If you own a business, you’re almost certainly familiar with the term “General Contractor”. You’ve likely even worked with one at some point when your facility has undergone upgrades or maintenance. But what does a general contractor actually do? Continue reading below to learn about the position that bridges the gap between clients and construction firms.
What are a general contractor's responsibilities?
General contractors, also known as a “GC“, are responsible for the overall management of a construction project from concept to completion. GC’s act as a liaison between property owners and everyone else involved in the build, including subcontractors, vendors, technicians, and the state. Depending on the project’s delivery method, a general contractor may be responsible for managing the design and build aspects of a project. In other instances, the GC is solely responsible for the construction side of the project, and the design aspect is handled by a separate architect.
During the Pre-Construction phase, general contractors are typically responsible for:
- Creating a contract agreement
- Developing a working budget
- Developing a pre-approved subcontractor list
- Selecting an optimal construction team
- Creating and tuning the project schedule
- Establishing communication with local building departments
- Preparing preliminary purchase and delivery logs, and a shop drawing register
Once construction has commenced, a GC will undertake the following tasks:
- Oversight of the construction in progress to ensure the project is meeting specifications
- Maintaining an accurate project schedule
- Responding to change orders
- Proposing solutions to delays and setbacks
- Relaying pertinent information to the client
- Helping ensure safety procedures are followed correctly
As the project crosses the finish line, the general contractor still needs to perform some final duties before it can be marked complete. The GC will ensure that all work, including that of the subcontractors, is complete and to specification. Once the project is finalized and approved, the GC will payout the subcontractors for their work.
General contractor licensing
Generally speaking, a GC is required to be licensed by the state in which it is operating in. Licensing provides protection for the client, contractor and the state.
In Massachusetts, The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) monitors Massachusetts building codes and construction supervisor licensing. The Board also licenses concrete testing labs and technicians, approves manufactured buildings and related inspection procedures, approves native lumber producers, and certifies municipal building inspectors.
How to choose a general contractor.
Choosing the right general contractor for your facility’s next project can seem like a daunting task, but as long as you follow some basic best practices, you’ll be well on your way to project completion.
- References – Ask for references whenever possible. The best way to predict how your potential project will go, is to speak with the people that have already been through it.
- Representative Projects – A good general contractor is proud of the work they’ve done in the past. Ask to see completed projects, especially those related to the type of work you are looking to have done.
- Licenses & Bonding – Be sure to verify the GC’s license and Bond. Getting bonded means that the contractor has purchased a surety bond that protects you, the client, in case a GC doesn’t fulfill their duties.
Looking for a reputable general contractor in the Boston area? OMNI Building Services provides construction management, maintenance & repair services to facilities of all types including healthcare, academic, industrial, controlled environment and commercial offices.
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