What Benefits Come from Building with a General Contractor?
(Part 2 of our 2 part series on the benefits of working with General Contractors)
From part 1 of our general contractor series (read more HERE) we highlighted the times during a project’s life cycle that requires a strong hand of leadership from a general contractor to be sure your project avoids issues. Today’s post will speak about the proactive, outwardly-facing benefits of retaining a general contractor.
It is very easy initially to try to “go it alone” for construction projects; but once the grind of a project day in and day out takes over, owners often want to get professional help with years of expertise to augment the process. The allure of cutting out a general contractor’s fee for his or her work is a common one. There are multiple issues in this approach as construction is a complex animal that can take on a horrifying life of its own; projects have to be tamed effectively and constantly. (See more information on methods of taming such projects in a blog post HERE.) That is because lacking the seasoned knowledge and expertise, performing a project without a general contractor means that you have no one on your side who can spot and address potential issues before they become major challenges for your project. It is a rare project that is a user-friendly one. That is why general contractors are so valuable, they protect the project from becoming a liability and can help you to avoid issues.
But there is so much more to be said about the benefits of having an agent in your corner for your project. Read on below for more.
The benefits of a general contractor:
“Time is money” is the reality in life. The longer a contractor does his or her work, the more they charge you, the more money you lose, the less money you make from a fully-commissioned project. A general contractor can keep an eye on both the budget and schedule, reducing cost by harmonizing and coordinating the various needs of the project. In the case of a design build project, the general contractor can start the purchasing process immediately while design is underway to both save costs and time, which—again—really is saving costs.
2. Opportunity cost
“Opportunity cost” is the concept of how much money it costs you to not be doing a certain thing. If your commissioned project brings in, for example, $5,000 a day, out of a $300,000 dollar project, then time is the most important of considerations. The thought of trying to avoid costs because of general contractor’s fees is not a wise one simply because he or she can help you get a completed project more quickly.
Here is a quick example of the opportunity cost of not hiring a general contractor:
Project duration without a general contractor: 100 days
Project duration with a general contractor: 80 days
Cost per day to be made with your project commissioned: $5,000 / day
General contractor fee for this project: $45,000
Opportunity cost with a general contractor speeding up your project by 20 days: $100,000.
Total opportunity cost on the project (opportunity cost – general contractor fee): $55,000
Often when we look at price alone we miss out on the opportunity cost. A general contractor is a key to getting the most value out of your building when time is of the essence.
3. Headaches and stress can be avoided.
Let us just be blunt: projects can cause headaches (metaphorical and literal), ulcers, even heart attacks (if we are going to be extreme). The trust and saved headaches from having a general contractor be the agent for you will prevent you from these kinds of fringe issues that no one thinks about beforehand.
Did the supply chain have a problem? Let the general contractor expertly deal with it. Did a subcontractor fail to show up today? Let the general contractor take care of it. Did your daughter’s dance recital just get rescheduled when the concrete was to be poured for your foundation? Let the general contractor ensure quality.
Do you see the great fringe benefit of letting an experienced professional do it?
4. We bring expertise to the project.
The fact is that most owners are not experts in construction. Why should they be? You are an expert in business, non-profit work, raising money, industry standards, or caring for your customers, etc. But why should you take the time to learn about the difficult world of construction as well? Do you really want to learn all of it so quickly to the neglect of your other duties? And will a rushed, book-knowledge only kind of experience be sufficient for so grand a project as yours?
Let a general contractor—someone who is an expert in the field—step in where you need help.
5. We can address issues before they become problems.
An issue is something that can be managed. A problem takes damage control and often extreme measures to correct.
Similar to constructability reviews by a general contractor, turning your project over to us will allow us to address issues before they ever arise. Our keen eye at construction and doing things right will prevent your project from having those unforeseen roadblocks. Let us take charge in all phases and we can prepare your project even more for success.
6. We return bandwidth to you.
Focus on what you do best and let us deliver. The general contractor gives bandwidth back to the project owner by virtue of our joint ownership of the process and commitment to deliver what you want. Simply turn over the project to us and be as involved or not involved as you want. The project will still move forward at the right pace because we take ownership to get you what you want while you are able to do what you do best.
The leisure you afford yourself by hiring a general contractor frees you up to excel in your field and to capture that opportunity cost that you have been missing.
It makes monetary sense to employ a general contractor. These costs for his or her expertise are investments into your important project. We can truly save time, money, and ensure quality simply by bringing years of expertise to the project. From fringe benefits of lessened headaches and more bandwidth for our customers, to hard costs of contract management and constructability reviews, you will see real savings outweighing the fee we request. Let us do it for you as you do what you do best.
At Constructable, we are a design build general contractor who apply these benefits to every project if you let us. We guide our clients through the entire life cycle of a project. At every phase we offer value, from design and engineering to quality and safety. Through our joint ownership of a project until we hand it off to you, we know that the burden to produce is on us. Let us begin our relationship HERE for a great and exciting future building together.