Construction Contracting – Building Contractors Houston

11:14 Mar 2023

Any major construction project requires the services of a building contractor offering construction contracting. When the building contractor hires skilled trades to perform 3rd party construction contracting, they are considered the prime contractor. The task and activities of carrying out their requirements is commonly referred to as construction contracting.

Houston building contractors that self-perform work activity in new construction or renovations are also referred to as construction contractors. By definition any building contractor that is any proprietor or construction company that performs construction services for others is indeed performing the act of construction contracting.

Building contractors Houston have the expertise in carrying out new construction or remodeling of specific building types such as institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential. In addition to being called general contractors, they are also known professionally by names such as builders, prime contractors, general contractors and construction contractors. Although the function of these titles is the same, they may carry different cultural connotations in both residential and commercial construction contracting.

The primary role of building contractors Houston is to facilitate the construction contracting of a new building or renovation of an existing building, right from its inception to completion. Construction contracting is the act of the builder scheduling and coordinating all work activities needed to complete an assigned project successfully. It also includes the responsible for maintaining documentation related to vendor contracts, quality control, and insurance.

There are varied reasons to engage a general contractor for any type of construction contracting project. Among the many reasons associated with hiring a building contractor Houston for larger projects are the requirements of a higher level of technical expertise, lender funding, a specified timeline to complete, and the owner’s aim to control the cost.

The alternative to such hiring is Do It Yourself (DIY), which can turn out to be a catastrophe is the owner does not have the requisite experience. So, the money to be saved through the DIY model can get consumed by a variety of different costly mistakes from lack of experience or knowledge.   

To understand the role, responsibilities, and nature of construction contracting for a typical Houston building contractor, we start with defining the various types of general contractors offering residential and commercial construction services. Read details about the construction contracting services offered by Marwood Construction.

We discuss construction contracting with building contractors Houston


Various Types of Building Contractors Houston

Building contracting is all about the process of construction constructing a new house or remodeling an existing house and taking care of every associated detail such as labor, equipment, permits, and material. They can be divided into two categories; a self-performing contractor who engages employees of his or her firm and prime contractors who hire subcontractors to perform the job.

The other way to categorize a Houston building contractor is by defining them by industry domain sector. So, in the case of the 2 largest sectors, there are residential and commercial general contractors performing very similar roles and responsibilities but with different types of buildings, to either build ground up or remodel. The main differences are with the national building compliance codes. These building code differences are primarily associated with the public use of commercial buildings requiring fire code protection and accessibility for public safety.

Commercial Construction Contractors

Commercial contractors provide the owners of commercial properties, namely, office buildings, shopping malls, restaurants, retail centers, warehouses, and big box stores, construction contracting services. Further, there are institutional commercial contractors who specialize in building infrastructure projects such as airports, manufacturing facilities, bridges, and others. However, for the sake of discussion, we will refer to non-institutional commercial contracting services.

Commercial construction requires more experience and expertise than conventional construction practices. Any commercial contracting would require the knowledge of construction codes, namely, ADA handicap necessities and life safety. Such construction may also require fire suppression systems comprising fire sprinklers and fire alarms, and major civil infrastructure development work such as drainage retention, earthwork, public parking, and others.

Since the access of the general public to commercial properties is required, there is a greater need to document every aspect of construction and interacting with municipal departments. Commercial building contractors should stay updated about commercial MEP codes, as well as the energy code changes, which are more comprehensive than residential building codes. Click here to learn more about commercial construction general contractors.

Residential Construction Contractors

Construction contracting for residential construction is not clearly defined compared to commercial construction, and many residential general contractors are known by other names, namely, builders, building contractors, general contractor, remodeling contractors or home builders.

It is when a remodeling contractor or home builder starts working on a project involving multiple activities such as the supply of labor, material, and equipment that general contracting comes into play. Both home builders and remodeling contractors can function as self-performing prime contractors.  

In this article, we shall refer to the residential general contractors with titles such as builders and remodelers, luxury home builders, and luxury home builders. Besides, since Marwood Construction also functions as a Houston luxury builder, we shall also refer them with this service title.

So, at Marwood Construction, we also work as Houston building contractors and Houston luxury home builders. As Houston building contractors, we are responsible to the owners for all general contracting roles and responsibilities for constructing buildings from the construction documents. Also, being the luxury home builders, we operate in a similar manner but also carry out curated services to design any change request, special locations for HVAC vents and lighting, floor layout patterns and millwork details.  

Since building a luxury home is one type of custom product, luxury builders need to interact with the owner to review every detail of the construction process. The details may include interior framing changes from the original plans, electrical placement of lighting and outlets as well as changes to cabinetry layouts while finalizing then kitchen layout.

Being a highly prestigious and sensitive construction business, a luxury home building requires the Houston building contractors to spend more time with the owners during the entire construction process. Read our resource to know more about luxury home building services.   

Prime Contractors and Subcontractors

The main difference separating the building contractor from a subcontractor is the contractual relationship existing between the parties. For instance, the general contractor operates as a prime contractor by conducting the business of construction contracting. He or she, in turn, hires separate contractors or subcontractors to fulfill the contract agreement.

The principal responsibilities of prime general contractors to the homeowner include making payments, enforcing insurance, and administrating progress lien releases. The building contractor is also accountable to arrange for building permits, compliance inspections, and closing the permit. Not performing these activities can invite several adverse issues in the future.

Another responsibility to be carried out by a general contractor includes the scheduling of the subcontractor in an orderly manner, an important activity that is often lost on the homeowner. In the absence of proper scheduling of subcontractor work, many issues can crop up such as cost escalation due to the many return trips.

Additionally, by not inspecting the quality of the completed work may cause workmanship issues only to be redone later. This can cause additional expenses to be incurred by the owner. Also, improper schedule execution can result in frustration among the subcontractors who may then walk off the project or deliver poor quality of work.  

A major benefit of engaging a professional building contractor is the kind of advice he or she may offer. If engaged for the right job, the cost savings for the owner shall be significant. It will also result in saving the personal time of the owner, eliminating the need for rework, avoiding poor design, and insulating the owner from any unforeseen risks.


Certified Licensed General Contractor – The Benefits

The lone benefit for not using a building contractor and doing it the DIY way is saving money on the project. So, the question arises, is it worth going the DIY way?

To get the answer, you should know about the roles and responsibilities of a general contractor and the associated risks.

The state of Texas does not require the general contractor to have any license. The State of Texas requires professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and mechanical contractors to furnish proof of proficiency and pass an exam of minimum standards, to obtain a license. Hence, a professional building contractor should subscribe to continued education by staying updated with the current building codes and laws to remain effective in the delivery of services.

Although Texas may not mandate the use of any licensing certification for a general contractor (and the above-mentioned professionals), such a certification would provide for continued education and the essential prerequisites as far as maintaining the high standards is concerned. You may read our blog detailing the services provided by a general contractor.

So, as an owner living in Texas and looking to build or renovate a property by hiring general contractors, what will be the benefit if the contractors do not need to possess any license?

To determine their competency in the absence of a license, you need to discuss their experience and look into the completed projects. Every seasoned general contractor should have a list of projects to be shared with his or her prospective clients. These projects should give you an idea of the design and build quality that you are looking to incorporate into your project.

You need to discuss with them the methods of construction and practices followed in their previously completed projects to understand their business acumen, knowledge, and passion for work. You may view our infographic on the advantages of hiring a general contractor for your project.

Risks Associated with a Building Contractor

The Houston general contractor model of business can be associated with several risks, both systemic and non-systemic. The Houston building contractor is expected to be an expert in fields such as contract law, finance, lien laws, and the fundamentals of general contracting or he or she may hire experts in these fields.

However, risk mitigation is an important area of construction contracting that builders should look into to avoid failure. For this reason, you should hire a Houston building contractor for new construction or remodeling your home instead of following the DIY model. Another reason is time management, which a professional can do better than you.

A professional building contractor Houston can mitigate most of the risks associated with construction. The performance standards and specifications of materials are earmarked in the building plan, proposal, or contract terms. If followed to the T, these can help mitigate or narrow down any unforeseen risks. Also, risks associated with non-systemic occurrences can be reduced through insurance.

Compounding errors are generally not considered as risks by many house owners. These errors can happen in subsequent stages of construction due to the non-compliance with quality standards. For instance, when a foundation is built ‘out of square’ or ‘out of level’ and the subsequent construction is done without making the necessary adjustments.

So, when the project nears completion, most of the work will not comply with the best practices and tolerance standards. Such sub-standard quality performance gets compounded by the outcome of the non-compliant foundation.


As Houston building contractors, we aim to provide quality workmanship and knowledge to our clients in a timely manner and at a competitive rate for their construction contracting needs. Any luxury home construction is a risky proposition for both building contractors Houston and owners. It is only by following open communication that both parties can mitigate risks and manage the challenges and complexities associated with a luxury home building exercise.

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