Obligations associated with a General Contractor
Remember, a contractor is there to make life easier for you, and will be more than qualified to deal with a re-building or new construction project from starting point to end point (check out Licenses and Prerequisites Necessary For General Contractors). Come up with original ideas of their own, but respect your calls. It is usually a blessing to have a contractor who can suggest unusual and interesting techniques of doing things, particularly if they're cutting edge or cost-effective. But it is a fine line between coming up with new ideas, and respecting the homeowner's choices. You need someone who can suggest other ways of doing things, but who at last understands that it's your house and your taste, and that you are the one who's paying them those big wads of cash at the end of the day, not the other way around!
Get the bids going. Your contractor should have a trusted coven of sub-contractors in all areas - plumping, electrics etc - and will be able to provide you with a variety of bids. Be wary of someone that fobs you off, asserting that good ole ' Stan will look after everything. Insist firmly on getting at least two or three written bids for each job, and evaluate them appropriately.
Coordinate sub-contractors with specific specializations. Do not let things become slower when you cannot find the correct person for the job. A good general contractor should have enough folks on hand to ensure that you ever find yourself postponing work while hanging around for someone to show up (take a look at Permits as well as Prerequisites Needed For General Contractors). If she or he fails to have the right contacts, perhaps you have failed getting the right general contractor.
Provide all the work you want. Getting the right folks to do the job is crucial. Someone who doesn't know who you need - and whereabouts to find them - could increase the risk that your project does not run according to line up.
Answer all of your questions, nicely and knowledgeably. And if unable to answer them, should be well placed to get the answer you need from somebody else quickly and efficiently.
Provide alternative ways of doing things. When things start to wrong, or just not as previously anticipated, it's no good if your contractor simply wrings his hands and moans. You need someone who can find a quick fix to a problem, who thinks re solutions, not stoppages.
Understand when it is time to call in a sub-contractor. Your contractor should be au fait with all types of building work, and should know the order in which certain processes should be carried out. This implies they will know when - and if - it's acceptable to call in sub-contractors, and won't waste your time, or money, by calling them in too early or too late (see The necessary licenses in addition to Qualifications Essential For General Contractors).