What Do Contractors Do?

When it comes to building a building, it doesn’t matter if the building in question is a skyscraper or a one-story school, it’s a big job, with a lot of moving parts, potentials for mistakes, and other things that need to be signed off on and adjusted or communicated. General contractors are the ones who manage the bigger picture on building projects.

They are often chosen by product engineers and architects, and they are the people who pull all the strings and manage the project by keeping everyone in the loop with communication.

Starting the Project

The Chicago general contractor will most often first look at the documents and blueprints regarding a building project and will visit the worksite in person. After they are confident they understand the project, they will give the owner a price estimate, based on working conditions, length, needed materials, and the labor cost.

Then they will work to provide all the labor, equipment, vehicles, and tools that are needed for the project. This is typically done with the help of subcontractors, where specialized people under the hire of the contractor are able to work on different parts of the project.

The Main Goal

The main goal of a contractor is to keep people safe when they come to the job site. They will apply for permits, make sure everyone wears hard hats, and will serve as an advisor for their client. Contractors can also manage schedules, monitor records, and provide more detail about the worksite.

They make sure the project is meeting timelines, while also making sure that everyone is doing what they need to do and keeping safe.

A License to Work

Every single construction project will need some type of license that a general contractor will have to provide. The qualifications of the license are left up to the state, so getting a license in Illinois won’t be the same as getting a license in California. But with every contract the contractor will need to also have a surety bond, where one side will agree to pay another side if the terms of the contract are not fulfilled.

Some states are different, and others don’t require a contractor at all, so if you are taking on a development project it will pay to understand the rules of the state before you try to get a license.

Becoming a Contractor

This is another item that falls under the state’s purview and not on the federal level. You need to get a local license if you want to work in a specific state, and most contractors begin as construction workers who would communicate with the contractors on their specific jobsite.

If you want to run your own business and work with subcontractors to do the more technical stuff, then becoming a contractor might be the best work for you. You’ll be able to manage workers, keep lines of communications open, and use the best techniques and skills for the job at hand.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.