Contractors are responsible for handling the construction process of a building.
Some of the duties of a construction contractor are to ensure that a building project starts and finishes within a stipulated time, prepare and oversee the implementation of the construction budget, supervise subcontractors on the site, and establish effective communication among workers on the site.
Hiring a building contractor before the start of a construction process is almost unavoidable. There are bound to be logistics problems if a contractor is not present to oversee the construction process.
Failure to hire a contractor to oversee the logistics may lead to misunderstandings between construction workers, which may hamper the completion of the construction.
There are different types of construction contractors. As a prospective homeowner looking forward to erecting your dream home, it's essential you get acquainted with the types of contractors, know the role they play during construction, and the advantage of hiring them over others.
Below are the different types to consider.
They are also called 'main contractors' and can be viewed from two perspectives. As the name suggests, they’re not specialists in any area of construction.
They have general building skills and can oversee a wide range of tasks on the construction site, especially if it's not a big project.
They’re hired in large construction sites to oversee the work of other contractors. Their broad knowledge and skills put them in the right position to hire the right subcontractors for specific tasks and ensure that they carry out their jobs effectively.
You may decide what role a general contractor will perform on your site, depending on the size of your home.
Construction managers specialize in coordinating contracts between trade contractors and their clients. When a client hires trade contractors for his project, he hands them over to a construction manager who supervises them and organizes the team.
Construction managers can also be seen as client's consultants or agents. They are also involved in preparing the facilities to be used on the site, splitting the project into smaller workloads, and overseeing and coordinating activities on site.
After the design of your home, you can hire a construction manager to advise you properly on how to select trade contractors (who will carry out the work), procure building materials, arrange for the welfare of workers, tender trade contracts, and so on.
As you’re planning on building your home, you may consider hiring trade contractors. They’re usually hired by a client but managed by a construction manager or main contractor.
This implies that you have to first hire a construction manager who will oversee the activities of other subcontractors including trade contractors. However, they are simply referred to as ‘trade contractors’ and not subcontractors because they are hired directly by the client and not through main contractors.
Trade contractors include carpenters, brick masons, electricians, plumbers, and painters. They get their training by attending vocational schools and through apprenticeships. They specialize in a particular area in building technology and, when contracted, employ the services of other craftsmen whom they supervise.
The bulk of the work on-site is executed by trade contractors. The training they receive allows them to read and interpret project plans and make meaningful contributions to the projects.
Hiring a trade contractor is almost unavoidable except if the contractors will be at liberty to subcontract the workload to other subcontractors.
You must understand that hiring trade contractors alongside a construction manager will help to reduce costs. This is because the management of the trade contractors will be well-handled by a construction manager.
This is different from a construction manager. When you hire a management contractor, you don't need to hire subcontractors that will execute various sections of the workload.
Upon hiring, the management contractor hires subcontractors that will undertake various tasks on the site, unlike construction managers who will only manage the subcontractors hired by you.
The subcontractors hired by management contractors are called 'works contractors'. In some cases, you may require direct warranties from the works contractors so that you can hold them responsible whenever they incur any damage during the construction process.
A management contractor always ensures that ongoing work doesn’t damage completed works on the site. This kind of interference is likely to occur because there are always different subcontractors on a site at the same time, and they’re likely to get their work done at different times.
The management contractor also ensures that the work contractors keep up with the deadline and there is a good synergy among the workers.
An advantage of hiring a management contractor is that it will save you the stress of subcontracting the workload yourself, especially if your job allows you just a little spare time and you need to execute your building project in the shortest possible time.
The management contractor uses his expertise in construction and years of experience to select the best works contractors for your project.
There's bound to be a high level of understanding between the management contractor and the works contractors because the selection of the works contractors was personally done by the management contractor.
These types of contractors perform a dual function. They are hired to carry out the design of a building, after which they are given funds to execute the plans into reality.
This is a deviation from the traditional system of construction where a consultant is first hired to map out a plan before handing it over to a contractor to build using the plan.
The responsibility of a design-and-build contractor involves designing the plan, organizing subcontractors, and supervising the construction process to ensure that it meets the client's demand.
If you hire a design-and-build contractor and wish to influence the concept of the design of your home, you can first employ a consultant to make a basic design outline and specifications before forwarding it to a contractor who then completes the design and executes it.
However, your contractor may design the plan or hire an external designer who may either design a plan from the beginning or complete a plan you've presented before executing it.
You may consider hiring a design-and-build contractor if your dream home is not a big one and doesn’t require a complex design. They offer a lot of advantages over most types of contractors as they are laddered with the responsibility of designing and building your project. This will save you a lot of stress.
The cost of hiring these types of contractors may be on a high side or low side, depending on the factors that play out.
A design-and-build contractor may reduce the cost of hiring a separate consultant to design your building. On the other hand, he may charge you exorbitantly since there won't be any competition over the design of the building with any consultant.
As a way of ensuring that the design done by the contractor meets the required standard, you may employ the services of a consultant to review the design.
A principal contractor is responsible for ensuring that the safety and health of workers on a construction site are guaranteed. This is in addition to the duties of a typical contractor, which involves planning, managing, and coordinating construction activities on the site.
There's usually only one principal contractor present on a site. He may also be referred to as the main contractor.
If your dream home is a large project that requires the presence of many contractors, hire a principal contractor even before the construction begins. This will give him enough time to plan the construction process properly.
A good advantage of hiring a principal contractor is that he will ensure that the contractors under his control are well-grounded in their areas of specializations and can carry out their work in a way that guarantees their safety and the safety of other workers on the site. Safety is a priority of principal contractors.