What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is a professional responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations on a construction site.


In the world of interior design and construction, a general contractor plays a pivotal role in bringing a project to life. This individual or company is hired to manage the construction phase of a project, ensuring that the vision of the client and the design team becomes a reality. A general contractor's responsibilities include hiring and overseeing subcontractors (like electricians, plumbers, and carpenters), obtaining necessary permits, and ensuring compliance with building codes and safety regulations.

They act as the main point of contact between the project owners, design team, and the various construction teams. By coordinating the work of subcontractors and managing the construction schedule, a general contractor helps maintain the project's momentum and addresses any challenges that may arise during the construction process. Importantly, they also manage the project's budget, making adjustments as needed to accommodate any changes in the project scope.

Selecting a reliable and experienced general contractor is crucial for the success of any interior design project. They possess the expertise and resources necessary to execute the design plan efficiently, on time, and within budget, ensuring a high-quality outcome.


For example, in the renovation of a historic home, a general contractor would coordinate the efforts of specialized restorers, interior decorators, and construction workers to preserve the home's architectural integrity while updating its interior design. In commercial projects, such as the remodeling of a boutique hotel, the general contractor oversees the entire construction process, from the initial demolition to the final installation of finishes and fixtures.


  • What qualifications should a general contractor have?

    A general contractor should have a combination of education, experience in construction and project management, and often a professional license or certification. It's also important to select a contractor with a strong track record of reliability and craftsmanship.

  • How does a general contractor differ from a construction manager?

    While both roles involve overseeing construction projects, a general contractor is typically hired by the project owner and is responsible for the entire construction phase, including hiring subcontractors. A construction manager may offer a broader scope of services, providing advice and oversight during both the design and construction phases.

  • Can a general contractor do the work themselves?

    Yes, some general contractors have the skills and license to perform certain construction tasks themselves, especially in smaller projects. However, for larger projects or specialized work, they typically hire subcontractors with specific expertise.

Practical Application

When planning an interior design project, it’s vital to choose a general contractor who shares your vision and has a proven track record of successful project completion. Start by researching local contractors, checking their licenses and portfolios, and asking for references. It's also essential to establish clear communication and a detailed contract to ensure that both parties have defined expectations from the start.