What Does a General Contractor Do?

General Contractors Lexington KY is responsible for taking a home improvement project from design to construction. They coordinate and oversee the entire process, including hiring subcontractors to complete specific tasks.

Great contractors are able to create a scope of work that is feasible within their budget and schedule. They also have a keen eye for quality and will address any issues promptly.

Project planning is a key part of project management that includes identifying project goals and objectives, setting up a timeline, and assigning tasks. It also involves establishing budgets and resources for different phases of the project. Project planning involves analyzing risks and putting in place plans to mitigate them. It is essential that project planning is carried out in a way that addresses all aspects of the construction process, including safety and quality control.

A general contractor’s job is to make a client’s vision a reality. This is true whether they are working on a new construction project or remodeling an existing one. This means that they must be able to listen well and take note of what their clients have to say about the building, its style, and their overall preferences. This allows them to provide their clients with the best services possible.

In addition to ensuring that the final project meets all of the client’s expectations, it is the responsibility of a general contractor to keep the project on schedule and within budget. This is an important task because the longer a project extends past its original completion date, the more it can negatively impact all parties involved. The GC can help the project stay on track by breaking down the entire scope of work into manageable components and determining how long each will take to complete. They will then create a detailed project schedule that takes into account all of the dependencies and resource requirements to ensure that the project is completed on time.

The next step in project planning is defining the team’s roles and responsibilities. This is done by creating a project organization chart that clearly outlines who is responsible for each task. The GC will then decide on a project scheduling methodology (like the Critical Path Method or Program Evaluation and Review Technique) and identify all of the tasks that are required to meet the project’s deadlines. This helps them identify any tasks that can be delayed without affecting the project’s turnover date and prioritize those activities.

Vendor Management

Managing the supply side of a business is a critical task that requires a data-driven, robust vendor management system to optimise costs and ensure service delivery. Large businesses often have hundreds of vendors in a range of categories, from IT services to office supplies to logistics providers. To reduce operational risk and maximise ROI, companies need a clear policy that sets the criteria for selecting and nurturing vendor relationships.

A GC oversees a team of professionals who manage the intricacies of vendor sourcing, estimates, capacities, quality work, turnaround times and invoicing. This is important because it enables the project to stay on budget and ensures that the necessary materials are in place at all times.

Another aspect of vendor management is to ensure that the project’s communication infrastructure is robust. This is crucial because the GC needs to coordinate various team members and contractors across multiple sites. Without a strong communication network, the project will likely experience delays and unnecessary costs.

Finally, a GC must be familiar with the payment chain process — the way that money moves from the property owner down through tiers of subcontractors and suppliers. Having visibility into these processes can help a GC spot issues early on and address them promptly. It can also be beneficial for a GC to use tools that streamline payment forms and processing so they don’t have to manually manage these processes.

Managing vendors begins with the initial onboarding process, which includes gathering documentation and setting up a vendor as an approved supplier. Then comes contract management, which involves reviewing and negotiating contracts. Lastly, there is the monitoring and performance side of vendor management, which involves tracking and measuring the performance of all vendors.

The key to success in a career as a general contractor is having the right skills and expertise. You need to understand the latest construction trends and best practices, as well as be able to communicate clearly with both clients and subcontractors. It’s also important to have a solid understanding of the different types of contracts and their specific requirements. You should also keep up with licensing requirements in your area. Some areas require continuing education classes to maintain your license.


Communication is essential to a general contractor’s job. GCs must be able to effectively communicate with homeowners, employees and subcontractors. Effective communication maintains transparency which strengthens trust, manages expectations, reduces conflict and resolves issues faster. The GC must also be able to convey detailed information with accuracy, as the project progresses and changes are made.

Typically, there is a chain of command for construction communication established in the contract documents. This includes the architect, the superintendent and the general contractor. The GC must make sure that any direct communication that does not go through this channel gets proper authorization and is recorded in the project file.

For large construction projects, the GC oversees vendor management to handle the intricacies of sourcing vendors for materials and building components. This involves assessing estimates, capacities, quality of work and turnaround times. This process also entails establishing relationships with vendors, and ensuring that all aspects of the supply chain are streamlined.

The GC must also ensure that the project site is safe for workers and residents, as well as visitors and neighbors. This includes securing all required permits and keeping up with the latest building codes. The GC must also be able identify safety hazards and quickly correct them before they lead to an accident.

As the project progresses, the GC monitors construction to make sure that it’s on schedule. If there are unexpected delays or setbacks, they must be able to adjust the project schedule to keep the entire team on track.

If you’re thinking of completing a home construction or renovation, a GC can make all the difference in steering the project toward its goals and staying within your budget. Their experience, expertise and ability to trouble-shoot can make your dream come true while minimizing any pitfalls along the way.

While many general contractors gain their experience through on-the-job training, there are also several educational programs designed to help newcomers learn about the field and develop the skills necessary for success. These programs often include hands-on field experience and offer practical knowledge that can help you advance in the industry.


A strong contractor safety program is the key to ensuring a safe construction site. General contractors oversee numerous tasks on a project, so they must have a system in place to prevent accidents and injuries that could slow down progress. This includes vetting contractors before they’re hired, inspecting the worksite regularly and communicating expectations clearly to all parties.

Contractors often take on hazardous duties like operating machinery, lifting heavy objects and performing manual labor. In the United States, nearly 6.5 million people work in construction on any given day. Due to the risky nature of their job, construction workers have one of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in all industries. To reduce these risks, it’s important for general contractors to set clear safety procedures and provide training to their team members.

On multi-employer worksites, a general contractor may be considered the “controlling employer” if it exercises sufficient control over the work being performed at the worksite to require subcontractors to comply with occupational health and safety standards and abate hazards. On occasion, OSHA cites GCs for violations committed by their subcontractors, even though the GC’s employees are not exposed to the specific hazard or posed by the subcontractor’s failure to comply.

Despite the fact that OSHA has established that the GC’s duty to exercise reasonable care on the worksite is less than the primary employer’s duty to protect its own employees, there are still many reasons why a GC should make its safety requirements clear to its contractors. Having a comprehensive contractor safety program can mitigate the risk of worker injuries, protect corporate reputation and support compliance with government regulations.

In addition to vetting contract companies and requiring insurance levels that meet ND’s requirements, a GC should include an orientation for all contractors before they begin working on campus. This can include a safety tour, a discussion of the hazards that they will encounter on Campus and how to respond to them and a brief safety tailgate meeting covering topics relevant to the specific work being performed.

It’s also important for a GC to keep accurate records of inspections, training and incidents on projects. This will allow them to identify patterns and trends and make improvements if necessary. For example, a record of an accident can help a GC determine whether or not it was caused by a violation that should have been corrected.