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The Importance of a Good General Contractor

In the niche industry of custom home building, the experience of a project’s general contractor can mean the difference between quality construction, and unforeseeable maintenance issues down the road. Today we asked Rick Roeder of Emser Tile & Stone, to share with us why he thinks it is so crucial to have a thoughtful and experienced general contractor.

1.       Why would someone use a General Contractor for their project?

In my experience, I believe if you had 10 home owners that were asked to build a home either acting as their own general contractor, or by hiring a qualified and proven general contractor and cost was not an issue; all 10 would choose the path with the general contractor. A qualified general contractor (GC) has developed relationships with sub-contractors, inspectors, financial institutions, and all other levels that many prospective home owners have no idea will need to be involved in the process.

2.       What are some qualities of a good General Contractor?

In my view, first and foremost would be excellent communication skills. Every person is an individual with their own level of expectations and values, a good GC will know how to ask the right questions to completely understand these expectations. From there they also need; relationships with quality sub-contractors, good wherewithal for overall sight preparation and structure placement, and critical attention to detail.

3.       What are some things a good General Contractor will take care of during construction?

A good GC will not leave out a single detail for consideration during the process. The home owner will be walked through the entire process with complete clarity, from the first meeting to the final handoff of the keys. It is the responsibility of the GC to enable the customer to achieve their expectations, whether it is through good communication or minor details they are asked to change along the way. A good GC will be willing to do what it takes to satisfy their customer.

4.       In your industry, you say 70% of shower surrounds are now failing, how is this a reflection of bad general contracting and what would a good General Contractor do to help prevent it?

If issues like this arise, it is usually because of time constraints that lead to hasty, reckless installation, or the GC is using the same outdated technology they’ve been using for years. A sign of a good GC is their ability to gain knowledge through education—a good GC is always looking for cutting edge products and technology. A shower that is correctly constructed from the beginning may cost a little more, however, the good GC’s understand this will provide the homeowners and themselves the peace of mind that it will not cost more to fix later on. Also, a good GC will align themselves with sub-contractors that have the same standards and will be willing to do the right thing even when nobody is looking.


We would like to thank Rick for his insight on this topic. If you would like to learn more about Emser Tile & Stone, click here: