Why should you hire an experienced general contractor(GC) when the subcontractors are the ones that do most, if not all, of the actual construction? Can’t you just hire the subs yourself and cut out the middle man? Sure, you can try, but you may not have much experience or be up to the challenge of managing all the moving parts of such a complicated process. We’ve identified the top advantages hiring a GC to manage your commercial construction has over self-managing.
Reliable, Tried & True Relationships
The experience that GCs have working with their subcontractors and their access to some of the best, proven tradesmen in the business are good enough reasons in and of themselves to really consider hiring a GC. Subs and suppliers are very responsive to GCs because they have worked together in the past. A GC with the best construction knowledge and payment terms attracts the best subs, but electricians or plumbers willing to bid on self-managed jobs may be second-tier pros who aren’t trusted by the established general contractors. A design-build GC like Emerald works with architects, engineers, and the owner in the early stages of a project to review plans for accuracy, determine the best design elements, and how each piece will impact the budget. In addition, permit offices and building officials may be more responsive to GCs, while they may scrutinize the plans of builder-owners more intently. In other words, a GC may get perks from building inspectors that owners, property managers, and landlords won’t.
Not only can it be difficult to come up with a list of viable subcontractors yourself through research and referrals, but once you hire a team of subs you may find it very difficult to coordinate all of the necessary construction processes, something that GCs do every day. Ultimately, GCs get the job done as efficiently as possible. GCs are highly motivated to get the job done quickly and to be able to pay their subs. The more tightly a remodel is scheduled, the quicker it will be done and the more time can be spent on other money-making projects.
GCs Assume Construction Project Risk
GCs have the proper license and insurance, which means they assume the risk rather than you. Legitimate GCs have worker’s comp insurance and thus protect you if a worker has an accident. Typically, the GC’s responsibility protects owners from liabilities of unpaid suppliers or from sub labor disputes. The GC issues subcontract agreements and obtains liability and work comp insurance certificates.
Commercial Construction Know-How
Next, GCs have extensive building code knowledge, including code differences that depend on the locale . Additionally, they know which materials, methods, and equipment are appropriate for your job. (Not to mention, how to do the job safely) Dealing with building code and inspectors can be extremely difficult, so knowing which permits to pull and when can be invaluable. While owners can’t usually look at the work of subs and know if the work will pass inspection, experience GCs can. This helps to prevent re-inspections and delays. GCs know how to budget resources, when to order specific materials, and how to schedule the man hours cost effectively, ensuring everything runs smoothly from start to finish.
Next, GCs can probably get better prices on materials and labor because they do more volume and already have good relationships with sub-contractors. Buying materials in bulk means GCs get high quality products at a lower cost. Subs often charge a higher rate per hour when working under the owner of the building than when working under a GC. On the other hand, with a GC subs have to be more competitive with their bid to win the job.
Lastly, they warranty their work– it’s in their best interest to stand behind their work and reputation since they want more work from you in the future. So, they will typically come out and fix any defective work within one year. This gives owners peace of mind that a GC supervises and validates all work to ensure it is of the highest quality and meets industry standards.
In the end, the biggest advantage GCs have is that they’ve handled the construction process from start to finish many times. From planning to final cleanup, they understand the workflow how to take the lead with subs, and how to keep crews busy throughout the entire course of the project. Using a GC will free up your time, so that you can focus on the other important parts of your business. Please email us today or call us at 480-832-9808 so that we can help you out by using our many years of experience planning, designing, and completing commercial construction projects in time and within budget.