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General contractor and his responsibilites

faaast | Posted in General Questions on


Building a house and now trying to dig myself out of the hole created by my general contractor.

The house is a custom 9600 square feet (9 ceilings basement/ground, 8′ second floor with 3 trey ceilings), a covered patio (16′ deep x 70″ wide) with 5 car garage (1900 sq-ft with13′ ceilings)

It took builder at-least 9 months to frame the house. It was him and his 2 crew members and no matter how much I pushed him to get help to speed up the process, he either couldn’t get any or probably didn’t get any. What should have been the time frame and how much should have been the framing/sq-ft for a house of this size.

Also we had foam insulation done that took almost a month (give and take) and dry wall that took another 6-7 weeks. Is that a normal time frame for those jobs?

It was his crew that accumulated hours cleaning after those people (insulation/dry wall) which I am not sure who should have done it, him or them. I hope I didn’t pay him for job that the other crowd should have done it to begin with.

Just trying to clarify few things before I take up with him.


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  1. Expert Member

    What does your contract say? Surely you didn't go into a project of that size without a contact specifying schedules, penalties and scope of work?

  2. faaast | | #2

    Unfortunately I did. We do have a contract but it didn't specify any penalties (he didn't want to sign), schedule (3 previous houses he built were on schedule) and had no clue about the scope of work.

  3. user-1072251 | | #3

    The time it should take is related to the size and complexity of the house and the size and experience of the crew; neither of which we know. And it is critical that someone clean up; that is the ultimately the GC's responsibility, although the trades should do their part.

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    If your contact with the G.C. did not specify a schedule, then the G.C. is entirely within his rights to take all the time he wants to complete the house.

    The amount you owe him for his work is the amount specified in the contract. How long it takes the G.C. to clean up is his own business, unless the contract specifies a minimum or maximum length of time that should be devoted to clean-up.

  5. Expert Member

    I know it's very stressful when your relationship with a contractor breaks down on a project that size, but I don't think we can be of any real help. There are too many variables we simply don't know about the situation, and making assumptions about the scope of work or schedule really are just based on guesses. It's very similar to asking well meaning strangers on the internet for to assign blame when your marriage breaks down. You may get the answers you'd like to hear, but they aren't worth much.

  6. dinnerbellmel | | #6

    The contract may be silent on a scheduled completion date but the law provides for some reasonable period of time. A contractor can't take 5 years to build a 2500 sq. ft. house for example. If you feel your GC isn't doing his best to complete the job then the best route is to go speak to an attorney about your options. I agree your best route is to try to work things out with your current builder and maybe an attorney has some ideas that can help you.

  7. user-2890856 | | #7

    If you should happen to be located in NJ , tne consumer fraud protection act requires that all contracts have a finish date . If this has not been met the GC is in violation of the act .

    Very difficult to be in compliance in Nj as most contractors have no clue about the act or the fact that they need an attorney to draw up a protective contract at a cost north of 5,000.00 . Those that do have this contract often are their own worst enemy as when changes in the scope or change work orders become a necessity they do not halt all work and begin those changes before they have a signed document authorizing the agreement between the parties specifying change in amount and additional time which then changes the finish date . If these steps are not followed even with the contract the Gc or contractor is at fault .

    Shame we cannot just do things as gentlemen anymore . All hail the Trial Lawyers .

  8. user-1072251 | | #8

    I will say this: 9600 SF is a huge house, and is likely also pretty detailed with complex framing. There may be a dearth of local framers that can build a high end building like this at a reasonable price, especially this year*, so he could be keeping your budget in line by framing it himself. Another possibility, if the building boom here in New England is anything like there,the local trades that have been available with 1-2 months notice are swamped for 8-12 months; schedules are getting harder to meet; prices are rising. Be glad you have a steady worker getting it done at an agreed price.

  9. Emily_Clay | | #9

    Hiring GC is little bit different from hiring other professionals. You need to hire someone with proven skills, somebody you can work with, and someone with a sound business sense for scheduling and managing the work. There is lot of responsibilities of GC such as interacts with the architect, gathers and evaluates bids, coordinates specialty contractors, provides skilled labor, answers questions and resolves issues, arranges for permits and the associated inspections etc.
    Once you’ve identified a bunch of GC, you will need to meet and talk with each of them. The contractor will need to see the plans and will want to examine the structure to be remodeled. Only after looking at the exist­ing home or apartment and reviewing the changes to be made can an estimate be prepared. One thing to sure ask each GC for four or five local references. I do the same when I hire a GC. I find bunches of GC from local online directory Porch and finalize one of them. It saves my quality time as well because I find all their details such as contact numbers, address etc from one place.

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