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What Does a General Contractor Do?

General Contractor Lexington KY oversees day-to-day operations and quality control at a building site. They turn the ideas and renderings of architects, engineers, and interior designers into reality.

When choosing a general contractor, make sure to ask for references. A reputable contractor will be more than happy to provide you with a list of previous clients.

Project planning is converting a vision or expectation into a clear plan to guide you and your team toward success. This includes clarifying who’s responsible for each task and their responsibilities, creating an overall timeline for completing the project, and establishing key milestones.

Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to plan for multiple stakeholders and a wide range of deliverables. For example, if you are building a shopping center or a retail space, you will likely need to hire various specialty contractors to complete plumbing, electrical, and roofing work. These subcontractors must be scheduled according to their schedules and union regulations. The general contractor’s job is to ensure all merchants are onsite when needed.

Another crucial aspect of project planning is ensuring that all necessary materials are promptly delivered to the construction site. General contractors typically have relationships with numerous suppliers, so they can help to negotiate pricing and delivery requirements. This can save both time and money in the long run.

Once you have all the information needed, general contractors can provide a comprehensive cost estimate for the project. This will consider labor, materials, tools and equipment, permits, taxes, and other essential expenses. GCs can also create billing reports, ensuring that all parties involved in the project are paid promptly.

Because the general contractor will act as a liaison between the property owner and all the laborers, vendors, and subcontractors who will bring the project to life, they guarantee that all payments are made promptly. This can prevent problems like late fees or unpaid invoices, which can negatively impact a project’s productivity and cause stress for everyone involved. In addition, GCs will also implement safety protocols and enforce them on construction sites to prevent injuries. Some GCs even create training programs for laborers on safe workplace practices. To be licensed and employed in the construction industry, GCs must meet various criteria, including years of experience and education.

While a general contractor can be an invaluable resource for larger projects (such as adding new living areas, doing an extensive remodel, or building a brand-new home), they are optional for small jobs. For example, if you’re doing a simple backyard deck, it makes more sense to hire an independent contractor than to work with a GC.

In construction, scheduling assigns resources to tasks and determines when each task will be completed. It’s an important component of project management and can significantly impact the success of your home remodeling or building project.

A GC will prepare a schedule that includes all the elements needed to complete the job, such as labor, materials, equipment, legal permits, inspections, taxes, and subcontractor expenses. This allows clients to anticipate the fiscal requirements of a project better and prevents surprises down the line.

GCs also track progress to ensure a job stays on budget and schedule. Depending on the contract, they may even create billing reports to keep themselves and their clients apprised of financial status.

When unforeseen issues arise, such as weather conditions or unexpected costs, a GC will work with their client to create a plan and determine available options. They will also communicate with subcontractors, suppliers, and other relevant parties to avoid costly delays and keep the project on track.

The GC will ensure all required paperwork is submitted to the proper authorities to secure any building or plumbing permits needed for your project. They will also oversee the sourcing, purchasing, and delivery of all materials required for the job. Finally, a GC will supervise the onsite construction to ensure that it’s being done properly and to your satisfaction.

Great contractors are honest about what can realistically be achieved within a budget and have the agility to adapt to changes in scope when they arise. They are also detail-oriented and regularly scan their work with a toothcomb, seeking out any imperfections that can be corrected and ensuring that they promptly address them.

Contract negotiations are an important part of a general contractor’s job. After all, they have set obligations to meet and money on the line, so they want to ensure their contract is a win-win for both parties. The first step is understanding the other party’s goals and assessing their power dynamics. This will allow you to determine how aggressively you can push for your agenda during the negotiation process.

A key area for contract negotiation is the scope of work to be completed by the GC and subcontractors. This is often an area of contention and requires careful thought to resolve issues. A GC should always attempt to provide their clients with clear and concise scope statements for each project phase. This will ensure clarity and understanding down the road.

Another key area to focus on during contract negotiations is payment terms. Many forms of construction contracts need to state the time frame for when subcontractors will be paid, and this can create significant problems down the road. A GC must clarify the payment terms in their contract with the client so there is no wiggle room for future disagreements.

For subcontractors, it is important to be aware of the AIA standard form contract (A101) that outlines the main agreement between the GC and the project owner. This document will dictate how subs are compensated, their insurance requirements, and the dispute resolution process if they disagree with the GC on something. If you are unfamiliar with this document, requesting access to see it during the bid process or before submitting your own contract for bidding is a good idea. This will also help you identify items requiring a negotiated solution before starting the work. This will minimize the risk of change orders and unanticipated delays in the project timeline.

A general contractor oversees a variety of tasks related to new construction, remodeling, and renovation projects. Project management responsibilities include planning, scheduling, and budgeting for day-to-day activities and overall completion of the entire project. They are also responsible for managing all contracts with subcontractors, suppliers, and other contractors. They may also deliver design services, especially for projects that use a design-build delivery method.

Licensed general contractors are experts at estimating, negotiating, and executing the various construction projects they manage. They understand how to create accurate budgets, which consider the cost of labor, materials, tools and equipment, permits, inspections, and other expenses related to the construction process. They also know how to negotiate with suppliers and subcontractors to obtain the best prices.

Another part of a GC’s job involves the actual construction itself. In some cases, they provide comprehensive design-build services, taking the architect’s designs and making them a reality. At the same time, in other instances, they execute the plans of an independent architect. Either way, they enlist the services of specialty contractors to complete those specific portions of the project that require their trade skills, such as concrete, electrical, and plumbing installation.

The GC is also responsible for communicating with the architect and other contractors, ensuring the construction meets specifications, timelines, and budgets. They work closely with the architect during this phase and liaise with all parties to ensure the project’s design, construction, and completion are on target with the project owner’s vision.

Once construction begins, a GC manages all contractors and subcontractors, overseeing each work step. They ensure all the building work is completed as outlined in the contract documents, works to code, and conforms to local zoning requirements. They also monitor progress to help keep the schedule on track and work with the architect to resolve issues that arise during construction.

Another important task that a GC takes on is ensuring that all construction-related expenses are accurately recorded and processed, which is often a challenge for projects that utilize a design-build delivery method. They also track the payments made to each tier of contractors and suppliers, helping to ensure that everyone gets paid promptly.