A construction project is not a one-person job. Instead, multiple teams, like designing, engineering, and excavating, work together to complete a project.
All these teams usually come under general contractors who supervise them throughout the construction project. Since general contractors must oversee nearly every field of construction, the job requires quite a diverse amount of expertise.
To streamline the project, general contractors should use advanced software to manage projects more efficiently, a few of which are mentioned on this site. This article discusses everything general contractors do in a construction project.
9 Responsibilities of General Contractors
Although general contractors are fully responsible for a construction project, here are the 9 responsibilities they must carry out.
1. Planning the Project
During the planning phase, a general contractor collaborates with the project manager to understand the project. The planning phase is an important step as you must estimate the following three aspects of construction in it:
- Budget: Money required from the beginning to the completion of the project
- Schedule: A rough project timeline with the individual teams’ responsibilities
- Resources: Equipment and workforce required for the project
You must sit with the general contractor and prepare these documents as an estimate in the planning phase. Without the contractor’s involvement, you can’t make a good estimate, resulting in a poor construction plan.
2. Daily Jobsite Management
Do you know that it takes around seven months to complete the construction of a house? During that period, someone must be there to supervise the construction activities. Therefore, a general contractor is present at the job site to manage those activities and guide the workers.
Although that’s a hectic job, only a contractor can do that because of experience and competency. However, remember that not every contractor is that responsible. Some might deceive their clients and leave the job site, affecting the project’s quality.
3. Providing Equipment
General contractors are experienced individuals who have been working in the construction industry for several years. So they know where to outsource construction equipment. In addition, every construction project requires different equipment, so contractors are also well aware of providing such resources.
However, you must keep tracking the financial activities happening in the procurement phase. Contractors might not care about the budget and rent expensive machinery. In that case, you must guide the contractor and inform them about the construction budget. Otherwise, the company will face loss.
4. Hiring Subcontractors
Another important responsibility of a general contractor is to hire subcontractors, like:
- Plumbers: They execute all the plumbing activities in a construction project.
- Electricians: They install wires and establish connections for electricity.
- Painters: They paint the walls of the building.
Usually, contractors hire those subcontractors with whom they worked on previous projects. That helps both parties maximize their efforts and invest more time in working rather than creating a working chemistry.
However, contractors might not always hire eligible subcontractors. Construction eligibility refers to conformance with the standards, like safety.
Many subcontractors are not certified and imitate their seniors in the construction industry. Of course, they are fit for the job. But they don’t follow the construction standards, which might lead to accidents, causing injuries and even death. Therefore, you must check the subcontractors’ eligibility before starting the project to avoid risks during the construction.
5. Supervising Schedule and Budget
General contractors have the construction budget and schedule document as a guide. Although these documents restrict them, they must keep their progress within the given schedule and budget per the company’s requirements.
Remember that contractors are not full-time employees. They tend to work with their criteria and adopt whatever style they deem suitable. So, it’s better not to question their decisions when the workflow is normal.
However, you can ask them about a delay or failure because they are accountable for that. But again, keep the air clean by establishing a friendly environment, as the general contractor is the only one you can rely on for the ongoing construction project.
6. Maintaining Quality
Quality matters in all construction projects, and general contractors know how to keep quality on or above par. They suggest several changes in the planning phase, which might look odd at that time, but they are confident about the final result.
For example, they might suggest you install type-A iron sheets instead of type-B. You can ask them the reason, and they will tell you why.
Some construction aspects are hidden, which common people can’t observe. But due to experience, general contractors know what material is best for what scenario to optimize the construction quality. Their decisions might also look expensive, but you will get your answers in the closeout phase.
7. Completing Legal Formalities
General contractors have a vast network in the construction industry, even in the metropolitan and development sectors. They know how to quickly submit the required documents to the relevant authority and begin the construction work.
Contractors’ experience made them known to authorities. Therefore, it’s better to let the contractors fulfill the legal formalities instead of you running from one office to another. Of course, they might charge you some fees, but that’s negligible compared to thousands of dollars.
8. Managing Workers’ Safety
The safety of the workers at the job site must be a priority, and contractors ensure that every worker is equipped with a safety kit. The construction safety standards also state the same because, without safety, the workers’ lives are at a huge risk.
9. Communication with the Client
Contractors directly communicate with the client because of their presence at the job site. Some clients frequently visit the construction site to check the progress. They also observe the quality and schedule.
The contractors bridge the gap between the company and the client by communicating. However, since companies handle other projects and the officials don’t visit the site often, they are unclear about the project’s status.
So, clients report the on-site performance to the contractor, and then the report is forwarded to the company. Especially in this stage, using a construction planning software solution can create a big difference.
General contractors are diverse individuals who supervise each construction activity. They also stay at the job site daily to guide the workers and maintain quality. So, hiring a general contractor for your construction project is a suitable option.