Things can be hectic on a job site for any sort of building: commercial or residential. There are laborers, subcontractors, inspectors, and other people milling about and performing their specific duties. On a job site, there has to be one person that orchestrates the entire show and that person is the general contractor. By working on behalf of the owner and architect, the general contractor gets stuff done. They are the one person who makes things happen in a timely and cost effective manner. A contractor wears many hats and a skilled, high-quality general contractor will perform the following duties during a construction project:
Communicates with the architect and the owner. If there is an architect who designed the building, the general contractor will interact with them to ensure the plan that was designed on paper becomes a reality. They will talk and meet often and will discuss any issues that may arise during construction. Together, they will find a solution to those issues and will present them to the building owner before making any permanent changes. If any changes must be made, a formal change order will be put in place..
Collects bids from subcontractors. A general contractor will have a wide network of quality subcontractors that perform various jobs like masonry, painting, plumbing, and electrical work. Since they already have the contacts in the business, they will be able to quickly collect bids and evaluate which bids from each industry will work best for that particular job. Then, they will choose the subcontractors.
Coordinates when the subcontractors will perform work. After selecting the subcontractors, they orchestrate which contractors will be on the job site and when they will be performing their specific tasks. It is a major feat to coordinate several subcontractors at once while making sure everyone is doing solid, quality work. The general contractor also has to make sure the construction is proceeding according to the schedule and the budget.
Acts as the go-to guy for questions. The general contractor is the one person that subcontractors must go to if they have questions. He is on the job-site regularly, resolving issues should they arise. He also meets with the designer and the building owner frequently to make sure everything is running as smoothly as it should. If the building owner has any concerns, the general contractor will be there to address them.
Arranges for inspections and city permits. The city requires that a permit be obtained before any building or remodeling work is done. After work is done, a building is required to pass an inspection. Acquiring permits and arranging for inspections can be a lengthy, confusing process, especially for those that have never done it before. A general contractor will be responsible for making sure the correct paperwork is filled out. They will also know, during the building process, if something is going to pass inspection or not. After an initial inspection is completed, the general contractor will work with the city in the case of requested changes.