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What Does a General Contractor Do?

General Contractor Richmond VA turns construction visions into realities and manages the process. They also ensure that work is completed within budget and complies with building codes and regulations.

Typically, GCs request payment in stages as the project progresses. If they ask for payment upfront, that’s a red flag. A reputable GC will outline this in their estimates & contracts.

general contractors

Cost management involves tracking the costs of a project. This process includes estimating the project costs, managing change orders, and monitoring schedule delays. Cost management can be complex, but it’s crucial to completing a construction project on time and within budget.

General contractors use many different methods for estimating project job costs. The most common is using historical data from similar projects to get an approximate estimate of the total job cost. This method is effective but requires accurate data and knowledge of how each item will be billed to the client. For example, knowing how much materials and labor will be for each activity and subcontractor’s labor rate is critical to an accurate estimate.

The second step in a good cost management program is to track and compare actual project costs with the original estimates. This is often done with the help of a construction schedule. The goal is to minimize the variance between expected final costs and the original estimates. This step also involves analyzing what caused the variances and taking corrective actions to reduce future variations.

Another part of the cost management process is the preparation of a project budget. The budget is a detailed plan of how much money will be spent on the project and for what. This includes establishing a reserve analysis to protect against unexpected expenses. It’s important for real estate developers to consider their contractor’s incentives and fee structure when negotiating contracts for cost management services. This will affect the GC’s incentive to be cost-conscious and ensure the project is completed on time and within budget.

A general contractor oversees a number of construction operations, such as scheduling and day-to-day project management. This includes ensuring that all materials get to the site on time and that all subcontractors stay on schedule and complete their work in a timely manner. This will ensure that the final product meets the client’s expectations.

This can be a daunting task, as there are many different pieces to the puzzle. The GC needs to consider the design of the building, the scope of the project, the timeline and the budget. This may require them to consult with other construction professionals, such as architects and engineers, in order to ensure that all aspects of the build are accounted for.

GCs are also responsible for the procurement of all needed materials and equipment. This will include making sure that the required materials arrive at the site on time and that they are of a quality that will meet the specifications of the job. In addition, a GC will usually hire specialized sub-contractors to perform different aspects of the construction process.

One important factor to keep in mind when choosing a general contractor is their experience with the local building codes and permits. An experienced GC will be familiar with the processes and bureaucracy involved, and they can save their clients a lot of headaches by managing these issues on their behalf.

Construction projects require specialized laborers who can be difficult to manage. General contractors oversee these individuals and their work to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken for projects to progress smoothly from one stage to the next. They can also help resolve any issues that may arise during the process.

It is also a contractor’s job to submit project proposals that include details such as labor, costs, scheduling, materials and other factors that influence the scope of a project. This requires extensive knowledge about the building industry, especially regarding construction techniques and codes, as well as about how the various components of a building project are supposed to fit together.

A GC must also be able to multitask, as they will receive numerous emails, calls and other communications from related parties. They must also be able to quickly assess any problems that come up on site, such as an injured person or an unexpected delay in deliveries. They can then take appropriate action to get the project back on track.

General contractors often also serve as Construction Managers (CMs) for clients with whom they have a long-standing relationship. In this capacity, they can oversee the entire construction project, from preconstruction to the finished product. They will usually be responsible for the coordination of the project’s design, budget, and schedule, and they will often collaborate with an architect or engineer to ensure that the construction work is being done correctly.

As mentioned above, a major component of general contractor operations is to coordinate and communicate with subcontractors. This includes ensuring that each subcontractor is working on the correct parts of the project, meeting project schedule requirements, and performing their work according to the specified quality standards. The GC is responsible for managing these issues to avoid disputes, claims, and project delays caused by miscommunication.

This requires a good level of trust between the GC and the subcontractors. Typically, the GC hires companies with which they have a history of successful relationships and mutual respect. This reduces the need for extensive prequalification processes and can speed up project commencement. In some cases, the GC may have to choose from a smaller pool of available companies due to project scope requirements or budget limitations.

The GC is responsible for ensuring that the subcontractors and their crews are provided with the required equipment and materials. This is a complex task since it involves the GC coordinating with numerous parties including design consultants, architects and vendors.

In addition, the GC is also required to maintain accurate project cost estimates. This involves conducting quantity takeoffs from the project specifications to create detailed cost estimates. This process often requires significant efforts such as incorporating various factors that include labor costs, equipment rental, material costs, insurance expenses and worker’s compensation costs. It is crucial to manage these factors effectively so that the final product meets the client’s expectations.

The quality control (QC) process in general contractor operations involves routine inspections of construction activities to ensure that project specifications are met. It is the contractor’s responsibility to establish a quality management program and define its processes, practices, and procedures for managing project quality requirements.

An effective QC plan provides an avenue for clarifying and establishing quality standards, establishes means and methods to manage the QC process, defines responsibilities and accountabilities, reduces misunderstanding and conflict, improves efficiency, and fosters trust, reliability, and customer satisfaction. It also provides a tool for monitoring and improving performance to increase overall quality while eliminating defects and improving productivity.

During a typical construction project, the quality control function is performed by the superintendent or supervising engineer who applies your company’s standards and the customer’s requirements hands-on on a day-to-day basis. This is an important role, but your entire team must be involved to ensure that a high standard of work is delivered.

Typically, the superintendent checks for the following:

Safety in general contractor operations is one of the most important aspects of a project. Several strategies play vital roles in this area, including training workers, empowering them with the expertise to recognize hazards and take preventative measures, and using technology for improved monitoring. When taken together, these strategies contribute to a culture that prioritizes safety in construction, ultimately reducing risks and paving the way for smooth project execution.

It’s also critical that a general contractor communicates hazard information thoroughly with their crews. This includes providing a field safety manual that is user-friendly, applicable to the work at hand, and available for the employees who are most affected by the hazards in question. The safety manual should include emergency response numbers for the nearest hospital, ambulance service, fire department, and campus police.

Lastly, it’s essential that a general contractor has an active and comprehensive workers’ compensation management program. This can include detailed management directives, drug testing procedures, and return-to-work protocols. Having an established and effective program can help a contractor avoid claims in the future, thus reducing cost and delays on site. This, in turn, can ensure that projects stay on schedule and within budget.