What is Contractor, General?

A general contractor is a primary professional responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction project.


In the realm of interior design, a general contractor (often abbreviated as GC) is an indispensable professional who takes the helm of construction projects, both large and small. Their role extends far beyond mere supervision; they are responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the project from start to finish. This includes coordinating with architects, designers, and specialized subcontractors to bring the designed vision to life. A general contractor's responsibilities encompass project management, sourcing materials, adhering to building codes, and ensuring timely completion within budget constraints.

Working with a general contractor can significantly streamline the construction or renovation process for homeowners and designers alike. By acting as the central point of coordination, they eliminate the need for multiple contacts and contracts, thereby reducing complexity and potential conflicts. The general contractor’s expertise in dealing with various aspects of construction also ensures that the project adheres to quality standards and regulations.


When embarking on a home renovation or new build project, an interior designer will often recommend or work directly with a general contractor. This collaboration ensures that the design plans are executed accurately, materials are procured efficiently, and any unforeseen challenges are addressed promptly. For example, a general contractor would be responsible for hiring an electrician for wiring, a plumber for bathroom fixtures, and a carpenter for custom cabinetry, all while keeping the designer’s vision in focus.


  • What qualifications should a general contractor have?

    A general contractor should typically have extensive experience in construction management and may hold relevant licenses and insurance as per local regulations. They should also demonstrate a strong track record of successful project completion.

  • How does a general contractor charge for services?

    General contractors usually charge a fee based on either the total project cost, often a percentage, or a fixed fee for their management services. Some may also offer cost-plus pricing, where the client pays the cost of materials and labor plus a management fee.

  • Can a homeowner act as their own general contractor?

    Yes, homeowners can act as their own general contractor, although this approach requires a significant amount of time, knowledge, and coordination to manage the project effectively. It's recommended for those with construction experience or those undertaking smaller projects.

Practical Application

When hiring a general contractor for your interior design project, it's important to thoroughly vet candidates, checking their licenses, insurance, and portfolio of past projects. Establishing clear communication and understanding the contract terms can also ensure a smooth working relationship and successful project outcome.