General Contractor Lexington KY oversees the big-picture, top-level facets of a construction project. GCs can work for construction companies or as independent contractors themselves. They are basically day-to-day construction managers who can also be found on the job site swinging a hammer.
They take a set of plans and turn them into a building. This means orchestrating the comings and goings of workers, coordinating an ever-changing schedule, and handling a lot of paperwork, including material bills and payroll.
One of the first things a general contractor must do is secure work. For that, they must respond to requests for proposals, or RFPs, from clients looking to build projects. GCs often create what are called “bids” to respond to these requests, which include estimates for how much the GC will charge for labor and materials. This process is complicated and involves doing quantity takeoffs from project specifications to create the cost estimates. The GC may also consult with subcontractors before creating their bid.
A good general contractor will help clients understand the process of working with a contractor and how the cost estimates are put together. This is an important part of the process because it helps everyone involved in the project be on the same page and understand what’s expected from one another. It’s a way to make sure that expectations are clearly communicated so that construction workers and subcontractors know what they need to do their jobs well.
Once a project is underway, a GC becomes a kind of day-to-day construction manager. They ensure that the project is progressing on schedule and oversee the work of the onsite staff. They also help with more administrative tasks, such as scheduling payroll or implementing safety standards on site.
In addition, a good general contractor will have relationships with suppliers that they have developed over time. These relationships can help them secure the materials for a project at a reduced rate. This is a great way to save money, and oftentimes the savings are passed on to the client.
Depending on the location, local, state, and federal laws may require that a general contractor be licensed. Licensing is a way for the public to verify that the person they are hiring is competent and follows strict guidelines for insurance, taxes, and safety. This is important for the public, but it’s also important for the construction industry to maintain a high standard of ethics and safety.
When choosing a general contractor, be sure to ask for references from previous clients and do some background checking online. A quick Google search will reveal a lot about a GC’s experience, integrity, and reputation. If the first few online reviews are negative, this is a red flag that you should keep searching for a different contractor.
They have experience.
A general contractor’s extensive experience in the construction industry is a significant benefit for any project they take on. They know what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how to get it done in the most cost-effective and timely manner possible. Whether you are building an office, a new home, or retail space, a general contractor has the resources and expertise to bring your vision to life.
General contractors are often responsible for a number of tasks on any project, including hiring and training subcontractors, securing building permits when necessary, defining and monitoring budgets throughout the process, and much more. This enables them to understand the ins and outs of all elements of a project, allowing them to provide the best guidance for the rest of the team.
Many states and municipalities require that a general contractor be licensed in order to complete construction work on their behalf. This ensures that they have the skills and knowledge to do the job correctly while following all required regulations and guidelines for insurance, taxes, and safety. Project owners also gain benefits from working with a licensed general contractor, as they can trust that the GC will be able to protect their lien rights, which help guarantee they will get paid for their work once it’s completed.
General contractors are usually familiar with a variety of different construction suppliers, having developed relationships over time that allow them to secure materials at a discounted rate that is then passed on to their clients. This is a great way for property owners to save money on the more expensive items that are needed for any build without having to spend too much time shopping around.
Because they are involved in the process from start to finish, a general contractor has an excellent understanding of how all of the components of a construction project fit together. This allows them to keep everyone on the same page, which helps to prevent costly mistakes and ensure that a project is completed according to its quoted timeline.
They have insurance coverage.
While a general contractor may complete some construction work themselves, they usually do not perform all the labor on a project. Instead, they will usually manage a team of specialized subcontractors to complete the majority of the work. These subcontractors may include plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, iron workers, and other specialists.
As such, a general contractor needs to carry both a commercial general liability policy and a workers’ compensation insurance policy for their employees. Typically, the GC will add any uninsured subcontractors to their policy as additional insureds. This ensures that in the event a worker is injured or someone else is hurt on the jobsite, there is coverage to pay for any damages.
In addition, many GCs will also need to purchase an inland marine insurance policy for their construction equipment. This type of policy helps to cover property loss or damage that occurs while equipment is being transported between different job sites.
When determining whether or not to hire a general contractor, it is important to ask for references and do some research online. A good general contractor will have many satisfied customers with positive feedback who can vouch for their experience and expertise.
If you are looking for a general contractor to take on a home improvement project, be sure to ask them to provide proof of their insurance coverage and licenses. Some specialties, like plumbing and well drilling, require state-level licensing. Other specialties, like building one- to three-family homes, do not require licensing by the city.
Another aspect of insurance to consider is a surety bond. This type of policy can protect the client in the event that the GC fails to perform their duties, such as failing to complete the project or stealing funds from the company. A reputable general contractor should be able to obtain these types of bonds with ease. Other policies to consider are the business owner’s policy, professional liability, and inland marine insurance. These policies help to keep the GC and their employees protected against common business issues, such as theft of materials or equipment.
They have custom solutions.
Unlike other industries where you need a specific license or certification to work in them, general contractors have the ability to take a construction project from blueprints to a finished product. In addition to managing all the facets of the build and bringing in subcontractors and skilled laborers, they can also order the appropriate materials for the job and ensure they are delivered on time. This is critical because if delays occur, it can put the overall timeline of a project over budget and potentially create a problem with weather, especially if a build spans multiple seasons.
Whether the construction project is large or small, a general contractor can save property owners money by sourcing and purchasing materials from a trusted network of suppliers that they have built relationships with over time. This can help them secure discounts that they would not otherwise be able to get. This is especially important during times of supply chain disruptions and dramatic price fluctuations.
A great general contractor will be proactive in understanding their clients’ needs and offering custom solutions to suit those needs. This could include using the latest health-conscious, energy-efficient materials available on the market. They will be able to provide options that are more cost-effective than the “norm” and pass these savings onto their clients.
For large projects, a GC will often have an office team that is responsible for the project management of all phases. These teams are made up of credentialed professionals, including architects, engineers, licensed builders, and certified project managers. They are also supported by administrative and accounting teams that manage finance, billing, and reporting for all project costs. This helps to keep projects on budget and on schedule, which is a big part of why a GC is essential for commercial and residential construction.
As a result of the wide range of skills and expertise that they have, general contractors are capable of providing comprehensive services to both commercial and residential building owners. They can manage the entire project from start to finish, or they can handle more specific aspects of a build like roofs and foundations. They can also serve as a liaison between the owner and the various tradespeople and vendors who bring the project to life.