Why General Contractors Is a Good Choice for Architect- Designed Projects
A general contractor is someone who not only designs and builds the buildings that need to be constructed, but also takes care of the legal aspects of contracting. A general contractor, principal contractor or sub-contractor is ultimately responsible for the entire day-to-day supervision of a construction site, from the initial planning stage to the completion of the work and repairs. General contractors have the skill and expertise necessary to negotiate design details with their clients and oversee construction materials and labor to ensure quality results. Contractors also build the basic structure of the building, oversee finishing details, manage and maintain the site infrastructure such as power, plumbing and drainage, and are often involved in many other areas of the construction process, from negotiating contracts to providing key workers with needed training and education. There are several types of general contractors, each specialized in different aspects of the construction process.
The majority of general contractors work on residential projects, though some specialize in either commercial or industrial projects. When hiring a general contractor for a residential building project, it’s important to select an individual with experience in your specific type of building. For example, if you’re constructing an apartment building, you’ll likely require an architect and engineer. Likewise, if you’re building a shopping center, a general contractor specializing in commercial projects will be needed to oversee both general engineering and construction specifics.
An architect is a skilled professional who creates the plans for buildings and homes and is often hired by a general contractor to oversee the overall construction process. An architect must possess knowledge of local building codes and be experienced in building engineering, as well as the application of those codes to the site. He or she must also be able to draft accurate plans and drawings to ensure the best design can be accomplished with the resources available. Contractors working with architects will require them to submit building permits and provide a clear pathway for obtaining these permits once the project is underway. If permits are not obtained from the appropriate authority, the project could be delayed or even stopped altogether.
In addition to needing to obtain building permits, general contractors need to ensure that all relevant licenses and permits are in place and in good standing before starting any construction project. In most states, a contractor cannot begin construction until he or she receives the necessary licenses. Similarly, all necessary insurance coverage is required prior to starting any building project under state law. Additionally, contractors should conduct regular inspections of their facilities to ensure that they are in compliance with any applicable regulations.
Once a contractor has secured all of these basic documents, he or she can move forward with hiring the appropriate staff to meet his or her design team’s needs. Depending on the size and scope of the project, several staff members may be needed to handle this responsibility. For example, if the contractor is building a shopping center, several laborers will likely be needed to assist with loading and unloading vehicles, setting up merchandise and repairing shop floors. General contractors who have a good amount of experience managing such projects can find work for staff members that have similar skills, such as cashiers and maintenance employees.
Design professionals can also benefit from working with general contractors. Most architecture firms prefer to contract with an architect-designed project because it allows them to focus on their creative side, while their foundation – the foundations, floors, walls and other structural elements – is handled by the contractor. As long as the general contractor complies with all state and local licensing requirements and guarantees to provide a fair and accurate estimate of the job, the architect can focus on designing the interior and exterior details. General contractors do not only offer flexibility during design development, but they can also offer the architect a prominent presence on site. In fact, many architectural firms prefer to hire general contractors for their entire construction project to ensure the highest quality and consistency of elements.