How Much Do General Contractors Charge Per Hour?

Finding the right general contractor is crucial for a construction project. This article focuses on understanding the intricacies of a general contractor's hourly rate, exploring factors like project complexity, expertise, and location. Gain valuable insights into expected costs by delving into the nuances of general contractor rates.

How Much Do General Contractors Charge Per Hour?

When you’re looking to hire a general contractor for your construction project, the cost of their services is likely one of the most important factors that you’ll consider. Knowing how the contractor hourly rate can help you determine whether or not they are within your project’s budget. The rate for a general contractor can vary greatly depending on several factors.

In this article, we’ll discuss how much you can expect to pay for a general contractor’s services.

Types of general contractors in construction

General contractors play an important role in construction projects. A general contractor is responsible for overseeing and coordinating a project from start to finish, which entails the following duties:

  • Managing subcontractors
  • Getting necessary permits
  • Scheduling inspections
  • Ordering materials
  • Overseeing the work of their employees or subcontractors
  • Ensuring that all safety codes are followed
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Monitoring budgets

Generally, general contractors are classified into three main types: commercial, residential, and industrial. 

  1. Commercial contractors specialize in large-scale projects, such as shopping malls, office buildings, and hotels. They often have the necessary expertise to tackle complex tasks like working with architects and engineers to ensure a project is completed on time and within budget. 
  1. Residential contractors are involved in the construction of single and multi-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and apartment complexes. They are knowledgeable about building codes and regulations that apply to residential projects. 
  1. Industrial contractors specialize in larger industrial projects, such as factories, power plants, refineries, and other large-scale industrial construction projects. They have experience with complex projects that involve a great deal of planning and coordination. 

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What is the general contractor hourly rate in construction?

While for home services, the average contractor hourly rate ranges from $25 to $85 per hour, general contracting for construction projects typically works a little differently.

Typically, rather than general contractor rates per hour, contractors for construction projects charge a percentage of the project’s total cost—usually around 10 to 20%. However, it’s not out of the question for professional general contractors to charge closer to 25% for larger projects.

On average, that’s around $4,000 in general contracting costs. On the low end, it can be as little as $250. On the high end, it can be as much as $58,000.

Factors affecting the general contractor hourly rate

The amount that a general contractor charges will also depend on several factors, such as: 

  • The size and scope of the project
  • The complexity of the job
  • Local labor costs
  • Materials costs

Generally speaking, larger projects tend to have higher rates due to the complexity involved in managing multiple subcontractors and ordering materials in bulk. 

The local labor market can also play a role in the cost of a general contractor’s services. If there is a shortage of qualified laborers, general contractors may charge more for their services due to increased demand. 

The type of materials needed for the project can also affect the cost, as certain materials may be more expensive than others. 

Additionally, the experience and track record of a general contractor can influence their rate. More experienced contractors may charge higher rates due to their ability to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively. However, it is important to remember that sometimes experience isn’t everything; newer contractors may offer lower rates as they build their reputation.

Additional costs that can increase general contractor prices

In addition to the hourly rate that general contractors charge for their services, there may be additional costs associated with a construction project. These can include:

  • Insurance premiums
  • Permits and other regulatory fees
  • Overtime
  • Any subcontractors hired

In some cases, a contractor may also require a security deposit before beginning a project.

Furthermore, unforeseen costs can arise during the course of a construction project and add to the overall cost per hour for general contractors. These might include unexpected delays due to bad weather, labor shortages, or changes in the availability of materials. In some cases, additional inspections may be required as well, resulting in additional fees. 

Common services offered by general contractors

General contractors offer a range of services depending on the specific project they are hired for. 

Making sure that construction projects run smoothly from beginning to end, supervising subcontractors, purchasing necessary materials and equipment for the job, coordinating inspections, and guaranteeing compliance with all building codes—these are some of the offerings commonly provided by a professional general contractor.

In addition to these core tasks, general contractors may also provide other services, such as:

  • Design and architecture consultation
  • Budgeting and cost estimation
  • Project management consulting
  • Quality assurance testing

It’s important to again note that general contractors may specialize in certain types of services or projects. For example, some may specialize in residential contracting, while others may focus on larger commercial construction projects. It’s best to speak with a general contractor about their specific experience and qualifications before hiring them for a project. 

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So there you have it: the construction contractor hourly rate. The cost of hiring a general contractor can vary significantly. All in all, understanding the factors that go into it can help you make an informed decision when selecting the right general contractor for your project’s needs.

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Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

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