general contractor will have a strong reputation for delivering exceptional work and customer satisfaction. Feel free to ask for references and reach out to past clients to get firsthand insights into their experience with the contractor.

Clear Communication Skills

Effective communication is vital in any construction project. A good general contractor should be an attentive listener and able to communicate clearly and openly with you throughout the entire process. They should respond to your questions and concerns, informing you about the project’s progress and any potential changes or challenges.

Detailed Contract and Pricing

Before hiring a general contractor, ensure you receive a detailed and written contract outlining all aspects of the project, including the scope of work, materials to be used, timeline, and payment terms. Avoid contractors who provide vague estimates or refuse to put everything in writing. Transparency in pricing and contract terms is essential for a successful project.

Strong Network of Subcontractors

General contractors often work with subcontractors for specialized tasks. Ensure that your chosen contractor has a reliable and skilled network of subcontractors to ensure the project’s smooth execution. A well-established relationship with reputable subcontractors reflects positively on the contractor’s ability to deliver quality work.

Do You Need a General Contractor in Orange County? 

Are you planning a construction project in Orange County and need a reliable general contractor? Look no further! Grizzly Strong Construction is your best choice for exceptional services and impeccable results. Our experienced team of professionals is well-equipped to handle a wide range of construction projects, ensuring top-notch quality and timely completion.

Whether planning a residential renovation or a design-build construction venture, we’ve got you covered. From concept to completion, our expert team will guide you through every step, bringing your vision to life with precision and craftsmanship.

Don’t let the complexities of your project overwhelm you. Contact Grizzly Strong Construction today, and let our experts take care of your construction needs. We guarantee a smooth and successful construction journey with our dedication to customer satisfaction and a track record of excellence. Get in touch now and turn your dream project into reality!

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