When you are in the planning stage of your new construction, you need to make numerous decisions that have an impact on the success of the project. The most important of the decisions is the selection of the General contractor for your project. This is one of the key decisions you need to take even at the preliminary stage of the project. The general contractor is the person who is going to be the focal point of the entire project. He will be the one man who is going to control the entire project.
But, selecting the right person as the general contractor is a big gamble, and if the selection goes wrong you will be having a constant headache till the very end of the project. This will have a very bad impact on your project. You may not able to conduct the project as you want.
Instead of taking this big risk, if you have enough time and have little experience in the construction industry and a lot of management qualities then you can become the general contractor. You can take your project forward without involving a third party to the project. By doing this you will be saving more sleepless nights and go on with the project in all the ways you want.
When you have decided to become your general contractor, you must have some of these as qualifications to become a successful general contractor namely:
- Managing people like construction workers, subcontractors, material suppliers and hardware vendors, etc
- Manage and deal with finances and play multiple roles in managing and taking control of the finances for the project
- Knowing the latest trends in the construction industry and knowing how to bring these into your project
- Knowledge of finding the best materials at the best price and knowing how to enter into best deals for your project
Even if you are a person who has got not all the above, you need not have to worry. Still, you can manage your project as the general contractor if you have the drive to learn things and have the willingness to ask questions and the knack of knowing the answers you want. As the person in charge of a large construction project, you need to have good problem-solving abilities. With patience and willingness to understand people and their behavior, you can manage your project successfully.
Before Becoming Your Own General Contractor, Introspect On These Factors:
Do You Have The Right Personality?
Imagine yourself as the contractor, if a situation arises then you will have to be firm on your subcontractors. You won’t be able to directly interfere in their work but you’ll have to be strict when indirectly monitoring their work as if you don’t do so, there are chances of compromises in the quality of the work. Are you patient enough to do such type of monitoring, wherein you’ll have to maintain your distance and let the subcontractors do their respective work but also you must intuitively know when to walk in to inquire about their work?
Do You Have The Time?
It won’t be a full-time job for you, on average you might have to spend about 2-3 hours daily on-site. But then you could be called for any unexpected events such as in the case of an emergency. You must consider aspects like the distance between the site and your place of work, can you reach the site during your working hours, are you easily available on calls during your working hours.
Can You Commit To It?
Deciding to become a general contractor should not be an impulsive decision. You must not consider saving the general contractor’s fees as the only reason to become one yourself. If you won’t be able to commit to the job sincerely, by hiring a contractor in the mid-way of the project’s progress, you would end up spending more than the initial amount of money you were aiming to save by not hiring the contractor.
Why Should I Become My Own General Contractor?
There are many reasons why you should become your general contractor, and most important among them is the pay- off you will make if you are appointing another person as your general contractor.
To Save Money
General contracting is a business and their motive is to make a profit out of your project. When you have another person as the general contractor you are going to add a considerable amount to the project cost. Normally the remunerations for the services as a general contractor is at the rate of more than 10% of the project cost. You have to add his profit in materials as well as employment of labor and subcontractor will easily reach anywhere above 20% of the project cost. This is a considerably handsome amount that you will be able to save if you decide to become the general contractor.
Complete The Project As You Want
When you are planning your project and want to complete it in a particular manner, you can do it as you want when you are the general contractor. On the other hand, if you are working under a general contractor, he will conduct the project as he wants. You cannot force him to do the project as per your desire. As general contractors are more experienced in conducting more projects than you, they will be operating the project in a particular manner and you have no say regarding this.
Due to this, the results for the project work may not be to your liking and even then you cannot raise a complaint or ask him to do the project as you want unless there is a wide variation to the planned project work. When you are undertaking the project coordination and monitoring the project progress constantly you can easily find the deviations at the very start of the deviation and correct it thereby avoid unnecessary wastage of labor and materials.
Get The Project Done Exactly The Way You Want
As a general contractor, you will be on the worksite and constantly watching the project execution and know how the work is progressing. If something begins to go wrong you can find them at the starting itself and take corrective steps immediately thereby assuring the result of the project comes out as you want. But if the project is headed by another general contractor, it is not possible as you will not be so involved with the project unlike in the case when you are acting as your general contractor.
You Can Spend All The Time On The Project
When you are the general contractor, you will be involved with your project only. Due to this you will be able to spend all your time on the project and be involved in every step of the project. You will be focusing more on the project execution by minutely watching all the works done by the workers and sub-contractors. As you are present in the construction site all through the workday the quality of work you get will be high.
On the other hand, as the general contractor is a business entity working with profit motive they will be looking for ways to multiply their profit by doing many projects at the same time. This will make them appoint a person under them to take over the project on their behalf.
Thus, the person whom you have appointed as the general contractor will not be spending all their time on your project. This defeats the very purpose of his appointment and hence this is also one of the reasons why you should become your general contractor.
Make Decisions On The Spot
When you are overseeing the project as the general contractor, you can take any decision for the project without having to wait for anybody. As it is your project and you are in total control of it. Being the person on the spot and the one who is commanding and controlling the entire project work you can take any decision without waiting for any person. This helps the project work to proceed without any let or hindrance. This is necessary for the project to proceed without any delay and complete the project as per the planned schedule.
If the project is under the control of a third party general contractor, then the project work has to be halted in case of an issue that requires his intervention and decision. If he is not at the worksite, the workers will wait for him or his approval of the solution suggested by them for the issue. This not only delays the project but also causes wastage of labor and materials adding to the cost of the project.
You Need Not Have To Deal With Another Person
When you are leaving the project to another general contractor, and he takes over the project, he will not like your involvement at all times in the project. This may be because he wants to conduct the project in his way and make as much profit as possible out of the project. Due to this, he will not like your interference in his work and it may even irritate him if you go on giving your views and advice and ask him questions throughout the project.
When you do this in the interest of the project, it may add to his frustration and his attitude towards you will change. He may even become un-cooperative and shun your presence on the construction site. This will add to the animosity between you and your general contractor which will manifest in all possible ways during the execution of the project.
Thus, when you are inviting a person to be the general contractor, it may lead to interpersonal conflicts leading to serious consequences on the project site. Due to this, it is better to avoid appointing another person as your general contractor and do your project as you want and get the good results for the project as you want.
What Are The Disadvantages By Being Your Own General Contractor?
You Don’t Have Relevant Experience
Being a client, you might perceive the contractor’s job to be more about scheduling the project work and monitoring the on-going project work. But the reality is, they have the experience which is very valuable for the overall success of any project.
Instead of thinking of gaining the first-time experience as a contractor for your very own project, you should rather invest some money into a contractor who has quality experience in projects similar to yours.
You Don’t Have Relevant Contacts
The no. and the diversity in the list of good subcontractors with which the contractor shares work relations is as valuable as his experience. It would be a challenging task for you to hire the same subcontractors for your project as there are easily convinced to work on projects under their well- known contractor.
The type of subcontractors who’ll be willing to work on your project and under you would be the ones who aren’t well established in the market because of their quality of work or those subcontractors who are not considered as good subcontractors in the eyes of the general contractors.
The contractor will surely know the most credible suppliers in the market and even be aware of the best-suited materials for your project. In your first attempt, you won’t be able to figure these on your own.
You Have No Idea Of The Legal Permits
When it comes to the legal permits for your project, the contractor since being an existing member of the industry along with the reputation and rapport he has built over time with the officials.
This all is is the result of the multiple no. of times the contractor has been to the permit offices in the past and so he’ll be done with the legal permits in the most optimal time possible.
Since you lack all these qualities, it would be more of a trial and error work to be done to get the permits, the time consumed would be way more than the time taken by the contractor to get the same permits.
Waste Management Is A Big Deal
The disposal of waste generated is a key aspect of construction management, the contractor will have the most appropriate solutions for the waste generated. If you do the waste management on your own, you would have to figure out the most effective way to do so, this would cost you quite some time and money.
You could save thousands of dollars by becoming a general contractor for your project, but you would have to suffer from huge levels of stress, consequences of improper time management and to an extent even make your health suffer.
Take up the role, if you are competent to handle the disadvantages mentioned above, you can follow these great resources for general contractor news. Ideally, if it’s a small project then you could think of taking up the role. But if it’s a big project that also your own, then just consider the services of a local and experienced general contractor for it.