What is a General Contractor?
A contractor guides your project through the renovation process
(Above) Los Angeles-based Sweeten contractor Jacob
What professional general contractors need
A general contractor is licensed by a particular jurisdiction to hire subcontractors to perform specialized work for a client’s project. General contractors are also known as a builder. They can be licensed by a state, county, city, or other depending on the location.
Local or state requirements will vary for training and education. A certain number of years of contracting experience is needed to apply for a contractor’s license. The number will differ based on area. Additional requirements vary depending on location.
Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering guidance, tools, and support—for free.
A general contractor is licensed by the state in which they do business to build homes and other structures for profit. General contractors will hire subcontractors for specialized work needed. They are also responsible for work quality and the passing of any required inspections.
Most building projects require a building permit issued by the local codes enforcement official. However, only certain individuals can apply for a building permit. Those can include an owner/builder (where the owner acts as their own general contractor), a state-licensed general contractor, or a subcontractor whose business requires a state license like an electrician, HVAC technician, or plumber.
The general contractor may also be bonded against theft in case materials or tools are stolen during construction. However, this is not required in every state. They also ensure that any devices, like security systems or heat pumps, are installed to the manufacturer’s specifications to prevent voiding any warranties.