General Contracting Company

07:50 Feb 2023
Top-rated General Contractor in Houston - Marwood Construction

Why Should I Hire a General Contracting Company?

How do you know if you should hire a general contracting company for your next ground-up construction project or renovation project? Although there are no clearly defined guidelines that support a clearly defined decision, there are indeed some telling signs that should guide you in your decision-making.

A general contracting company is operated by a team of experienced experts providing various construction management skills. This team of experts is commonly called general contractors. A general contractor by definition is the prime construction contractor that is the overall construction expert in the building or renovation of their chosen structures type.

There are many construction industry sectors in that a general contracting company provides services. These different industry sectors include institutional, commercial, industrial construction, and residential construction building types. Successfully hiring the right building contractor requires the owner‘s understanding of their construction needs.

The general contracting company’s principal role is to facilitate the management of new construction or remodeling improvements. They prepare planning for all general contracting activities to execute the delivery of a construction project from start to finish.

A general contracting company manages the procurement of materials and contracting of trade specific subcontractors to perform the required work. In addition, they manage the financial, safety, the resource logistics and are responsible for the overall construction performance.

So, what type of new construction and remodeling improvements necessitate the services of a general contracting company? View our infographic.

Residential General Contractors

Residential general contracting companies service homeowners in single-family dwellings. They offer to build contracting services for new home construction and home remodeling.

The normal project in that owners solicits general contracting services are the construction of new homes, home additions, whole home remodels, and larger projects that require multiple subcontractors and compliance inspections.

Home improvements such as new roofing, flooring, and painting do not warrant the expense of a residential general contractor. These tasks are often offered by skilled trade specialists in each field.

Commercial General Contractors

Commercial general contracting companies service public and private buildings that serve a variety of businesses such as offices, retail, restaurants, big box stores, manufacturing, food processing, and general maintenance services.

The distinctive differences between commercial construction from residential contraction are the construction methods of the buildings and the construction codes that govern life safety and disability access for disabled people.

Top-rated General Contractor in Houston - Marwood Construction

Why should you use a general contractor?

Benefits of a Certified Licensed General Contractor

The only advantage for electing not to use a Houston general contractor is that you are convinced you will save money on your construction project. So, the question you may ask yourself is, is it worth the savings and overall increased risk to your project to be my own general contractor?

To answer this question, you must completely understand what the general contractor actually does as well as the associated risks with these responsibilities.

Unfortunately, the State of Texas does not require the licensing of a Houston general contractor. The State of Texas does require licensing for plumbers, electricians, and mechanical contractors.

They are required to provide proof of proficiency and pass an exam of minimum standards and trade building codes. This provides a higher confidence of competency and an additional source of authority oversight.

Quality professional prime contractors will continue to expand their education and stay current with new laws and required building code updates to be effective in their services.

may not require licensing certification, but professional continued education is an effective method to enforce the essential business prerequisite for maintaining the highest standards in the industry.

What then are the benefits in Texas if the general contractors are not required to be licensed?

One of the most effective ways to determine a Houston general contracting company’s competency is by openly discussing their experience. A seasoned general contractor in Houston should have a long list of completed projects to share with his qualified prospects.

These projects should reflect a similar design and quality equal to meet their client’s expectations. It is important to discuss the construction methods and practices of their past projects to determine a builder’s knowledge, passion, and business acumen. To learn more about the qualities of a general contractors.

How Should I Hire a Residential Contractor or Commercial General Contractor?

The most effective method of soliciting and hiring either a residential contractor or a commercial contractor is to search the internet for the appropriate skilled prime contractor. Visit their website to look at their portfolio and read through their professional accreditations. Contact the building contractors that you have an interest in speaking with for the goal of developing a short list of qualified professionals.

Once you have a short list of Houston general contracting companies you want to dive a bit deeper into business dealings that matter most to you. By arriving at a comfort level with your short list of building contractors you can solicit bids with the construction documents you have prepared or you can hire them for design-to-build contracting services. We have provided an infographic summarizing the hiring of your building contractor.

Defining General Contracting Risk

There are an unlimited number of inherent systemic and non-system risks associated with the general contracting business model. A building contractor is required to either retain expert advisers or be experts in such specialty fields as finance, contract law, lien laws, and the fundamentals of all trade contracting.

Not maintaining a higher level of risk mitigation can cause the most talented construction experts to fail. It is for this reason alone that warrants the use of a qualified prime contractor instead of doing it yourself.

Another major factor is the time required to manage the many moving parts to a construction project. As a nonprofessional, it will take you much more time than an experienced builder.

A general contracting company mitigates much of the construction risk through the contract process. The construction performance standards and material specifications are carefully defined in the building plans, engineering, and proposal/contract terms, and conditions.

If properly structured these conditions can provide a specific and controlling framework for narrowing risk. In addition, proper insurance can considerably reduce the risk of nonsystemic occurrences.

One of the greatest risks of general contracting that many owners do not take into consideration when undertaking a construction project is the risk of compounding errors. This is better known in the legal contract field as consequential damages.

Compounding errors result from a subsequent stage of construction resulting in quality noncompliance and the proceeding construction improvements continuing these errors. Hence, one error results in additional errors or additional cost of uncovering finished work to repair the errors.

For instance, this occurs when a foundation is formed ”out of square” or out of level and the framer follows the foundation without making the required adjustments. By the time the home project is completed half of the trades work is not in compliance with best practices and tolerance standards.

The substandard quality performance has been compounded by the results of the non-conforming foundation performance affecting the stage of construction improvements. 


Prime Contractors and Subcontractors

The distinctive difference between a general contracting company and a subcontractor is in the contractual relationship between the parties. The construction contractor usually conducts business as a prime contractor with the property owner. They in turn will hire each separate trade contractor as a subcontractor to the prime agreement.

The prime contractor’s administrative response to the owner is for making payments, administrating progress lien releases, and insurance enforcement as named insured. The prime contractor is also responsible for originating the required building permits, compliance progress inspections, and the final inspections and closing out the permit. Not completing these tasks can result in many unwelcome issues in the future for the owner.

Another essential responsibility of the general contracting company is the effective and efficient scheduling of the proper subcontractor in a sequential and logical progression. Many owners do not understand the importance of an orderly and progressive nature of scheduling subcontractor work. There are many issues associated with the improper scheduling of progressive work.

The first is that if the work is incomplete or out of sequence the cost of these tasks will increase due to many return trips. In addition, not inspecting the completeness or quality of each formal work task can cause issues in workmanship to be required to be redone.

This in turn causes additional expenses for the subcontractor that must redo their work because of the previous subcontractors’ corrections. Poorly executed schedules can also cause subcontractors frustration resulting in subcontractors walking off jobs, major scheduling delays, and poor overall job site quality from lack of subcontractor morale.

One last major benefit worthy of noting is that a professional building contractor makes a significant contribution to the owner as a trusted adviser. If hired for the right reasons a general contractor will more than pay for themselves.

This is due to the professional and proper project execution resulting in saving the owner personal time, insulating the owner from unforeseen risk, and eliminating the expense associated with the need to redo completed workmanship and poor design that could have been avoided.


It is highly risky not to use a general contracting company for any major residential construction or commercial construction project. It more than pays for the building contractors’ fees in controlled construction costs and properly managed construction risks. To learn more by visiting what you should know about general contractors.

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