General Contractors, Subcontractors, Builders: Who should I hire?

When constructing a new home, deciding who to hire can be a time-consuming process. You want to be sure you hire someone who is trustworthy, does quality work, and sticks to budgets and timelines. But who exactly do you need?

General Contractors

General contractors (GC) can be an individual or an entire company, and oversee the entire construction site. They are hired for both residential and commercial projects. The first responsibility of a GC is to make an estimate of the entire project including the cost of materials, labor, and any subcontractors that will be needed. From there, a project manager will oversee the project, communicate with the homeowner, ensure materials are ordered and delivered on time, and oversee subcontractors. A big benefit to hiring a general contractor is they already have built a pool of subcontractors they trust. In addition, subcontractors will often consider projects for a contractor as a priority over a job for a homeowner. To learn about Horton Group as a general contractor, click here.

Subcontractors

Subcontractors are typically skilled in one specific trade, such as tile, drywall, insulation, or roofing. Subcontractors fill their contract directly with the contractor, so you do not need to worry about hiring each different subcontractor if you have a general contractor. If you are only updating one part of a room, such as installing new tile flooring, you may want to hire a subcontractor to complete the job.

Builders

A builder, like a general contractor, will see the project through from start to finish. The difference is that a builder often has a crew to complete the construction work, from foundation to roof, subcontracting only for specialists like electricians and plumbers. They also manage the project and communicate with the homeowner throughout the process.

No matter who you hire, you are entrusting another person or company to carry out your vision. Be sure to communicate your vision, budget, and timeline clearly so the outcome is what you want.

What is the Role of a Project Manager?

Project managers, especially in construction, are responsible for juggling a handful of responsibilities. From start to finish, they carry out all aspects of the building process to align with the visions set forth by clients and developers. All the while, a project manager must ensure that tasks get completed safely, on time, and on budget.

Construction project managers must be experienced within the industry, as they tend to a variety of responsibilities requiring a great deal of knowledge. These include:

Planning: Before a project gets underway the project manager must establish a timeline for each stage of construction. Throughout construction, the project manager makes sure each stage is finished for timely completion.

Resource Management: Project managers must understand what resources and tools are required for a given project and have them available.

Staffing: Just as they are responsible for the resources for projects, a project manager is also responsible for staffing individuals of all trades. Hiring the correct people is essential, as the timeline and quality of work is dependant on it.

Setting Benchmarks: Setting benchmarks allow all parties involved to have a clear understanding of when certain things need to get done.

Budget Management: Project managers are responsible for the financial planning of a project and ensuring that the scope of work stays within budget. If any changes are made that influence cost, those too must be accounted for by the project manager.

While the above list encompasses the broad roles of a project manager, a lot more work goes on behind the scenes in order for a project to be completed on time and at a high quality. For a project manager to be successful, it takes a great deal of cooperation, communication, and confidence in his or her decisions.

 

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