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Define GC

 
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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Define GC


There seems to be a lot of controversy on this subject.
What does it take to be a GC ?
What does it mean ?
Is a GC that spends all day on the job different than a GC who manages multiple projects through subs?

Enlighten me!
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:10 PM   #2
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Re: Define GC


A general contractor to me means one who hires, oversees, and coordinates sub-contractors.

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Old 05-05-2009, 10:15 PM   #3
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Re: Define GC


close to an hour and only crickets


OK, I'll start

What does it take to be a GC ?

Take the inability to excell at any given trade and expand that until you think you can tell all the trades people how to do their jobs and how much they should charge.

Is a GC that spends all day on the job different than a GC who manages multiple projects through subs?

Yes, if the GC spends all day on the job it means he doesn't have another job or anything else to do. So he just stays there to make you miserable.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Define GC


MJWs a GC Sorry MJW, I couldn't resist.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:30 PM   #5
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Re: Define GC


I think the main issue popping up, is not are you a paper GC, hands on GC, run x # of crews, but why is everyone all of a sudden think they are a GC, or I just started a business & I am a GC (now what???).

Here in AL I can theoretically get in trouble for calling myself a GC as it is supposedly reserved for licensed Commercial outfits only. In AZ you can be considered a GC as long as your licensed in either the Res & Comm areas
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:39 PM   #6
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Re: Define GC


To me, a GC is nothing more than a construction manager....They are the ones who sign the contracts or job/jobs with the home owner/buisness owner etc...The ones resposible for the total job. Whether you pick up a hammer or not does not make you a gc. Some gc's prefer to self perform some portion of the work, others choose to "sub" the work to sub-contractors. Just my .02.

Most gc's in the commercial world have more than one job going at a time, well when there's work that is, that's where project managers/superintendents etc. come in.

Btw, if you do unlicensed sidework, this doesnt make you a gc sorry couldnt resist
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Last edited by FowlOne; 05-05-2009 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:02 AM   #7
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Re: Define GC


Here is how the State of Washington Labor & Industries looks at it.

A general contractor can perform or supervise numerous building trades or crafts.
A specialty contractor can perform one building trade or craft.
Insurance requirements are the same for either, the only difference is a $12,000 bond for a general and a $6,000 bond for a specialty.

Specialty contractors list:

BG Appliances, Equipment
XX Asbestos
SA Awnings, Canopies, Patio Covers and Exterior Screens
AC Boilers, Steam Fitting, Process Piping
SB Cabinets, Millwork and Finish Carpentry
SC Central Vacuum Systems
SD Closets
AB Commercial/ Industrial Refrigeration
BI Concrete
SE Construction Clean-up
SF Demolition and Salvage
SG Doors, Gates and Activating Devices
RK Drain Cleaner
SH Drilling and Soil Sampling
BK Drywall
BL Elevator
SI Excavation, Grading and Land Clearing
BN Fencing
SJ Fireproofing and Coating
BO Fire Protection
SK Floor Covering and Counter Tops
SL Framing and Rough Carpentry
BP Glass and Glazing
CV Gutters and Downspouts
HM Handyman
BR House Moving
SM Heating Ventilating Air-Conditioning (HVAC)
SN Industrial Equipment/Machines
BT Institutional Equipment, Stationary Furniture, Lab Tables, Lockers
SO Insulation and Acoustical
BV Irrigation Sprinkler Systems
BW Landscaping
SP Lathing and Plastering
SQ Lock and Security Equipment
BZ Masonry
SR Manufactured/Mobile Home Set-up
OG Overhead/Garage Doors
CB Painting and Wall Covering
SS Paving/ Striping/ Seal Coating
AD Plumbing





Now how many companies do you think do more than one thing on this list, or may need to hire a sub?
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Define GC


Fowlone makes a good point. In the older days the General Contractor self performed most of the trades, the obvious exceptions being plumbing, mech, and electric. Everything else they pretty much did, hence the term "general". Concrete, steel erection, framing, finish carpentry, and other items of choosing were done by the GC.

Over the years with specialization, licensing requirements, cost of equipment, AND LAWYERS it became better to sub out trades and have other people with comp and CGL as your partners should the ____ hit the fan.

Now most GC's are CM's. Buying out the job and managing the subs without any self perform. Risk management has changed the way we do business.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:11 AM   #9
 
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Re: Define GC


In Florida, it is illegal to hold yourself out as a GC unless you've passed the state certification (board) exam...or you've taken a block exam for local county license. It's tempting to call yourself a GC b/c the state exam has a 70% failure rate...as well as the fact that it's a two day, 18 hour exam. Honestly, quite a few people give up...not to mention all of the other crazy requirements.

For instance...you can qualify with 5 years of proven experience construction industry and one of which has to be a year as a superintendent or foreman. You can also qualify by having a Bachelors in Building Construction, Architecture or Engineering + one year as a foreman. The experience has to be verified and signed off by GC, or an engineer, architect or building official.

That's just for starters....

Once your application goes into the state, you need a credit report on you and your business...finger print card...a background check...letter explaining felonies or misdemeanors (if any)...and a letter from the bank or CPA showing that you have at least $20,000 in capital + at least $300,000.00 in liability insurance.

It's a mo-fo down here b/c I've seen guys go in front of the board and get their license denied or downgraded from a General to a Residential b/c they couldn't prove work experience.

Honestly, it really doesn't matter if you're hands on GC or just provide CM services...going through the certification gauntlet is enough hell in itself.

Last edited by Imhotep0357; 05-06-2009 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
A general contractor to me means one who hires, oversees, and coordinates sub-contractors.
While all answers here are correct. I like how nice and neat this explanation is so I will go with it.

My issue with all these guys calling themselves GCs is that many of them are nothing more than handymen. (no offense to handymen intended)
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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Re: Define GC


My title is a GC and I will briefly explain why I think I earned this title. When I was young about 16 my old man was a project manager for a large construction company. I was a laborer on the job for a few years. During slow times or layoff's, I was a laborer for a mason contractor who was doing residential cinder block (at that time) foundations. I was watching, learning, doing layout, forms,etc. Then I got a job for a framing contractor, carrying lumber, layout, framing, blocking, building stairs,etc. Then I was doing painting for a little while, then I got a job with a an old Italian guy who was doing finish carpentry, trim, crown molding ,kitchen installations, etc. worked with him for about 4 years. As time went by I got older, I was a project manager running the job for a construction company. Then I started building on my own. When I started doing on my own, I took a building inspector course, to learn why this should be done the way inspector wants this to be done, so I don't have to curse at him out again, or why this should be here or there,etc. After the course allot of things started to make sense, which did not made any sense before. I still keep up with codes as they come out and I attend seminars when they have them.
So being active in residential construction industry for almost 30 years,building over 60 homes, a few dozen additions, installing over 500 kitchens, decks, basement,etc. I consider myself earning the title of a General Contractor.
Someone said, GC is the one who stays on the job and breaks balls. I would have to disagree with that statement. When a contractor comes on my job to do the work, I don't bother him... if I see his worker is doing something wrong, I will stop him and tell him how it should be done and he is telling me he been doing like this all the time, I will simply say, not on this job...here you will do it, how I want this to be done, because my name will go on this job, not his. Period. If he is doing something right, but he is doing his way, I don't have a problem for as long as its done the right way.
With majority of my contractors we go back 30 yrs so I been very lucky in that.
I believe a General Contractor should have experience and knowledge in every field of construction practice and that is his responsibility to know. He must know engineering, he must read plans, he must know how to calculate loads (just incase a beam needs to be checked in the field if it can carry a load) architects do make mistakes, etc. If he don't know all of the things, the project or structure could become a potential disaster and people could get hurt.
I know many who call themselves GC's, and I know they don't know much about many fields in construction, and on occasion I get calls from them asking for a help how to get out of the situation i.e. being a court matter, or a HO problem or they not getting paid for something they screw up, etc.

So basically, this is my thought on this matter
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:48 PM   #12
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Re: Define GC


Until fairly recently GC pretty much
meant a commercial contractor who
bid the entire job, whether he kept
it all in house, or subbed out some
of the trades.
My first license said "Builder's License."
Now the are mostly general contractor,
but the same thing, I can do all but
plumbing, electric, and HVAC.
I think maybe some of the guys
are confused because if they are
carpenters and get a license, it says
"General Contractor." *shrug*
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:04 PM   #13
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Re: Define GC


WHAT IS A GC
1-The person who makes possible, for skilled tradesman, the ability to arrive at a job, and do there thing without the annoying questions of homeowners

2-The person you can count for a steady supply of work, without the hassle of estimates and interviews

3-The person you can count on to get paid whenever you ask, with no risk of getting burned by the homeowner.

4-The person you can discuss any aspect of job with because he has a complete understanding of the entire building process and how each trade relates to each other

5-And last but not least, The person who must show up every day with there A game so the homeowner feels comfortable with all the people in there house disrupting there lives, and draining there bank accounts. G
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:22 PM   #14
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnettica View Post
A general contractor to me means one who hires, oversees, and coordinates sub-contractors.
I agree. If you look over to the left it says GC occasionally. GC'ed six houses over the years. No big deal. But it aint for me.

I'll live longer doing it once in a while. I usually get along great with HO's. Dealing with subs, now thats a different story. Not showing up when they are scheduled putting you behind schedule. Putting out fires everyday. Giving the HO a flooring allowance then the flooring shop exagerates the sq. footage (thinking I would'nt notice). I could go on. I just get too pissed off.

I remember when I started, 29 years ago. I used to think GC's were lazy guys with cash flow that rode around in pick ups. Boy, did I get a wake up call.

In my area you see a lot of guys with GC on their truck. This trade GC, that trade GC. Maybe in the old days GC meant doing it all. Not anymore in my area. But guys still put it on their truck. Must like the title.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by genecarp View Post
WHAT IS A GC
1-The person who makes possible, for skilled tradesman, the ability to arrive at a job, and do there thing without the annoying questions of homeowners

2-The person you can count for a steady supply of work, without the hassle of estimates and interviews

3-The person you can count on to get paid whenever you ask, with no risk of getting burned by the homeowner.

4-The person you can discuss any aspect of job with because he has a complete understanding of the entire building process and how each trade relates to each other

5-And last but not least, The person who must show up every day with there A game so the homeowner feels comfortable with all the people in there house disrupting there lives, and draining there bank accounts. G
I still miss Jim.
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #16
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post
I still miss Jim.

Alright, the lizard king will return
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:00 PM   #17
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by genecarp View Post
Alright, the lizard king will return
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #18
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Re: Define GC


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post
I still miss Jim.
Bring back Jim!
Southern man dont need him around anyhow(neil),

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