What Does a General Contractor Do?

General Contractors Tacoma WA (GCs) coordinate and oversee construction projects. They ensure that work is completed on time and according to city specifications.

General Contractor

The best GCs have strong project management skills and are adept at problem-solving. They also have a keen eye for detail, ensuring that all workmanship is up to standard.

A GC works closely with subcontractors, a team of specialized workers that complete the hands-on construction work. During the contract negotiation process, clear outlines regarding payment terms, project milestones and scope adjustments are set in stone to avoid misunderstandings between the GC and subcontractors throughout project execution. A GC also establishes a collaborative environment by prioritizing open communication, close coordination and giving positive feedback to improve ongoing relationships with subcontractors. This helps to facilitate cost control by ensuring that budgeted costs are monitored regularly and that any discrepancies or potential overruns are swiftly addressed, protecting the overall project from unwarranted financial surprises.

A general contractor oversees the procurement of all raw materials and building components from various vendors to ensure that they’re delivered in the right quantity and quality, at the right time, and within the project budget. To this end, they have a team of skilled professionals to handle the intricacies of vendor management including sourcing estimates, capacities, quality of work, turnaround times and invoicing to ensure that everything runs smoothly on a large construction site.

Lastly, a GC manages the delivery of all labor and equipment to the site in the correct order and according to city specs. This is a critical element in ensuring that all necessary work is completed without any disruptions to the timeline and that the final result matches the original vision of the project.

When choosing a General Contractor, it’s important to vet them thoroughly in much the same way that you would any other employee or business partner. A fully licensed, highly experienced and well-referenced GC is the best choice for a successful project outcome. They’re honest about what the project can realistically achieve, able to think critically on their feet and adapt to unforeseen challenges, and have an eye for detail that won’t let you down.

They Negotiate the Contract

When a commercial construction project is in the planning stages, the general contractor will work alongside architects to create a blueprint that will guide the project. They are responsible for developing a project budget, planning a schedule, sourcing materials, hiring subcontractors, and obtaining permits.

As the project begins, GCs monitor progress to ensure that it stays within the original budget and to keep the project on schedule. They will also resolve any disputes or issues that arise during the construction process. They also ensure that all necessary safety standards and building codes are met on-site.

It is important for a general contractor to be able to negotiate the best contract terms for themselves and their subcontractors. They will often be required to participate in a bidding process where multiple contractors are pitted against each other to provide the lowest bid. There are many clauses in these contracts that stack the deck against contractors, but through compromise and creativity, a good general contractor can be able to secure contracts that benefit them.

Another area of negotiation is ensuring that all parties are getting paid on time. This can be difficult in construction because there are a lot of moving parts and sometimes things go wrong. However, a great GC will have a team of professionals who specialize in financial management and can help to speed up the payment cycle by negotiating lien waivers, streamlining paperwork, and maintaining open lines of communication.

If you are in the market for a new commercial project, be sure to hire a licensed and experienced general contractor. Be wary of anyone who shows up at your door or uses high-pressure sales tactics because they may not be a true general contractor and could end up costing you more money in the long run.

They Manage the Budget

Managing budgets is essential to a successful construction project. The GC must balance the cost and schedule of the project with the financial constraints of the client. This is accomplished through early planning and risk assessment, as well as contingency allocation. This allows a GC to adjust for unforeseen expenses and keep the building project on track.

Cost estimates are created by the estimating team of a GC. They take a quantity and material takeoff of the project specifications, and use it to create cost breakdowns for different areas of the job. These include labor costs, material costs and overhead expenses (such as office space, equipment rental and insurance). The GC must factor in a profit mark-up to cover their business expenses and turn a profit on the job.

The best GCs work with their clients to establish realistic scopes of work for the project and stick to those budgets. They also have an eye for detail, scanning the work with a fine-tooth comb and addressing issues like poor craftsmanship before they become bigger problems.

When it comes to a home renovation, there are countless factors that can throw a wrench in the plan and cost of the project. This is why it’s so important to find a general contractor who has the experience and expertise needed to troubleshoot roadblocks and steer the project back on track.

When looking for a general contractor, ask them to provide references from previous projects and check online reviews. A good GC will have a solid track record of providing excellent service and quality work to clients. This will give you confidence in their ability to manage your project on time and within your budget.

They Manage the Schedule

The construction of your home requires the expertise of many different tradespeople and professionals. A general contractor (GC) manages all the different aspects of a project to bring it together, so that it meets your budget and timeline. The GC is also in charge of managing and trouble-shooting any issues that may arise during the project so that your dream house stays as close as possible to reality.

The GC’s job is to create and plan the work schedule and budget, order materials, hire and supervise subcontractors, obtain permits and schedule inspections, and oversee the day-to-day operation of the project. They also communicate with everyone involved in the construction process, keeping them updated on progress and answering any questions.

In addition to planning the work, a GC performs quantity and material takeoff from the project specifications to create cost estimates for each task. This includes costs for labor, materials, equipment rental and more. A GC is responsible for all project procurement and management, and may also be responsible for ordering delivery dates and arranging vendor payment terms.

For a large, complex job such as a new home build or renovation, a GC can make all the difference in the success of your project. They can save you time, money and stress by handling all the heavy lifting for you – and they have the experience and knowledge to ensure that your project is completed on time, within budget and according to your dreams.

GCs have extensive knowledge of all aspects of the construction process and a strong understanding of how they interact with one another to bring your project to life. They also need excellent organizational skills to keep track of multiple tasks, contractors and timelines. This is why Raken’s software makes the perfect companion for busy GCs, giving them tools to monitor real-time progress and improve daily reporting from field to office.

They Manage the Permits

If a new construction or renovation project requires a building permit, it is the general contractor’s responsibility to obtain one. GCs are intimately familiar with their local area’s code regulations and permitting process/bureaucracy, so hiring them to manage this for you can spare you a lot of time, trouble, and stress.

Throughout the project, a GC is responsible for keeping the team on schedule by planning tasks and providing them with deadlines to complete their work. This is especially critical on large projects where multiple teams are working independently from each other.

They also ensure that the entire communication infrastructure for all teams and contractors remains streamlined. This includes ensuring that all project documents and activities get sent to the correct people so that there is no delay in receiving feedback or getting things done.

This is a crucial part of the job that can often be overlooked. GCs are often responsible for handling payments, which can become complicated when multiple tiers of subcontractors and suppliers are involved. Ideally, the GC serves as the liaison between the property owner and all those entities in order to keep everyone paid on time.

When you’re looking for a GC, it’s important that they be fully licensed with extensive experience and a host of glowing references. But you should also consider their personality and demeanor since they’ll be working side by side with you for the duration of your construction or renovation project. If you don’t get along with them, chances are good that it will be difficult to communicate effectively, which can halt progress on the project and cause major delays. This is why it’s so important to spend a little time with them during the consultation phase, before you hire them for your project.

Brittany Dickson