Category: General Contractor

The Role of a General Contractor

General Contractor

A general contractor (GC) manages construction projects from start to finish. They obligate themselves to project outcomes through contractual agreements with clients or project owners.General Contractor

The GC at Infinity Restoration is responsible for managing and keeping the project’s progress within budget. They may also handle supply chain management for the project’s materials and personnel.

A general contractor manages a complex array of responsibilities for the entire construction project. They hire specialty contractors such as mechanical or electrical contractors to perform specialized work on a specific part of the building. They coordinate these subcontractors, oversee their work onsite and inspect it for quality. They also deal with material and equipment suppliers, who often act as installation contractors and have significant influence on the cost, schedule and completion of a project.

A well-trained and experienced project manager is a key component of a good general contractor team. They understand your goals and priorities, and ensure that all project consultants are aligned with those goals. They use project management tools to track progress, communicate with stakeholders and keep you updated on milestones and timelines.

As the owner’s representative, they will take on a leadership role in developing and establishing plans for the construction process, including the overall sequence of operations, budget, schedule and quality requirements. They will also work with the architect and engineer during the design phase to provide input that makes the project constructible and cost effective. At the completion of the engineering design, they will enter into a construction contract with a general contractor through competitive bidding or negotiation.

Many public agencies are now using the Construction Management (CM) delivery method. This allows them to engage a CM early in the design process to provide constructability input and assist the design team with scheduling, pricing, phasing and other input to make the project more constructible. At the completion of the design, the CM will negotiate a guaranteed maximum price with the general contractor.

As you can imagine, all of this expertise comes with a premium price. Typically, general contractors charge 20% of the overall cost of the project as their fee. For some, this is a convenience worth paying for. For others, it may be worth looking for ways to reduce that percentage and keep costs in check.

Contract Negotiation

Contract negotiation is a key aspect of the general contractor role. The contract is what drives the entire project, and the GC is responsible for ensuring that it covers all necessary details to protect their interests while also providing value to the client. A good understanding of the project scope, scheduling requirements, and risk management processes are essential to a successful negotiation. In addition, having a thorough knowledge of state laws governing construction contract language is also useful. Many times, a GC might find that the form contracts used by an owner or GC include language that doesn’t jive with the specifics of the law in their jurisdiction, which opens the door for renegotiation.

A general contractor can take several different approaches to contract negotiation, such as preparing and reviewing drafts of the project specifications, gathering documents that support the negotiated terms, and setting a timeframe for completing negotiations. It’s important to remember that each party is a person first and that their emotions can affect the negotiation process. In order to have a successful negotiation, it is critical that each party maintains integrity and looks for a win-win solution.

During the commercial bid process, owners often pit multiple contractors against one another in an effort to get the best possible price for the project. Unfortunately, this can often result in multiple change orders down the road, which drive up costs and create potential schedule delays. Using a negotiated process can yield better pricing while eliminating the need for numerous changes and creating a more collaborative environment.

When negotiating with clients, it’s essential to understand their needs and goals. This will help you determine which issues to pursue during the negotiation process. It’s also a good idea to have a written checklist of items that need to be addressed, as well as a list of your own priorities.

One of the most challenging areas for a GC to negotiate is the project scope, or statement of work. Oftentimes, the scope is poorly defined in the document and may not be consistent with the design intent of the project or its overall goal. This is especially true if the scope includes undefined terms or uses industry jargon that can’t be easily translated. In this case, it’s helpful to ask the client to break down the project by identifying the who, what, when, where, and why of each task in the scope to ensure clarity.

Subcontractor Management

One of the hardest tasks for any general contractor is managing subcontractors. They’re not mind readers, so you need to write out exactly what it is that you expect from them in an easy-to-read document. Using software programs for this purpose is often helpful, as these tools can create very detailed images that speak for themselves and leave no room for interpretation.

Having clearly written tasks for subcontractors helps you avoid disputes and claims. In addition to this, it is also important to have regular meetings and progress reports so that any issues can be discussed. This helps keep everyone informed of what is happening on the project and how it’s going to be resolved.

The first step of subcontractor management involves identifying what work needs to be done and getting quotes, bids, or proposals from different subcontractors to see who can do it the best. You’ll also need to determine what contract type you’re going to use. For example, unit price contracts are great when you know exactly what work is needed and have a good idea of the materials that will be used. They are usually easier for the subcontractor to estimate, and can be much quicker to compare than a lump sum contract.

Once the scope and timelines are determined, you’ll need to finalize the contract details with the subcontractor. For example, you’ll need to discuss which payment terms and if there will be any add-ons or changes to the original work description. The contract should also include the payment schedule and if you’re going to require a bond.

Another piece of subcontractor management is ensuring that all work meets safety and quality standards. This is especially important when working with non-union subcontractors. To ensure this, you’ll need to vet them thoroughly. This includes checking references and asking for work examples. In addition, you’ll want to check the subcontractor’s insurance policies and make sure they are up to date.

Keeping tabs on all of this can be difficult, but it’s critical to subcontractor management. Using an all-in-one construction safety platform makes this task much easier. It gives you global visibility down to the individual worker, so you can quickly see if any of your workers’ orientations haven’t been completed or their certifications are out-of-date. This allows you to remediate the issue right away and keep the jobsite safer, more efficient, and productive.


Construction sites are inherently dangerous places, which is why GCs need to be committed to keeping them safe for all involved. They must be aware of hazards and know how to properly respond to them on the fly. They must also ensure that safety protocols are in place, routinely evaluated, and updated as needed. Additionally, GCs must be willing to address safety issues in a timely manner and work with the client and/or project owner to find solutions that minimize risks.

While a GC’s primary responsibility is to meet the expectations of the project owner, they must also balance their interest with those of other key stakeholders on the job site, including subcontractors, vendors and suppliers, the architect, engineers, and property owners. For example, if the project is behind schedule and costs are rising, the GC must be able to negotiate with the owner or project team to come up with a solution that protects their interests while meeting the needs of the owner/project team.

The GC must also be a critical link in the payment chain, which involves the remittance of funds from the project owner to different tiers of contractors and suppliers. The GC must be sure to secure lien waivers, streamline paperwork and communication, and manage the overall process effectively in order to ensure that all parties receive their payments on time.

Lastly, the GC must be aware of and abide by the various federal and local laws, codes, and regulations pertaining to workplace health and safety and environmental protection, as well as any union-negotiated contracts with onsite workers. They must also comply with any project-specific safety rules and procedures established by the project team or the governing body.

The GC must be prepared to defend against OSHA inspections and challenges to citations for violations of occupational health and safety standards on multi-employer worksites, as they are often held jointly responsible with the actual employer for the conduct of their subcontractors at those worksites. As a result, the GC must be able to demonstrate that they exercised reasonable care in supervising their subcontractors and took appropriate actions to prevent or correct unsafe conditions on their worksites.

Stamped Concrete Patios

Stamped Concrete Colorado Springs offers a versatile design solution that fits in well with your home. It can reduce the fire hazard around combustible outdoor appliances and complement your garden, pool, or landscaping.

Hiring professionals is often cost-effective compared to DIY projects, as tools like stamps and concrete mixes can be expensive. Also, proper curing and sealing of the finished surface is essential to prevent damage from exposure to harsh weather conditions.

Pros and Cons of Choosing Decorative Stamped Concrete for Your Patio -  Johnson Concrete

Whether you choose a stamped concrete pattern that mimics the look of stone, wood, brick, cobblestones, tile, or even old-world style flooring, color plays a big role in your final results. With high-quality stamping mats,* available in a wide range of textures and designs, creating natural-looking color variation is easy. This is possible using an integral and surface color hardener broadcast during finishing.

There are two ways to apply the base color to stamped concrete: Integral Color is mixed directly into the concrete before it is poured. This gives you a richer, more consistent color throughout the project. It also means that if chips happen during the pour, the white concrete will be visible, making it easier to repair.

The other way is to use a Surface Color Hardener, which is applied as a powder once the concrete is poured. This gives you more options for color, but it can be messier and produce more dust. It is still relatively easy to work with and cleans up very quickly.

Generally, homeowners choose colors that complement other elements of their landscaping and home. Earth tones are very popular, from grays and tans to red tones such as terra-cotta and mahogany. Other choices include shades of blue and green for a more contemporary look or charcoal and black tones for a dramatic impact.

Once you’ve decided on the overall design, the choice of color becomes much more personal. If you are going for a more rustic or natural look, using multiple colors in the same project is often recommended to create a more realistic finish. This will help the concrete look more like the material it is imitating, and it can also enhance the texture of the surface.

The most common way to add color to stamped concrete is to broadcast a release powder over it once it is poured. This can be done in various color combinations, usually used to highlight or accent the design being stamped into the concrete.

Compared to other paving materials like stone, slate, or wood, stamped concrete is less expensive and offers more flexibility in design. In addition, it is more practical than these other materials as it does not require grout lines and will not rot or splinter. This textured and colored concrete is typically created using stamped concrete mats that produce various imprinted patterns and textures.

Many of the colors used in stamped concrete are earth tones that mimic the natural building materials intended to imitate. These colors include browns and tans, grays and charcoals, and redder tones like terra cotta. These shades are often combined to create more vibrant and contrasting color options.

A specialized release agent must be applied to the concrete surface to produce realistic and varied texture in stamped concrete. This can be done in one of two ways – through a powdered or spray-on color release. The cast-on color release comprises calcium-releasing powders that repel water, while the spray-on color release is a light aromatic-based solvent.

Once the base color and release agent are applied, the stamped concrete can be pressed into place with concrete stamps that match the desired pattern. This step is important to ensure the finished product looks uniform and professional. In some cases, a concrete retarder can slow the set time of the concrete slab in the area where the stamps are being placed so that the concrete has sufficient time to bind with the new surface and create a durable bond.

Once the stamped concrete has been shaped and colored, it must be sealed to preserve its appearance and longevity. A reputable contractor can advise you on your project’s best sealant. Butterfield Color offers a premium line of curing and sealing products called Clear Guard® Cure & Seal, designed specifically for decorative concrete applications. To keep your fixed and sealed concrete looking its best, periodic inspections will be necessary to identify any damage or areas that need attention and repair.

Stamped concrete can be textured and colored to mimic the look of stone, wood, brick, or tiles. The flexibility of stamped concrete allows you to create an outdoor space that is unique and that fits perfectly with your home or business.

Many factors determine the cost of your stamped concrete project. The overall size of the area to be covered and the complexity of the pattern are important considerations. Hiring a professional is usually the best option to ensure the job is completed correctly and promptly.

Before you begin stamping, it is important to apply a layer of our Tru Impression Liquid Release product evenly across the surface of your concrete stamps. This will prevent the concrete from sticking to the stamps and creating uneven results. After applying a release layer, carefully align your concrete stamps to match your desired design. When laying out the stamps, make sure to overlap the edges of each one by 4 to 6 inches.

After you have laid out the stamps, carefully press them onto the concrete, using firm but consistent pressure. Once the concrete is stamped, tamp down the skins with appropriate tamping tools. Be careful not to walk on the concrete with your heels or the balls of your feet, as this can cause unwanted impressions in your finished concrete.

Once the concrete is tamped, allow it to dry for a few hours before applying your color. Follow the instructions provided by your concrete contractor for the best results. Once the concrete has dried, you can use a blower to clear away any dust or debris from the finish and wash off any remaining liquid-release products.

If you have any questions about the concrete coloring process, don’t hesitate to contact your local distributor or Butterfield Color. They can provide you with more information about base colors, release colors, washing, cutting, and maintenance.

As with any construction, a few risks are associated with stamped concrete. For example, if the concrete isn’t installed properly or if it is not finished promptly, it may crack. This cannot be easy to fix, so hiring a professional to complete the work is always best. In addition, the concrete is prone to heaving and expanding in cold weather, which can also lead to cracking over time. This is less of a problem with pavers and slabs, which have regular seams to accommodate movement.

The glamorous appearance of stamped concrete can last a long time if it is maintained properly. However, like any other exterior surface, it will need periodic cleaning and resealing.

Using a garden hose on a low setting to spray down the surface of a stamped concrete patio or driveway can remove dirt and grime without damaging it. If you prefer, a mild liquid cleaner can be used. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Please avoid using power washers on stamped concrete, which can damage the surface.

Staining from oil and grease can also mar the beauty of a stamped concrete surface. If you notice any stains, try cleaning them as soon as possible before they can set in. Liquid dish soap or an alkaline degreaser should work well on most stains. Just test the cleaner on a small area first and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Another way to keep your stamped concrete looking its best is by resealing the surface every two years. A sealant will protect the concrete from abrasion and water penetration, and it will help to prevent stains as well. A good quality concrete sealer should last at least two to three years, although harsh winters or scorching summers can speed up deterioration.

A good resealing will restore the shine and color of your stamped concrete and make it easier to clean. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying the sealer, and allow it to dry completely before using the area.

Training your pets not to relieve themselves on the stamped concrete is also a good idea, as their urine contains acids that can damage the concrete. Finally, by installing a shade structure over the concrete, you can reduce the impact of harsh UV rays on its color. While the initial investment of a shade structure may be more expensive than an asphalt or brick surface, protecting your stamped concrete from the effects of sun exposure will save you money in the long run.