A general contractor can perform a variety of tasks, including plumbing, electrical, structural, roofing, and foundation work. There are different levels of general contractors, with some requiring knowledge of engineering and the construction of bridges and large structures. To complete a project, general contractors typically hire subcontractors who specialize in a single area, such as plumbing, drywall, HVAC, flooring, painting, or carpentry. These subcontractors can be self-employed individuals or employees of an outsourcing company. In order to become a licensed contractor in Maryland, you must contact several agencies to understand their requirements and pay the associated fees.
In most cases, you will apply to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). However, if you plan to perform what the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) considers “home improvement work” then you will need to obtain a license from them. This license requires a contractor license and insurance certificate before any work can begin. General contractors who specialize in larger projects often have in-house architectural and design staff who remain involved throughout the process. This experience helps them estimate costs and completion times, recognize qualified subcontractors, test completed work, and control expenses.
To qualify as a contractor in Maryland, you must pass a test and meet additional conditions such as providing proof of liability insurance, tax identification number, and proof of business address. The MHIC also has a fund that helps Maryland homeowners recover losses if a licensed contractor fails to complete a project. But what type or degree of electrical work can a general building contractor legally perform? Can they do this job without being a licensed electrician? Do they need to outsource an electrician or can they perform specific tasks with the right license?For smaller projects or general electrical projects that may be part of a multi-part remodel, a general contractor is a reliable option. General contractors are allowed to perform basic electrical work but are quite limited in the tasks they can do without being licensed electricians. It is important for contractors to obtain the right insurance coverage for their business; Next Insurance has an online process that allows you to quickly get personalized insurance quotes for contractors. Plumbing contractors are trained not only in plumbing but also in construction and service and can handle many more requests than plumbers.
Licensed general contractors take responsibility for the entire workplace which means they have compensation insurance and civil liability for workers.