Developments in The Building Contractor Industry

  • June 22, 2024
  • 5 min read

This article from the BBC is talking about technology not transforming building. Robots can’t yet construct a building. I had a really good picture here of some people lifting up the wall of a building, and if you took a worker from a 1920s construction site and transported them to a present-day project, they wouldn’t be surprised by what they saw. That’s the headline, which is true. Most of the building procedures and construction skills are about the same. They might see some power tools and more modern versions of hammers and lumber, but basically, it’s the same thing. And that’s because building has not yet become technical or technological for that matter.

Role of General Contractors
General contractors are the key to having structures be put together from a blueprint, from an architectural drawing based on the client. So if you’re looking to put on an addition, put on a new building, remodel, or do tenant improvements in a commercial property, the general contractor is going to be the one that takes all the plans, takes all the input from the client, makes sure that passes code and building permits, and coordinates with all the subcontractors. You need a lot of specialized skills to put together a job: plumbers, framers, electricians, insulation, roofers. There are dozens of subcontractor skill sets that go into a build project. You have to source the lumber and materials, and that’s what the general contractor does.

Coordination and Expertise
The general contracting company may do some of the work—they may do some of the framing, siding, and painting, who knows—but it’s more important that they coordinate the job. They’re like a big project manager, and a good general contractor can be worth its weight in gold because they’re going to be the one that creates excellence on that work site. They ensure the project doesn’t go past budget or the time needed for completion. So if you’re working on planning for a larger project, even before you hire the general contractor, start to think about your strategy, what the important factors are, and use that as a decision-making process before you even hire the GC. Different general contractors may have different skills and expertise. Some may be better at residential, some at commercial, some at single-story buildings, some at multistory buildings. So you want to get a sense of what that general contractor is more skilled at.

Consultation and Customer Service
Your video will be back in 8 seconds. In the meantime, remember you have access to live one-on-one consultation and undivided attention from a licensed, certified expert in this subject and many others. We want to listen to your story, hear your questions, and give you expert advisement on your options. We want to tell you what we know about your situation and what options you have. Now, back to your video. Build an expert at, you know, another example is many general contractors like to do the excavation part—digging out the foundation, putting in the footings. Some don’t do that at all. So if your project is excavation-heavy, you want to make sure your GC is familiar with that so they’re not subbing that out. Subbing out the things that are heavy in your project could add to the cost.

Bidding Process
You do want to get some bids; you don’t want to just hire the first person that you find. But on the other hand, you don’t want to get too many bids. If you’re putting it out for seven or eight bids for a medium-sized project, you run the risk of finding that one bidder that bids too low just to try to throw a monkey wrench into the gears—they can’t finish the job. You also throw it into the wrench of other contractors finding out you’re bidding it all over town, so they’re not going to take you seriously. Two or three is sometimes a sweet spot number, depending on the market in your area. Of course, if you don’t feel like the two or three you talk to are a good fit for you, then you can reach beyond that, but you should do that first. You should talk to the contractors before you get bids and find out who’s a good fit. Find out which ones communicate well with you, which ones are curious about your project. Maybe if they come out, scope out the job, and look at it, put eyeballs on it, walk the lot with you before they even bid, that tells you they’re interested and hands-on with the customer. They may not be able to do that with every bid because they may have 20 bids for every job and may not want to take unpaid time away from paying clients. But the more customer service you get from the general contractor, the better.

Insurance and Licensing
Also, make sure they’re properly insured, bonded, and licensed. Make sure none of those are expired. You can double-check that. We have a division that’s a licensed private investigative agency; we can check that out for you. We also have a division that’s a licensed commercial insurance broker, so we can also answer questions about insurance. If you need to discuss with an expert any of these subjects for a consultation, you can click the link below and arrange to ask any questions you want live one-on-one with a licensed contractor, a licensed investigator, or a licensed insurance company—even surety bonds. But make sure that you treat the construction project as a serious endeavor because it’s going to cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands, and you want to make sure you get the right kind of professional to complete that job so it comes out the way you want, and you don’t have to go back later and fix problems.

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