Anyone hiring a construction company is likely to wonder where a general contractor fits into the equation. The role of general contracting is relatively similar in most scenarios, even if you're paying a full-service construction company to tackle the job. For those folks who want to learn more about the purpose of general contracting, here are four things they should know.
Construction jobs are often very active places. Someone has to direct the traffic of the site, for workers and technicians. If a company drops off materials for a roofing project, for example, the general contractor is the person who has to sign off on it and make sure the supplier places the materials in the right spot for the roofers.
Thinking in three dimensions won't get the job done when you're handling construction. A general contractor also has to think about how the times for different tasks will sequence properly. If they provide too much slack in the schedule, a contractor can end up prolonging a job and raising costs. Conversely, if they try to run everything too close together, they can end up with jobs starting before other ones are done.
For example, you usually don't want to throw up drywall in a building until the electricians and plumbers have performed their work. The general contractor has to coordinate with all of the supporting professionals to ensure that the first thing always is done first.
Within the contract you sign with a construction company, there are usually terms that outline what the specifications are for materials. This is a bigger deal than it sounds because some of the biggest conflicts that occur on builds occur when someone uses the wrong materials. Under the worst of circumstances, the wrong materials can compromise the structural integrity of the building.
As they purchase materials, the general contractor has to make judgments about what fits the specifications for a project. Oftentimes, they have to loop clients, engineers, and architects into the discussion to approve the use of different materials. Done well, this sort of decision-making can save you money without compromising the quality of the work.
It's also normal for the construction company to deal with compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. This covers everything from acquiring permits to confirming that energy-efficiency standards are met. It also entails properly documenting compliance so you can refer back to the paperwork if anyone has questions.
For more information about the role that general contractors fill in a construction company, contact a local contracting service.