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29 Jul 2014
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General Contractor
We need to build yet another 3,000 sq ft of workplace within our industrial building. Our architect is preparing plans now. It appears as though an easy enough project, and we are wondering when we can save money by serving as our own general contractor. What would function as the advantages or disadvantages of doing so?

Residential Contractor

Assembling your shed is complex enough i would discourage from acting as your own general contractor, unless someone in your company has substantial contracting experience. One of the main benefits of hiring a contractor will be the coordination of trades, and you will require enough trades this might be a major problem. At least, you will require carpentry, drywall installation, electrical work, HVAC installation, flooring, and painting. You may even need plumbing, demolition, and sprinkler work. When you have a roof leak, there's nothing wrong with calling a roofer directly, but on a job this complex you have to juggle schedules, paperwork, and competitive bidding, as well as establish clear lines of responsibility. This requires an expert.

So what exactly does a general contractor ("GC") do? Listed here are five major aspects of responsibility:

1. Paperwork - This consists of coordination involving the architect and also the town, pursuing the permitting process and providing information as necessary, obtaining insurance and workman's comp certificates from all of the trades, processing drawings and change-orders, procuring sign-offs, certificates of completion and occupancy, logging activities and calls, obtaining capital improvement certificates, and providing updates and standing reports. A GC should be aware of his way around the building department, and also establish trust and rapport using the building inspectors.

2. Cost control - The GC is in charge of obtaining competitive bids all the trades necessary practical. An excellent GC will be making tricks to your client and architect on cost-saving measures before and through the project. He can be reviewing drawings and plans for accuracy, of course, if necessary will give you field measurements in order to avoid costly change-orders.

3. Field Supervision - A GC will be visiting the house regularly, to inspect and verify the quality of the work by subcontractors, secure the house against vandalism, graffiti, and dumping, coordinate meter readings, set thermostats and alarms, and watch for roof leaks and other properties. Generally, he can be acting as the owner's representative, may it be being a good will ambassador with all the neighbors, or choosing a fireplace marshal.

4. Coordination of labor - One of the most valuable roles using your GC is coordination of all of the work. He's in charge of the finished product, and removes any finger-pointing among trades that you may encounter by trying to coordinate the project yourself. The GC will probably be drafting work schedules, preparing a "GANTT" chart outlining estimating the duration, materials and labor required for each phase with the construction. You will have unexpected delays or surprises (remember Murphy's Law) which is the responsibility of the GC address issues as they arise, and keep the project on target.

5. Be Nice - Construction is really a headache for the client. Life is too short being further hassled by a surly GC. Locate a reputable GC with higher recommendations and references, as well as make certain you like him or her! Your GC will likely be your "partner" throughout your project, so choose a GC with whom you can get along!


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