What Does a General Contractor Do?

What Does a General Contractor Do?

A general contractor has all the right skills, expertise, and necessary permits and licenses to complete a construction project. This professional will make sure that the work is done properly and on time.

Unlike a subcontractor, a general contractor is responsible for planning, design, permit approvals, and personnel management. They also serve as a point of contact between clients and construction workers.

Project Management

Project managers are responsible for ensuring that construction projects remain on schedule and within budget. They communicate with all parties involved in a project, including the client and architect or designer, to ensure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.

A construction manager is also responsible for selecting the design, engineering, and general contracting firms that will complete the work. Using a qualifications-based selection process, the project manager interviews candidates and creates summary reports to help the owner select the best firm for the job.

Unlike general contractors, who are usually hired in a lump sum or fixed price environment, a construction management services company will charge the owner a fee that is transparent and competitive. This approach eliminates the need for a profit margin and allows a construction manager to negotiate with designers and engineers for competitive rates. This results in savings opportunities that would otherwise revert to the general contractor. This is one of the key ways that a construction manager adds value to a project.


In the construction industry, scheduling is the process of assigning dates to work tasks. Effective project scheduling is critical for preventing production bottlenecks and completing projects on time. It also helps ensure safety by allowing workers to anticipate when they will need protective gear, like hard hats and earplugs.

During a pull planning session, the project manager or general contractor gathers representatives from each crew and identifies their milestones in relation to other crews. Then they collaborate by using sticky notes to mark what each crew needs in order to complete their portion of the work. The resulting schedule is then updated and communicated to the entire team.

Having self-perform capabilities isn’t the right call for every project, but it can add significant value. It gives the lead general contractor a thorough understanding of task-related labor necessities and material options, as well as market fluctuations that affect both. This allows them to provide accurate budget information for preconstruction and recommend viable materials for the project.


Creating an accurate estimate requires time, experience, and knowledge. It also demonstrates transparency and trust to your customers, which can lead to repeat business. The best way to get started is by using a general contractor pricing guide to help you create your estimates. This will help you keep up with market rates and competitor prices.

Costs for bonds and insurance should also be incorporated into the estimate. Most contractors are required to carry these policies as a condition of their licenses. Depending on the project, these policies may include performance and payment bonds.

General conditions are non-trade costs that are necessary for the project to be completed but will not be part of the final product. They can include services such as garbage removal, temporary office spaces, protection for workers, and administrative time. This helps the contractor to ensure that the project is able to be turned over to the owner in a timely manner.


A general contractor is in charge of completing a project within a timeframe and meeting the needs and preferences of a client. It is also the role of a general contractor to resolve any issues that might arise during construction. This includes resolving conflicts between workers and clients. In addition to that, a general contractor should be able to multitask effectively. They will be handling multiple aspects of the build, including planning, ordering supplies, and providing supervision.

General requirements define the protocols that the GC must adhere to throughout construction. These include submittals, scheduling, payment apps, inspections, daily logs, RFIs, and meetings. In allocating their management and supervision time, supervisors should consider unit cost and productivity risk. Using a simple industrial engineering type model can help supervisors identify and implement better work methods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 − 15 =