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What is a general contractor?
A general contractor is responsible for the overall coordination of a project.
The first task is to assess the project, often by visiting the site to get an understanding of the project’s overall scope.
For residential construction, remodels, renovations and so on, the general contractor will usually discuss with the homeowner various building options.
Next, the general contractor will submit a fixed price bid or cost estimate, depending on the requirements of the homeowner.
Prior to beginning any work, the general contractor will thoroughly review any and all documents prepared by architects, engineers, design professionals, etc. Any updates or changes to these documents over the course of the project will also be reviewed by the general contractor.
During construction, the general contractor usually takes responsibility for providing the materials, labor and other services necessary to complete the job.
This might include ordering the lumber package from the local supply company, and then choosing, hiring and directing qualified subcontractors who will complete that portion of the job.
Further responsibilities typically include filing all necessary building permits, scheduling and managing subcontractors, handling construction waste as necessary to maintain a clean worksite and many other tasks as required.
Once the job is complete, the general contractor ensures the project has been finalized to the homeowner’s satisfaction. In addition, he makes sure that the subcontractors and other service providers have been appropriately compensated for their work.
Basic facts about brick repair, chimney tuck-pointing, and other masonry work:
Brick repair is needed whenever bricks are loose or broken. Besides looking bad, any openings in the exterior wall invite further unwelcome damage. From water infiltration to pest infestation to structural issues, the damage can be considerable.
It often takes very little time for seemingly small areas in need of repair to become big problems for the property owner. Therefore, any loose or broken bricks should be inspected, repaired or replaced right away.
When the problem is addressed soon, the job can be handled quickly and easily by a qualified specialist with the right tools and materials, including chisels, sledgehammers, wire brushes, trowels, mortar and coloring and so on.
The process of replacing bricks, although straightforward, must be understood and followed precisely in order for the new bricks to hold tightly and securely for many years. For those who lack experience, it is advised not to try these repairs without the guidance of a seasoned contractor.
Unfortunately, most brick repairs made improperly will only hold a short time before the same, or worse, issues arise again.
If you need assistance or advice – and you’re located in or around Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville, Hiawatha and surrounding areas, including the remote areas of Eastern Iowa – feel free to contact our sales team.
Chimney tuck-pointing is needed once the mortar begins to deteriorate to the point of allowing moisture to enter the system.
In cold-weather climates – most certainly the Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota – water infiltration will turn to ice. The ice then further breaks down the mortar and brick, opening even small cracks wider.
Tuck-pointing your chimney is a repair that should be considered whenever cracks can be seen. If you suspect damage, have a qualified tuck-pointing specialist evaluate it sooner rather than later. This is especially in areas where water runoff from the roof meets the top of the chimney, which cannot be easily seen from the ground.
As long as the bricks are in good shape, only the mortar may need replacing. The last thing a homeowner should do is wait until the mortar is crumbling or falling out, because chimneys with loose joints can begin to lean. In the worse cases, chimneys can topple off your roof, causing much greater headaches.
Masonry work is usually distinguished from concrete work. If you need brick repair, chimney repair or even stone repair, then what you’re looking for is a mason. A mason is a craftsman.
A mason “lays” brick, “sets” stone and “constructs” brickwork. Working conditions usually include heavy lifting and carrying, dirty environments and extreme temperatures. It is not for the weekend hobbyist or home handyman.
The professional mason spends years learning his craft, which includes how to lay out and complete projects according to blueprints, architectural plans and other drawings.
And so a professional mason not only repairs existing bricks and stone, but also installs new, working hand-in-hand with related subcontractors and general contractors to finish the job correctly and on time.
In addition to years of real-world experience, there may also be technical training programs that further the knowledge, skills and abilities of individual craftsmen.
Just because a contractor has filthy clothes and hands does not mean he is qualified or properly trained. Nor does it mean he has the requisite professionalism and follow-through skills, which can come as a surprise when your job goes unfinished or is poorly done.
Contact our sales team for further details on the advantages of hiring Cutter Construction for your project. Large or small, your project is worth doing right