General laborers are a handy addition to a home improvement project. Not all laborers have equal skills. They handle tasks that require little-to-no training.
Home improvement projects are fun and rewarding, but hard; especially if you live a busy life, or don’t consider yourself much of a DIY kind of person.
But before you throw in the towel, you can hire someone to do it for you – a team of laborers led by an experienced general contractor who has all the time, experience, and energy in the world to make your dream project come true.
In this article, we’re going to go in-depth about general laborers and how general labor help is a crucial part of any home improvement project.
So, let’s get started!
Who is a general laborer?
General laborers are responsible for fulfilling tasks that can be done with little-to-no training other than verbal instruction.
They are commonly employed by general contractors on construction sites, assisting subcontractors and tradesmen, but they can also function as carpenters to help home improvement contractors in small-scale renovation projects.
What are the responsibilities of a general laborer?
The duties of a general laborer vary for each project, but generally speaking, they keep the project site clean, safe, and efficient for the general contractor, subcontractors, tradesmen, and fellow laborers.
In particular, general laborers in the construction industry may clean and prepare the job site, haul, and organize materials, assemble scaffolding or any other equipment, and use a combination of hand and power tools to assist tradesmen in their craft.
The duties and responsibilities of a general laborer include, but are not limited to the following tasks:
- Cleaning and preparing the job site.
- Hauling and organizing materials and equipment.
- Building and disassembling temporary structures such as scaffolds, shoring, and braces.
- Digging and filling holes.
- Operating and maintaining heavy machinery and construction equipment.
- Following instructions from supervisors and implementing the construction plan.
Why are general laborers needed for your home improvement project?
While general laborers may be kind of costly, they can be quite an asset to your home, especially if they are supporting tradesmen like electricians and masons and are supervised by a contractor.
Here are 3 advantages general laborers can bring to your table:
Fast Hiring Process
If you don’t have the extra time to look, assess, and interview a laborer, you always have the option of hiring through a staffing agency.
That’s because, unlike regular employees and contractors, individual general laborers are harder to find. Hiring laborers through an agency can be a cost-effective solution since the tedious vetting process falls directly to them.
They give you flexibility in your time and ensure every laborer you get is up to standard. That way, you don’t have to source out candidates, interview them one by one, and train them just for them to provide you with a lousy patio.
If you’re not particularly handy with tools or need a fresh and more professional perspective, a general laborer, with the supervision of a home improvement contractor can be your best friend in your projects.
General laborers have broad to extensive knowledge of several specific skill sets that they are considered jack-of-all-trades in every industry they are in.
They can either have the experience, licenses, certifications, tools and equipment, and other soft skills that can be a good skill they can utilize and apply in your home improvement projects.
The most famous advantage general laborers bring to the table is their flexibility.
Whether you need someone to haul around heavy furniture or paint a bedroom, you can hire one that directly fits your needs.
General laborers respond to the customer’s needs and demands and are used to working in different locations, conditions, and employers so that they can perfectly accommodate everything you need.
How to know if a general laborer is good?
Not every general laborer’s expertise is equal. As a homeowner, you run the risk of receiving mediocre-to-subpar quality workers, so you have to keep your eyes peeled for good ones.
While the scope of work is unskilled and physical-heavy work, there are important qualities and skills that separate a good laborer from their less-experienced peers. A few of them may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Strength – laborers may occasionally be required to lift and haul heavy objects that can be in excess of 50 pounds or more.
- Stamina – since general labor is a physical-heavy job, laborers are expected to work strenuous and labor-intensive tasks for hours on end and often in unstable environmental conditions like hot, damp, dark, or cold weather.
- Mechanical Affinity – a general laborer must possess an extensive knowledge of hand tools and power tools, as well as know how to operate and maintain heavy equipment and machinery if need be.
- Mathematical Affinity – depending on the project, general laborers may be tasked to do problem-solving skills and assist tradesmen with computations and calculations.
- Good Visual Perception – general laborers must be able to distinguish colors clearly to perform their duties since they will sometimes handle colored electrical cables and paint.
- Project Management Skills – a good general laborer may sport some very good project management skills and juggle complex projects because they may be involved in multiple sites.
- Academic Qualifications – while it’s great to get a general laborer that attained tertiary education, like a bachelor’s degree or higher, it is only optional and is only used to further their career.
How to use general laborers for your home improvement project?
If you have a home improvement project coming up soon, there’s a great chance you’ll have to get an extra pair of hands in your home.
Below are the several uses of general laborers that you can use as a reference for your home improvement project:
General laborers can improve and enhance any interior and exterior walls and painted surfaces to protect or improve your home value. They can apply or scrape wallpapers, repaint rooms, walls, or fences, and also do furniture staining and varnishing.
However, if you live in an old home, have high ceilings, or your walls are a little beyond repair, it’s best to let a tradesman or a contractor supervise and guide their work.
General laborers can do anything light construction-related such as digging, nailing, setting and demolishing concrete, plumbing, and shower maintenance.
You can also use general laborers for your remodeling project. With a combination of hand and power tools, materials, and equipment, they can turn seemingly dull areas such as basements and attics into fun social areas such as home theaters, offices, bedrooms, etc.
General laborers can do other tasks like yard work, heavy lifting, and cleaning.
Examples are digging ditches, clearing brushes, mowing lawns, trimming lawn edges, pulling invasive weeds, applying herbicides, spreading mulch, and fertilizing a lawn.
They can also haul boxes/heavy furniture, clean workplaces, sweep floors, wash cars, pressure wash a surface, clean, and sort out garbage, and drive the garbage to the dump.
While general laborers are a literal handy addition to your project, not all general laborers are equal in skill.
As a homeowner, you have to consider this fact when hiring someone and always look for top-quality laborers in your area.
You’ll usually want to hire a general laborer that has a significant experience under their belt, knowledgeable and can answer every inquiry you have, is dependable, and has the reputation to back up their claim.
Likewise, if you opted to go through a staffing agency instead, you should always look if they have a valid business license, insurance, or affiliated organizations and if they are well-received by their past clients.
However, staffing agencies have a bad reputation for being very pricey, even if only used for one-time purposes. Staffing agencies are known to mark up a fourth to double the total wages of the laborer.
Luckily, you can avoid paying premium prices by going with community labor contractors instead. You can now find the best and most affordable general labor partners across the country.