A general contractor, principal contractor or developmental contractor is in charge of the day-to-day supervision of a commercial construction site, such as the management of trades and vendors, and coordination of information to all concerned parties throughout the duration of a project. They are also responsible for preparing and executing the building plans, bidding on contracts, designing the layout and scheduling materials, and supervising the work of sub-contractors. A general contractor’s main goal is to complete the project on time and within budget, while also adhering to the local, state, and federal regulations concerning building standards, permits, and contractor’s liability. It is the responsibility of the general contractor to provide a written guarantee or warranty that states that the construction project will be completed within the allocated budget, with materials that are in congruence with the original contract. To protect their interests, many general contractors offer a large amount of commercial general liability insurance.
Most general contractors are hired to oversee the entire construction process, which consists of the scheduling of workers, material purchase, and payment, as well as the development of the construction plan and bid. They are usually hired by a commercial real estate developer who is paying them to oversee the overall project, allowing them to focus on other aspects of the development. However, some developers hire general contractors in order to have someone else take care of the administrative tasks involved in the planning and execution of the project, such as coordinating permits, providing workers and materials, and communicating with subcontractors. In most cases, they are responsible for hiring subcontractors, calling suppliers, and supervising them on a daily basis.
A primary duty of the general contractor is to make sure that the building project is getting done on time and within the allocated budget, as well as having it meet all necessary local, state, and federal regulations. Although they report directly to the construction manager, they are also responsible for managing all contracts, material purchases, and monitoring the progress of each contract. This gives the general contractor a great deal of control over how the project will ultimately end up costing him. If a contract goes off track and requires significant rework, for example, the construction manager may require them to backdate the schedule, which will cost the contractor additional money.
General contractors must also be skilled at multi-tasking, as they must meet several different clients and various deadlines simultaneously. Some general contractors are only required to provide support for one particular part of the construction project, while others may be required to manage everything that encompasses the project. While there are many different kinds of contractors, those that specialize in building regulations, electrical, plumbing, landscaping, and construction management are particularly in demand. They are responsible for making sure that building plans are followed correctly, ensuring that construction regulations are enforced, ensuring quality of construction products, and maintaining compliance with building codes. These professionals are usually highly educated when it comes to the specifics of their field, as they must work closely with engineers, architects, city planning and safety leaders, among others.
Independent contractors don’t have nearly the amount of experience that full-time employees do, so they are not as well-trained in specific areas of the construction industry. While some work for major construction firms on an on-site basis, most independent contractors work from home or offices. Most work as freelancers, receiving partial or full payment for their work from the general contractor. In some cases, independent contractors are responsible for negotiating and handling contracts on their own.
There are several advantages to hiring a general contractor to oversee the completion of your project instead of hiring multiple individuals. The biggest benefit is the time saved, as there are fewer hours worked. Additionally, the general contractor can hire subcontractors who may specialize in a particular field, allowing them to focus more on their expertise. There are also fewer headaches and distractions for the general contractor involved. The overall return on investment is usually quite high.