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What Is a Commercial General Contractor, and What Do They Do?

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

If you're a homeowner, property manager, or business owner, you may have experienced some issues during a construction job. For example, the project may be behind schedule, the budget might be stretched too thin, or the work quality needs improvement.

These are all common issues in the construction industry, and it can be frustrating when you don't know how to fix them. One solution to these problems is to hire a general contractor.

A commercial general contractor is a professional who specializes in overseeing and managing commercial construction projects. They are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the project, including hiring subcontractors, obtaining permits, and ensuring that the work gets completed on time, within budget, and to the client's satisfaction.

What Is a Commercial General Contractor?

A commercial general contractor is a professional who oversees and manages construction projects for commercial properties. The type of commercial property ranges from retail spaces to medical offices, restaurants, salons, and more.

Commercial general contractors typically have a network of trusted subcontractors that they work with regularly to complete various aspects of a construction project. These subcontractors may specialize in areas such as plumbing, electrical work, or HVAC, among others.

They may also have a permanent staff member team responsible for tasks such as project management, site supervision, and quality control. These staff members may be employed directly by the general contractor or a subcontractor, depending on the nature of the project.

A quality commercial general contractor like Buildout Pros brings value to every stage of project development and construction, including but not limited to:

  • Preparation and groundwork

  • Design

  • Permitting

  • Procuring equipment and materials

  • Hiring and managing subcontractors

  • Ensuring quality workmanship

  • Client communication

  • Budgeting

  • On-site organization

With their long history of successful jobs, the commercial general contractor is ready to handle any commercial construction project. This includes tenant improvements, occupied remodels, renovations, ground-ups, expansions, and more.

What Does a Commercial General Contractor Do?

Using their knowledge and expertise, contractors are responsible for coordinating all aspects of the project from start to finish. Their duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Planning

  • Budgeting

  • Hiring Subcontractors

  • Scheduling inspections

  • Obtaining necessary permits

  • Managing the commercial construction site

They are also responsible for sorting out any issues that may arise during the project and ensuring that the project gets completed on time, within budget, and to the client's satisfaction.

The best contractors will provide a seamless end-to-end experience by taking charge of the project, starting with design and including all communication with their clients until after the job finishes.

Here’s a deeper look into the typical tasks of a commercial general contractor.

Design and Planning

Some commercial general contractors have design-build capabilities and can assist in the earliest stages of project development, starting at the design phase.

After finalizing a design and getting their client’s approval to start work, the contractor will formulate a plan involving all the operation's moving parts. This includes ordering materials and equipment, hiring and scheduling subcontractors, and laying out a timeline for the construction.

They’ll also provide estimates for the cost and time the development will take and seek their client’s approval for each.

Site Management

The larger the project, the more individuals will be involved in the construction.

Each individual has motivations, experience, and expertise that the commercial general contractor will be responsible for managing.

A skilled and effective leader, the contractor will ensure that all involved work together like a well-oiled machine to turn the project in on time and within budget.

Materials and Equipment

Logistics and schedule management are essential skills that the best commercial contractors will possess.

A commercial general contractor will have a network of vendors and suppliers they'll work with to ensure a smooth and efficient supply chain for the project's duration.

Having materials and equipment delivered on time and before they're needed ensures an efficient build and prevents unnecessary work stoppages that cost clients time and money.

Quality Control

An experienced contractor will be familiar with all aspects of a construction project and have the training and knowledge necessary to ensure that all tasks get completed to a high-quality standard.

Furthermore, they’ll have a network of trustworthy subcontractors to get the job done right the first time.

Client Communication

Since a contractor must also be a great leader, honesty and integrity are the two most important qualities they can have.

They know that a client’s worst fear isn’t that something will go wrong with the build, but that their contractor will leave them out to dry if a mistake happens.

Client communication and service are critical factors of the build that any great commercial general contractor will prioritize.

When to Hire a Commercial General Contractor

Suppose you’re considering a commercial construction project that you expect to take several weeks or months and involve different subcontract work, such as electrical or plumbing. In that case, it’s best to consider hiring a commercial general contractor.

Consider these questions when deciding whether to hire a commercial general contractor.

How Long Should the Project Take?

As a rule of thumb, if you think the project might take more than a few weeks to a month or more, it’s best to consult with a contractor.

If you aren’t sure, seek the advice of an experienced professional, like a commercial general contractor, before work starts.

Will You Need Multiple Subcontractors?

Scheduling and organizing a list of subcontractors is a challenging task. You'll want a professional with decades of experience and a comprehensive network of trusted, high-quality subcontractors to manage your job site, so you don't have to.

Will You Need Licenses or Permits?

Every locale has special permit and licensing requirements that are subject to change over time. If your project requires licensing or permits, you’re best off handing that task to a professional who knows the approval process and how best to seek it out.

Buildout Pros Is the Perfect Fit for Your Next Build

Don’t settle with a contractor who doesn’t make your experience their #1 priority.

Buildout Pros is a company filled with leaders and construction experts with decades of experience on commercial job sites nationwide.

Our seamless, end-to-end client experience is licensed in multiple states and added to the list each year.

We pride ourselves on providing excellent service for all improvements, remodels, renovations, and new builds. We do this by making client care and service our top concern.

Buildout Pros’ team of experts is ready to take the stress of your commercial construction off your shoulders.

Contact us today to get started on your next project.

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