What Does a General Contractor Do?

Ultimately, it comes down to how much you are willing to pay for a professional who can handle the details and keep the project on schedule.

General Contractor Lexington KY also play an important part in the payment chain, moving funds from the property owner to various tiers of contractors and suppliers. Visibility and communication issues can slow this process, creating delays for all involved.

Project planning is an essential part of the construction management process. It includes assembling a detailed plan that details the scope and cost of the project, as well as establishing a schedule for completion. Project planning also involves creating a communication strategy to keep stakeholders updated on the project’s progress. Ultimately, project planning sets the foundation for the entire construction process.

Once the project has been outlined, the contractor will identify key team members and their responsibilities. This will help them create a detailed project plan considering the team’s work styles, bandwidth, and other factors. For example, a team may include a general manager (who will lead the project and report to the client), assistant general managers, estimators, and superintendents. In addition, it is important to include cross-functional stakeholders who will need to be involved in decision-making and risk management throughout the project. This can be done using a system like RACI to ensure everyone clearly understands their responsibilities and can make informed decisions.

The GC will then work with the architect and engineering teams to assess the constructability of the design and secure critical permits and regulatory approvals. Additionally, they will perform a quantity take-off of the facility design to determine the required materials, volume, areas, and workforce to complete the project. They will also evaluate and select potential subcontractor partners, assessing their capabilities and capacity to meet the project objectives.

Based on the project scope, complexity, and goals, various construction contracts are used to manage risks and lay the groundwork for project success. For instance, some projects are delivered with a lump sum contract where the contractor sets a fixed price that covers all labor, material, and overhead costs. Others are completed with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract that mitigates the owner’s financial exposure by limiting the total project costs to a specified amount.

In a competitive bidding situation, the GC will evaluate the submitted bids based on predetermined criteria and select the contractor that best suits the project parameters and objectives. They will develop a procurement strategy and define the material, equipment, and labor delivery timeline.

Contract negotiation is an important part of a general contractor’s job. They negotiate contracts with the property owner, subcontractors, and materials suppliers. They must ensure the contract is clear and concise to ensure everyone understands their commitment. They also review the contract and make changes where needed. The GC also acts as the liaison between the property owner and contractors, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

A general contractor may also be the project manager and construction specialist in design-build projects. They are responsible for managing the design and construction of the project, coordinating specialty contractors that perform specific tasks such as plumbing or wiring, a drywall contractor, and material suppliers. They also manage the work performed by the construction crew, inspect the completed work to ensure it meets standards, and communicate with everyone regularly.

A GC is a go-between for the property owner and everyone who brings the building to life, including the architects and engineers. They liaise between the architect and other professionals in the construction process and make decisions affecting the entire team, from scheduling to budget. They may also handle permitting and inspections and resolve issues between the subcontractors.

Depending on the type of project, a GC can be paid on a lump sum or fixed price basis. In lump sum or fixed price environments, a GC is incentivized to protect or increase their profit margin as they are only paid once the project is complete and payments have been disbursed. This can lead to conflicts between a GC and the project’s stakeholders, as they often find their goals and objectives unaligned.

A general contractor must be skilled in various negotiation styles to serve the project best. They need to employ cooperative and collaborative negotiating tactics to help everyone gain value from the project while maintaining the ability to negotiate aggressively when necessary. During negotiations, they must be mindful that they are working to build relationships and keep the door open for future collaboration.

Subcontractor management is the process by which general contractors ensure that subcontractors work cohesively, meet project standards, and contribute to the timely completion of construction projects. It involves establishing clear communication channels, managing RFIs and change orders, and overseeing site supervision. This is accomplished through regular meetings and site visits to foster open dialogue, address challenges, and promote collaboration between all stakeholders.

While the primary responsibility for subcontractor management falls on the shoulders of the GC, all project members must play a role in ensuring seamless collaboration. GCs assess prospective trade partners during bidding to determine whether their qualifications and capabilities align with the project scope. They also establish clear contractual agreements and operational protocols, minimizing the likelihood of legal disputes, financial discrepancies, and disruptions to project progress.

Once the contract details have been finalized, a GC must monitor subcontractors’ performance to ensure they meet deadlines and quality standards while addressing client requests. They will also oversee the onsite inspection of subcontractors’ work and request changes when necessary.

When selecting a subcontractor, a GC should consider the specialized skills of the candidate as well as their track record, financial stability, and compliance history. They should also ensure the subcontractor meets all regulatory requirements, including insurance coverage, licenses, and certifications. In non-compliance, the GC may be liable for severe penalties and fines.

Managing a workforce that includes multiple specialty contractors is challenging. The GC must be vigilant to avoid conflicts and potential miscommunications, especially regarding scheduling. For example, if one subcontractor’s schedule overlaps with another trade’s, it can negatively affect the overall timeline and project costs. GCs can alleviate this risk by creating detailed schedules that are accessible to all team members and using technology to facilitate clear communications.

In addition, a GC must manage all change orders and RFIs to reduce the risk of errors and delay the project. They must also watch for compliance issues such as safety violations, material misuse, and inhuman working conditions. They can also leverage technology to streamline and automate the process by storing information and documents online and providing subcontractors easy access to project files.

Supervision is one of the most important aspects of a general contractor’s job. He oversees the project and ensures the work is done as specified in the contract. In addition, he is responsible for managing subcontractors and providing workers’ compensation liability insurance for those working on the project. He also makes sure that all necessary permits are secured.

He works closely with the architect, structural engineer, and mechanical engineer to ensure that all field designs and plans are followed. The GC is also responsible for making changes to the design when necessary, such as modifying electrical or plumbing plans. He also supervises the construction and works to ensure it stays on schedule and within budget.

An experienced GC has the know-how to find quality subcontractors for the job. In addition, he has the connections to get the right equipment and materials for the project at the best prices. This saves the client money and allows them to meet their deadline.

A good GC has years of experience and understands the finer details of construction. He knows what new technology to use and understands trends in the industry. He is also familiar with best practices and what needs to be done to complete the job successfully.

Choosing the right superintendent for a project is crucial. He must be professional and friendly and can communicate with everyone in the office and on the site. He must motivate the crews and employees and set the proper tone for the project. He must be able to manage all aspects of the job, including the project management software and schedules. In addition, he must be able to meet the budget requirements and follow the project design.

On most projects, the GC will have to pay for supervision costs. These costs, which are included in the general conditions of the contract, may consist of site supervision, temporary utilities, fencing, security, safety controls, and permitting. The GC also includes these costs in his proposal for the project.

Sheila Friedman