“General contractor” is a broad term used by someone that offers any kind of building, repair, or maintenance service. There is, however, a more accurate definition of a general contractor that should understand before hiring one.

In the following blog, we will explore the role of a true general contractor and some traits you should look for when weighing your options.

We hope this blog post helps you as you plan your next building or renovation project. Happy reading!

Understanding the Role of a General Contractor

In the truest sense, a general contractor is a construction manager that oversees the progress of a given building project. A general contractor is in charge of hiring and managing subcontractors and vendors, ordering materials, and ensuring the project stays on schedule.

A general contractor also acts as a liaison between the client and everyone working on the property. Their job is to ensure that the client’s needs aren’t just communicated but understood by every service provider.

Because a general contractor plays such a significant role in your building project, it is crucial to choose the right one, and there are a few traits you should always seek out. Let’s explore a few!

What to Look for


Perhaps the most important trait of a general contractor is the ability to communicate clearly and honestly about the project at hand. Even when problems arise, a good general contractor will let the client know and work out solutions openly.

Your general contractor should also be able to effectively communicate with vendors and subcontractors working on your property. It is their role to ensure everyone understands the client’s goals.


Completing a remodeling project or any building job is no easy task. These projects have complicated timelines and need to be organized carefully.

An excellent general contractor will be able to plan, coordinate, and execute your project with ease. They should always know the project’s schedule and keep a close eye on deadlines.

Your general contractor should be confident keeping track of:

  • Building plans
  • Building codes and bylaws
  • Contracts
  • Timelines and deadlines
  • Material information and delivery
  • Costs
  • Payments

Attention to Detail

Another trait of a great contractor is attention to detail.

There are so many different aspects that go into completing new construction and remodeling, and only someone comfortable keeping track of details will be able to help you succeed.

A great general contractor will identify underlying issues before they arise and notice small mistakes. They won’t miss a beat, and you can feel confident knowing your project is under such a watchful eye.


General contractors should always put the needs, desires and goals of their clients first. Their ultimate goal should be to exceed expectations by being available to answer questions and keeping you in the loop as the project progresses.

A great general contractor should also be friendly and pleasant to work with, considering how closely you will work with them over weeks, months, or even years.


Having resources in the industry is a more practical trait you should seek out when hiring a general contractor. A resourceful service provider will understand and respect your budget and work to find excellent materials and products that will serve your property well without breaking the bank.

A great general contractor won’t get discouraged but will use their resources in the industry to find innovative solutions to problems as they arise.


Completing a building project is all about collaboration, and when you hire a general contractor to manage your construction or renovation, you want to work with someone who has connections in the industry.

Most building projects will require the skills and services of multiple subcontracting groups, such as:

  • HVAC companies
  • Electricians
  • Door and window specialists
  • Plumbers
  • Framers
  • Excavators
  • Paints
  • Roofers
  • Interior designers
  • And much more!

Be sure to ask prospective hires whom they have worked with in the past to gauge how well connected they are in the local area. This may even allow you to check out some of their work for yourself.


While a general contractor who is new to the field may have fresh ideas, it’s better to hire someone who has been around the block a few times. Not only will an experienced team know how to handle your project, but they will know how not to handle it too.

An expert contractor will know what materials to avoid and which ones to suggest. They will understand the building process and how to organize it will. They will be comfortable and confident communicating with you and everyone working on your property—and are more likely to get the job done right.

The Price Is Right

While we don’t recommend hiring someone that offers exorbitant prices, we definitely don’t recommend hiring the area’s cheapest option either. A trustworthy general contractor will offer rates somewhere in the middle. Mid-ground rates reflect the quality of the services offered while respecting the means of unique clients.

Also, a good contractor should have no problem providing you with detailed pricing information when you ask for it. So never be afraid to ask about rates before you commit to anything.


Perhaps the best way to choose a general contractor is to read about them. Online reviews are a fantastic resource when it comes to selecting a service provider, and today, the internet is littered with them.

It is also valuable to ask your friends, family members, and neighbors for their first-hand accounts. Sometimes, these recommendations can be even more telling than what you read online.

Quality General Contracting in and Around Williamsburg

If you are getting started on a building or remodeling project in Williamsburg, Norfolk, Smithfield or the surrounding area, YCI INC. invites you to consider our services. We exemplify the abovementioned traits and are always more than happy to take on a new client.

To learn more about what we have to offer, please reach us by phone or email. We look forward to exceeding your expectations and bringing you results you’ll love!