General Contractor

What Does a General Contractor Do?

General Contractor Lexington KY is a professional who manages the logistics of a construction project. They are responsible for a large amount of work on the jobsite and oversee several types of subcontractors.

GCs perform tasks such as planning projects, relaying information to design professionals and painters, arranging facilities, ensuring premise security, managing generated waste, etc.

A general contractor schedules and directs all of the moving components that make a construction project successful. A GC can be an individual or company that oversees all the work on a large-scale building project or even a small remodeling job. Often, they hire subcontractors to complete labor on the site, but they are responsible for the overall construction process and ensuring that the job is completed on time.

Project planning is one of the most important parts of the GC’s role, and involves creating a project timeline and providing teams with specific tasks and deadlines. This ensures that all the work is done on time and in accordance with the project’s budget. GCs also create risk management plans to reduce the chances of cost overruns and delays.

In addition to scheduling and planning, a GC must also keep track of the overall project costs and provide reports to the property owner. They must establish a budget and follow it closely, so they can identify any unnecessary expenses and make corrections accordingly. GCs also manage payroll for their workers and subcontractors.

Another aspect of project planning is setting milestones for each stage of construction. This helps the GC to maintain project efficiency and ensure that all the work is done as per the design and blueprint. GCs are also responsible for coordinating with the architect and confirming that all work is done according to the project specifications.

The GC is also responsible for the supply chain management, including ordering materials and negotiating prices with vendors. They must ensure that all necessary equipment and materials are delivered on the construction site in a timely manner to avoid disruptions to the project. The GC can also employ a team of financial management professionals to handle accounting and bookkeeping.

A GC is usually paid directly by the property owner, but may be responsible for paying subcontractors and suppliers. This can be complicated, especially if the project has multiple tiers of contractors and suppliers. The GC must communicate with all parties involved in the payment chain to ensure that all the required work is being completed and that everyone gets paid on time.

Contract Negotiation

Contract negotiations are a common part of the job for general contractors. They often work with the project manager or owner to negotiate terms, including costs, scope of work, schedules, and other provisions that may affect the project’s success. General contractors should also review contracts thoroughly before accepting them, even during the bidding stage, and have legal counsel review them for issues involving their business interests.

Contract negotiation involves finding a middle ground that suits both parties, especially when the two sides disagree on contract terms. The goal is to create an agreement that ensures both parties are happy and can complete the project successfully without a lot of hiccups along the way. The first step is identifying the goals and issues that must be addressed. This involves discussing each party’s interests, needs and expectations.

The next step is developing a strategy to achieve those goals. It’s important to understand your own position and how it may affect the outcome of the negotiation, so you can develop a plan of action and fallback positions if necessary. The third step is communicating your plan to the other party and engaging in a discussion of the issue. It’s important to be polite and respectful, but firm. You want to make your point in a clear and compelling manner so the other party listens and agrees.

Some key contract clauses posing risks to general contractors include indemnification clauses, pay-if-paid vs pay-when-paid payment provisions and other terms that tend to favor subcontractors. Fylstra says it’s critical to address these issues and consider ways they can be modified to protect general contractors. For example, he suggests negotiating “not-to-exceed” pricing for materials and labor so that the contractor can absorb the risk of increasing material costs while still earning their normal profit margin. This is particularly helpful for projects with uncertain scope. It’s also a good idea to negotiate warranties and other provisions that incentivize the contractor to deliver quality work on time. This can help reduce the number of disputes that could end up in litigation down the line.

Vendor Management

Managing multiple vendors can be overwhelming. To maximize the operational and financial outcomes of your partnership, it’s important to have a clear policy that defines the roles of official committee members who oversee specific steps in the process. This way, you can be confident that your team is on the same page when it comes to establishing and monitoring vendor relationships.

Onboarding processes shouldn’t just focus on bringing new partners on board; it should also help you establish a healthy and productive relationship from the start. A fragmented approach can lead to frustration for both parties. For vendors, it can create the impression that the company isn’t interested in working with them; and for internal teams, it can mean adding extra work to their day.

When onboarding new vendors, you should take the time to gather up all the information and documentation you need to begin working with them. This can include payment information, licenses, insurance forms, and any other relevant details you need to make the relationship successful.

Once you have onboarded a vendor, it’s your job to ensure that they are meeting their contractual obligations and providing quality service at a reasonable price. Keeping an eye on your vendors’ performance helps you spot any issues with their service or products early on, and it gives you the opportunity to renegotiate contracts when necessary.

Licensing is a key part of vendor management, as it ensures that the contractor you’re working with is trustworthy and follows guidelines for insurance, taxes, and safety. Licensing can also help you protect your lien rights when needed.

It’s a general contractor’s responsibility to maintain safety on construction sites. This includes ensuring that all subcontractors and other employees are following safety protocols and utilizing proper equipment for the tasks at hand. It’s also the GC’s responsibility to ensure all materials reach the site on time and are of the required quality. Having quality materials can save a lot on maintenance costs once the project is complete and your facility begins operations.


During construction projects, different teams communicate using their own language and operational processes. This can lead to misunderstandings that take hours or even days to resolve. Miscommunication can cause delays and escalating project costs. This is why it’s important to establish clear communication channels between all parties involved in a construction project, including the GC and subcontractors.

The GC is the person responsible for managing these communication channels. In order to do so, they must first set clear expectations with the team members and provide a detailed plan of how they will work together during the construction process. This plan includes setting deadlines and communicating to all involved that there are consequences for non-performance.

A GC also ensures that the construction team has adequate resources to do their job. They may need to negotiate with vendors and provide purchase orders based on the project budget. GCs must be knowledgeable about construction materials and pricing to provide an accurate estimate of the costs of building components, labor, and other expenses.

Many commercial and public projects are designed and modeled by a design team before a GC is hired to construct the facility. The design team will then share the drawings, specifications and other exhibits with GCs for bidding. The GC will review the bid documents, select their preferred subcontractors and their respective rates, add in overhead costs and submit a quote. The GC then becomes obligated to complete the project for that amount.

If the project owner prefers to work with a specific GC rather than putting the project up for bidding, they will opt for a negotiated contract. This arrangement is referred to as a lump sum or stipulated sum contract. The GC will review the drawings, scope of work and requirements, and select the necessary specialized subcontractors. The GC will then develop their own quote for the entire project, including their own overhead and profit.

It’s important for a GC to be licensed in their area and have the proper insurance coverage. Licensing helps prevent fraud and demonstrates that a contractor is qualified to do the job. It also allows property owners to confirm that a GC is trustworthy and follows guidelines for insurance, taxes and safety.