If you have a building or remodeling project, chances are you will cross your path with a general contractor.
Also known as a project manager or construction manager, a general contractor doesn’t just manage a construction project. It’s the responsibility of him to plan, budget, coordinate, and supervise a very area of a commercial or residential building project. Besides, he must be a good communicator, time manager, detail-oriented, and skilled at managing both personal and project budgets.
As a general contractor, you must have substantial multitasking skills, as well as creativity when it comes to aesthetics and creating plans. So, if your project is a car, your contractor is the driver.
What does a general contractor do?
Now, since you understand who a general contractor is, it’s time to know what a contractor does. With that, let’s look at the basic duties and responsibilities of a contractor when managing a construction project.
Planning and management
Although a general contractor comes in at the implementation stage, it’s their responsibility to oversee the daily planning, as well as managing jobs, like schedule management, resource planning, personnel management, and managing budget.
In addition, a general contractor oversees other essential activities of a construction project like managing the process of the project and resource requirements. In addition, he manages inventories, pays subcontractors and vendors, updates clients about the progress of the project, and also tests and inspects work done.
Managing the daily operations of the job site
Once you hire a general contractor, they must manage the daily activities of the site. Thus, he must ensure that every task is on track—and this includes all the tasks done by subcontractors. Besides, a general contractor is responsible for the cleanliness and safety of the site.
At times, this can extend to getting the required permits and approvals from the relevant authorities, facilitating temporary facilities, providing security, site cleaning, and waste management, among other activities.
Providing the required building materials and equipment
Depending on the terms and conditions of the contract, he should provide the building equipment and materials required for that project. Furthermore, he should screen all the suppliers, and make sure that they supply quality construction materials.
Also, a general contractor must ensure that all construction materials reach the construction site on time and that they are of the required quality. Besides, he must keep the client’s expectations in their mind, while managing the project budget. In case a vendor supplies poor quality materials, the general contractor must check and exchange the materials.
Managing subcontractors, vendors, and consultants
During a major construction project, a general contractor will hire specialized subcontractors to do specific tasks. Besides, most construction projects have different consultants, in addition to suppliers and vendors or different equipment and building materials required for the project. Now, it’s the responsibility of his to manage and coordinate all these parties.
Besides, the general contractor handles all the communication between the employer and the subcontractors, vendors, and consultants during the project. Thus, he maintains sequence and coordination between all the parties and ensures each party fulfills their responsibility.
Supervising quality, budget, and deadlines
Clients expect general contractors to maintain the desired quality at all times in the course of the project. Besides, a contractor must work within the set budget, and observe deadlines. It’s the responsibility of a general contractor to minimize cost and time overruns, as well as deliver quality results.
Managing health, legal, and safety issues
According to the tenant build-outs experts from AFS General he should ensure safety at the job site and the safety of the workers by enforcing the required skills and procedures, as well as raising awareness. Moreover, it’s the responsibility of a general contractor to prevent accidents that might happen as a result of misuse or poor handling of construction equipment and machinery.
Furthermore, a general contractor is required to obtain the required permits and licenses from regulatory authorities before the construction project starts. Besides, the contractor must ensure that all the legal issues are addressed, and the project follows the applicable building codes.
Acts as the main contact person with the client
Typically, he is the main contact person between the client and all the other parties working on that project. It’s the responsibility of the contractor to pass any important information from the employer to the vendors and subcontractor. In addition, he is expected to update the employer with the progress of the project from time to time. Also, the general contractor must document every conversation and information exchange between the employer and all the other parties involved in the project.
As we’ve just seen, he wears many hats. Besides, he has a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders. Therefore, clients need to choose the right contractor, one with the skills that correspond with their project. Besides, because each construction project is unique, it’s important for clients to clearly define the specific roles of a general contractor.