Construction projects are intricate tasks that include overarching requirements, including creating briefs, extensive design and studies, financing, and building.
To ensure your commercial or industrial construction project is built with minimum roadblocks, you need to hire skilled professionals, analyze engineering drawings, source the best suppliers, work within a budget, and more.
It sounds hectic. That’s where general contractors come into the picture to simplify your construction projects. General contractors employ the best business practices to make your vision come true. Learn more about the responsibilities and benefits of hiring a general contractor:
Building Your Dream with a General Contractor
General contracting refers to the general contractor’s overall supervisory and management work. GCs are responsible for managing, building, renovating, and customizing a project designed by someone else.
The general contractor oversees projects, manages and hires subcontractors, and streamlines the workflow of construction projects.
The GC supervises the entire project ensuring the subcontractors do their job on time and effectively.
What do General Contractors Do?
General contractors tend to supervise and streamline various parts of construction projects, like industrial, commercial, and residential buildings.
If construction projects include specialties like heating, air conditioning, plumbing, painting, or more, GC hires subcontractors.
General contractors tend to work under stipulated or lump sum contracts. First, they review and analyze the project’s drawings and the work scope and collect quotes from various subcontractors.
After this, they add their overhead costs and then submit a quote. The GC then has to deliver the project depending on the negotiated price.
What are the Specific Responsibilities of a General Contractor?
General contractors are responsible for the following tasks:
- Organize and manage the overall job site workflow
- Create and manage well-organized construction schedules
- Find and contact suppliers and vendors
- Hire trustworthy and dedicated subcontractors
- Manage the quality of subcontractors, builders, and vendors
- License and rent the necessary equipment
- Offer field management and labor
- Assist with safety procedures and cleanup
What is General Contracting?
Typically, general contractors supervise the following processes:
- Construction Process Planning
- Designing and Analysis
- Conducting Geodetic Surveys
- Execution of Excavation and Foundations
- Roofing and Façade Structure Installations
- Installation of Load-Bearing Structures
- Installing Engineering Networks:
- Water and Gas
- Decoration and Aesthetic Work
- Landscaping Adjacent Infrastructure
- Coordination of All Stages of Construction with Governmental Bodies
- Kick Starting the Building Work
General Contracting Licenses
Some states and counties require general contractors to achieve specific licenses and certifications to work on a project. License requirements for a construction project may vary from state to state.
Moreover, general contractors with licenses focus on enhancing their skill set as new business practices, regulations, and maintenance requirements emerge.
Clients typically prefer licensed general contractors since they ensure credibility, experience, and training.
General Contracting vs. Construction Management
General contractors have to supervise and manage the overall construction project. Typically, they have foremen or subcontractors who work at the job site, including general laborers, painters, carpenters, and other skilled trades.
General contractors also tend to have a vast network of skilled subcontractors they’ve already worked with. It offers them various advantages, including:
- Working with subcontractors who have already been vetted
- Ethical and fair general contractors tend to have loyal and cooperative subcontractors
Moreover, general contractors often specialize in a subtype of construction, such as foundations and masonry, framing, etc.
Construction managers are a group of people or individuals that estimate, manage, and account for the projects.
Learn about the different types of contractors and subcontractors:
General contractors are the managers and supervisors for renovation and building projects. They are responsible for hiring suppliers and specialists to get the task done.
Electrical contractors are responsible for regulating and fixing cable TV, sound equipment, and fire alarm systems.
Plastering subcontractors specialize in plastering, i.e., a wall is a labor-intensive and time-intensive process.
General contractors may double as carpenters and specialize in niches like cabinetmaking, framework, and finishes.
Heating and Air-Conditioning
HVAC contractors are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining your heating and ventilation systems.
Here’s Why You Need a General Contractor
Construction projects all focus on bringing your vision to life. Construction projects are always complex, from minor home renovation to major multi-story establishments.
All construction projects include a substantial workforce, with each employee tasked with unique components of the overall project. The constant pressure to hit project goals and meet deadlines with limited resources contributes to the complexity of construction projects.
Hiring a general contractor is an incredible way of ensuring your project gets completed successfully in a timely fashion. Let’s discuss several significant benefits of hiring a general contractor:
Unlock a Well-Established Network of Subcontractors
General contractors often boast an expansive network of skilled subcontractors who work for them. Hiring a general contractor means you automatically get access to diligent subcontractors.
Plus, general contractors know how to manage the subcontractors to ensure the project completes effectively and in time.
Say Goodbye to Stress and Hassle
Construction projects come with a fair amount of stress, hassle, and complications. However, hiring a general contractor takes any responsibility off of your shoulder.
General contractors take responsibility for the overall construction process, including acquiring necessary building permits, hiring and managing subcontractors, scheduling inspections, and streamlining workflow to ensure the job meets the client’s goals.
Get Access to Well-Organized Schedule
Renovations and construction tasks alike can be a huge hassle and take several months to complete. But hiring a renovation or general contractor ensures your project finishes on time.
General contractors take the responsibility of managing your construction process. They help finish the job conveniently and quickly.
Handing your projects over to novices can lead to significant losses as you try to fix mistakes made in the process.
General and renovation contractors are experts at getting the job done right. They may even choose to purchase top-notch quality products available in bulk at a cost-effective price. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending your budget on a couple of materials.
Plus, general contractors tend to have a well-established network of suppliers who provide the necessary materials at a lower price. As a result, hiring a general contractor helps you secure a lower rate since they are preferred sellers.
Get a Holistic View of Your Project
General contractors oversee all aspects of your construction and renovation projects. Contractors have a holistic view of the construction project’s timeline, budget, and scope.
They ensure the clients are always on top of their projects. If you have a query at any point, you can connect with your general contractor.
Establish Strong Relationships with Builders
Subcontractors, builders, and suppliers are responsive to general contractors because it’s likely they have collaborated before.
Most skilled subcontractors are always selective about projects- they’ll consider chances of completing the project without interruption, the general contractor’s knowledge, and payment history into account before agreeing to work.
Add Flexibility and Versatility to Your Projects
With their vast network of skilled subcontractors and vendors, general contractors can pull off any project handed to them.
It allows you to be flexible even if you need to make different minor improvisation during the project. Moreover, you can even share your ideas and goals with a general contractor and allow them to offer you various custom options.
No Need to Worry About Licenses and Insurance
Hiring a licensed general contractor ensures a project’s smooth functioning.
Handing all the responsibilities of a construction project to a general contractor ensures every task follows the state or country’s rules and regulations.
Plus, general contractors tend to offer liability insurance which ensures you won’t be responsible for any potential job site accidents.
Get Customizable Services Based on the Projects Unique Needs
General contractors don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they customize solutions and services to meet their vision and values.
You only offer the necessary information about the goals. The general contractor then puts everything in motion to bring your vision to life.
Thus, general contractors help create unique properties that the owner will love.
Constant Updates and Feedbacks
Construction projects are intricate, involving countless workers, subcontractors, and vendors. As a result, clients may find it challenging to stay up-to-date with whether the project is hitting the necessary goals.
Hiring a general contractor solves these issues as they serve as the ‘point person offering constant updates and necessary suggestions. On the whole, it ensures you achieve your desired project outcome.
Get Access to Highly Experienced Professionals
It’s essential to connect with an experienced and highly trained general contractor to ensure quality results.
General contractors enable you to foster a deep relationship with the individual responsible for overseeing the working and success of the project.
Ensure Top-Notch Safety
Construction and building projects come with a high safety risk. If workers are not careful, the job site can cause various injuries or even death.
Research reveals that the construction industry causes five worker deaths per year. It means that ensuring worksite safety is critical.
General contractors recognize the hazards their line of work poses. For this reason, they get necessary licenses and keep the safety of the workers at the top of their minds. They also encourage workers and subcontractors to comply with safety standards.
Save Yourself from Trouble and Aggravation by Hiring a General Contractor
Choosing to complete a project yourself or hiring inexperienced newbies can delay or destroy your project. It can also lead to unnecessary costs to your budget as you try to fix their mistakes.
It also adds responsibility to your shoulders as you try to identify whether their project complies with local and state building codes.
Since general and renovation contractors have expansive subcontractor and vendor networks, you can rest assured they’ll handle unexpected delays.
This way, you can focus on your work responsibilities while your construction or renovation project completes on time.
How to Hire the Right General Contractor
Here are tips you must remember when hiring a general contractor:
It’s always a wise idea to request references before hiring a general contractor. You want to work with a GC boasting a long work record and testimonials.
If a general contractor is relatively new in the playing field, seek references who vouch for their expertise and knowledge.
Inspect Their Qualifications
Ask your chosen general contractor to offer proof of their license and certifications. You may also check if they have insurance coverage.
Identify Where They Specialize
General contractors often specialize in a specific construction area, such as masonry and foundation, home remodeling, or home building projects.
So, ensure the candidate’s skill set and experience aligns with your project’s requirements.
Conduct a Face-to-Face Interview
Talking via email or the phone is an excellent way to learn more about a candidate; however, speaking in person offers a detailed picture.
Prepare questions relevant to your project to determine whether they’re a good match. Moreover, ensure that you pay attention to their questions.
On the whole, consider looking for commercial contractors who work nationally, boast proper licenses for every state, and share efficiencies.
The Bottom Line: Build Your Visions with General Contractors
Ensure the smooth flow of your construction project by hiring the ideal general contractor. Your GC will shepherd construction projects from the initial stages through completion.
General contractors know that all construction projects are not made equal. They understand that the success of any project relies on the team. For this reason, they tap into their vast subcontractor and vendor networks to plan and build better.
Read more about MWM’s PEMB services.