Starting a construction project is a complex process involving building design, building regulations and construction. We are industry insiders and want to provide our readers with information on how the industry works to help you make the best choice for your construction project. Running a construction project involves hiring contractors and subcontractors and performing the duties of surveyors, architects, engineers, electricians, carpenters, painters, plumbers, and other contractors.

What Is a Building Contractor?

Building contractors are not builders. A builder is someone responsible for facilitating the construction of a building. On the other hand, the building contractor is in charge of more complicated processes in order to finish the building project, which covers different aspects of construction.

There are two types of building contractors, commercial and residential. Residential house building contractors oversee the construction of single-family and multi-unit housing projects. Commercial building contractors are in charge of the construction and renovation of stores, malls, hotels and other commercial projects.

Main building contractor checking the building site

The Roles of a Building Contractor

The building contractor has multiple roles and duties in the construction project. Here is a list of the most common ones:

  • Hires subcontractors who will complete elements of the project
  • Employs or fire workers and processes payroll
  • Handles paperwork and permits
  • It’s in charge of the building contractor insurance
  • Estimates construction budgets to plan spending on materials and workforce
  • Leads and oversees construction
  • Makes sure building supplies and materials are available
  • Supervises staff to ensure project plans are completed on time
  • Deals with urgent issues that may arise during the work on the project
  • Communicates with clients

The contractor finds construction works, bids for them and arranges any subcontractors needed to complete the project. The client contracts and interacts with a building contractor, who contracts and deals with subcontractors and suppliers.

General contractor showing plans on the building site

What Is the Difference between a Building Contractor and a General Contractor?

A general contractor is someone who oversees and leads a group of contractors. This is the person in charge of the entire construction project. He leads his team and assigns tasks in different areas of the construction project. His role and responsibilities are very similar to the building contractor. Usually, a building site has just one person as a general or building contractor. 

How to Hire a Building Contractor

If you are looking for a contractor to handle your project, look for someone licensed and registered. Make sure to do it to avoid not legitimate contractors, who can run away when the odds are not good due to poor performance or unfinished work.

Ask friends, family, neighbours and relevant trade associations to get referrals and recommendations. Ask if they know reliable contractors with experience in the job you're looking for. When dealing with a potential contractor, check any written references and whether your contractor actually performed the work.

Builders working on the construction site

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Building Contractor

To hire the right contractor, you must know what to ask him for. These questions will help you assess any person or company you want to hire for your project.

What certification do you have?

Certificates or accreditations help maintain a company's reputation and assure clients that they are dealing with professional organizations. 

How long have you been working in the industry?

Industry experience is essential to any general building contractor. Our over 50 years of industry experience at Highland Construction puts us in a great position to manage your project successfully.

Are you a member of any industry organisations?

Highlands Construction is a member of BESA (Building Engineering Services Association), Constructionline, FMB (Federation of Master Builders), and ECA (Electrical Contractors Association)

Do you provide insurance?

Installers, surveyors, and project managers contracted by the main building contractor should be fully insured to work on-site.

Who are your previous clients?

Established contractors should have worked with multiple developers, local governments, educational institutions or commercial companies. Check out the commercial projects we have completed for our clients.

Do you have client references?

Positive client testimonials are a great way to endorse a business. Most experienced building companies or contractors can show testimonials from their clients.

Will you provide detailed estimates before the project starts?

Professional contractors provide a comprehensive estimating and design service for all commercial and residential projects.

Do you supervise all on-site work?

The building contractor should oversee the entire project. Senior members should be on-site at any time to ensure professionalism and safety.

Do you offer a work guarantee?

Guarantees give customers peace of mind that their investment is protected. Most legitimate construction companies offer warranties for their services and products.

With these industry tips, you can safely hire a house building contractor for your next construction project. If you are based in South Wales or surrounding areas, consider Highland Construction as your building contractor. We delivered multiple construction projects in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Bridgend.

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