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How Much Do General Contractors Charge?

Typical Range: $250 - $58,000

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Updated: August 30, 2021

Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Home Building & Remodeling Expert.
Written by HomeAdvisor.

Average General Contractor Rates

General contractors (GC) typically charge about 10% to 20% of your total construction project cost, also refered to as "cost plus." For larger projects, you might pay closer to 25% for their services. They typically do not charge an hourly rate.

Average General Contractor Costs

Average Cost$4,000
High Cost$58,000
Low Cost$250

Standard General Contractor Fee Percentage

Fee percentage for general contractor is between 10 and 20 percent

General contractor management fees generally total 10 to 20% of the project cost. The rate can get as high as 25% depending on the size of the project.

The fees are calculated from a markup on materials, subcontractor labor and the total price of the job. The GC packages their fee in with all services for one total price. They pay on your behalf for services, subcontractors and materials.

Contractor Pricing

Contractors price their work as a markup on various services and materials in order to cover factors like:

  • Labor and workers’ compensation
  • General liability and other insurances
  • Overhead for staff, office and operations
  • Taxes
  • Profit

Commercial General Contractor Fee vs. Residential Construction

Commercial general contractor fees can be higher than those for residential construction depending on factors that impact overhead — insurance, permits, labor, equipment. However, they might be the same as residential if these factors don’t significantly impact your GC’s overhead or if your project isn’t competing with other jobs at the time.

For example, if your commercial project requires added administration in order to accurately manage subcontractors, insurance and building codes, you might pay a higher GC fee. Also, if your GC is in demand and has to pass up on other opportunities in order to take your job, you might pay a higher fee.

How Do Contractors Get Paid?

The way that general contractors get paid is with a percentage of your project cost. They build this percentage into your cost based on markups on materials, supplies, labor and more.

GCs will accept payments in different ways, and they should outline their payment plan in your contract prior to starting the job. Some ask for a portion of the cost upfront and the rest when work is complete. Others will ask for payments after each phase of work is complete. You shouldn’t expect to pay the total cost before work begins.

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How Much Do Contractors Charge for Labor?

The labor charge for your contractor’s services will vary depending on the type and size of the project. For example, the general contractor fees for a house will be greater than for a patio installation.

General Contractor Price List

ProjectAverage Project CostAdditional Price for GC
Cost to Build a House$290,000$29,000 - $58,000
Price of Building an Addition$46,500$4,650 - $9,300
Cost of Remodeling a House$47,000$4,700 - $9,400
Rate for a Bathroom Remodel$11,000$1,100 - $2,200
Rate for a Kitchen Remodel $26,000$2,600 - $5,200
Price for Installing Drywall$1,850$185 - $370
Cost to Build Brick or Stone Walls$4,900$490 - $980
Price of Building a Deck$7,700$770 - $1,540
Cost to Build a Garage$28,000$2,800 - $5,600
Price to Install a Concrete Patio$3,000$300 - $600
Install Concrete Driveway Cost$4,500$450 - $900
Rate for Fence Installation$2,900$290 - $580

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What Does a General Contractor Do?

General contractors oversee and manage the full scope of a project, typically after the designs have been drawn up and agreed upon. However, many GCs can serve as construction managers and advise from the pre-construction phase to completion. Homeowners hire a residential general contractor when the work involves permits, building codes, subcontractors and heavy-duty equipment. These pros:

  • Implement the timeline and schedule
  • Hire, manage and pay workers and subcontractors
  • Purchase and deliver materials and supplies
  • Acquire necessary permits and/or homeowners' association (HOA) pre-approval
  • Oversee project progress to completion
  • Discuss, plan and make necessary changes (especially if they weren't involved in pre-construction)
  • Ensure that the completed work complies with current building codes

GCs, depending on their experience and specialties, work on projects like:

  • Commercial and residential building construction
  • Additions and remodels
  • Complex HVAC
  • Complex electrical
  • Complex plumbing
  • Concrete work
  • Structural or foundation repairs

How Much Does a General Contractor Cost vs. a Construction Manager?

A general contractor usually charges a higher rate than a construction manager.

  • Construction managers charge 5%-15% of your total for small-scale and under 5% for larger-scale construction.
  • General contractors charge 10%-20%+. Their oversight is all-inclusive, they tend to have a reliable team of workers and subcontractors, and they have to cover their overhead costs and profit.

Consult with a Contractor Near You

Getting General Contractor Estimates

There are many benefits to hiring a general contractor, and choosing one with the right experience will ensure the best experience. Once the plans are set, it’s time to reach out to pros for estimates. When you’re meeting with them, it’s important to:

  • Be clear about your needs and expectations.
  • Have a solid understanding of the costs involved.
  • Make sure you can easily communicate with the professional.

Find a general contractor near you.

FAQs

What is a general contractor's hourly rate?

Some general contractors will agree to a rate of $50 to $150 per hour, typically with a guaranteed minimum number of hours to work. Most general contractors do not charge an hourly rate, however. They charge by a percentage of the total project cost instead.

How much does it cost to hire an independent general contractor?

It will cost 10 to 20% of the project cost to hire an independent general contractor. Most GCs are independent. The average rate will be about the same between them and those associated with a company.

How much do contractors charge for estimate?

Contractors will either offer a free estimate or charge $50 to $1,000, depending on the project. For example, if you need an inspection or design consultation service, expect to pay for those. If you pay for your estimate, many general contractors will put that fee toward your project if you hire them.

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.