The value of building with an experienced general contractor

06 March 2024

Commercial construction is a complex and ever-evolving process.

And as with any thorny practice, success often comes down to the team steering the ship. The same is true in commercial construction projects. As previously covered, the all-important preconstruction planning process, sets the stage for the prime-time event, construction. Typically, commercial construction is managed by a General Contractor (GC) whose job it is to ensure a project runs on time and on budget. So, what does the commercial construction process entail, what is a General Contractor (GC) and why are they so important?

Defining the commercial construction process

Commercial construction projects come in all shapes and sizes but generally they include all projects larger than residential single family homes or townhomes. Depending on their size, construction type, materials and methods, commercial construction projects will start with a comprehensive schedule which outlines when materials need to be purchased and delivered to the construction site. The Project Manager is responsible for the management and maintenance of this schedule and is responsible for the financial management of the project as well.

In addition, the Project Manager is also responsible for the hiring and coordination of the individual trades, or subcontractors who perform the various jobs that make up the construction process. For instance, the plumbers, electricians, masons, and carpenters are examples of the types of trades or subcontractors that are hired to deliver a specific portion of the construction process.

This is where the Superintendent becomes a vital member of the process. Once the Project Manager has coordinated and scheduled the various material and trade contracts, the Superintendent oversees how those materials are installed and how work is performed onsite. Often, commercial construction schedule uses a phased approach to coordinating the various tradespeople working on the construction site at any given time. In the phased approach, the Superintendent will be overseeing multiple trades working on different parts of the building the same time. This helps to expedite the construction schedule and reduce the cost of the project.

The last and most important aspect of the active construction process is inspection. Throughout the construction process, the municipality where the building is being built will inspect the property to ensure compliance with the various property codes and regulations. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent and Project Manager to coordinate and pass all inspections on time, to ensure quality and expeditious delivery of the project.

What does a General Contractor (GC) do and why are they important?

With so many different companies, providers, and workers involved in a project, how do you know who is running the show? That’s where a General Contractor comes in. A General Contractor or GC gets its name from a simple concept, that a single person or entity who holds all the contracts which make up a commercial construction project. This allows real estate developers and owners to have a single point of authority and risk when dealing with the multitude of contracts required to build a commercial project. As the General Contractor, a company is responsible not only for taking on and managing each individual contract which makes up the project, but they also act as the owner’s representative onsite, ensuring quality and on time delivery of the product.

Focus has been acting as the General Contractor on its own developments and for third party deverlopers for over 30 years. The experience that comes from such a long tenure managing commercial construction projects gives Focus a unique advantage in delivering projects on time and on budget. Through careful coordination, and an owner’s mindset, the construction team at Focus gives real estate owner’s greater control over their commercial construction projects. To learn more about the construction process at Focus or to discuss a project of your own, please reach out today.

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