General Contractor Responsibilities During Construction

09:53 May 2023
General Contractor Responsibilities

The general contractor is the most important contractor on a construction project. Hence, it follows the logic that the general contractor’s responsibilities during construction are critical to the success of any project.

The general contractor’s responsibilities are immense due to the fact that they manage all materials, equipment, and subcontractors that are contracted to perform during the project.

Construction is a high-risk business and requires a huge capital outlay. Without the prime contractor’s leadership, you will find it extremely difficult to plan or analyze or execute, let alone overcome the challenges of achieving the desired performance results.

Given this expertise, the general contractor knows what it takes to enliven your ideas, meet the specifications, and ensure the satisfactory completion of the job.

Whether it is a residential or commercial project, hiring a prime building contractor is always suggested so that your interests are represented in the best manner possible.

Having said that, we would also like to remind you that some general contractors can have a specialized niche, while others might be generalists operating in different industry verticals.

So, as a matter of further due diligence, we recommend you learn about the different types of general contractors before you hire one for your project.

From the idea inception through the development to completion, a general contractor in Houston leads and manages every aspect of your project by adding value at every step.

General Contractor Responsibilities Include Both Administrative and Construction Management Tasks

General Contractor Responsibilities

Preconstruction General Contractor Responsibilities

There are a number of pre-construction general contractor responsibilities required before the firm can commence construction.

Once the GC understands the needs of the project, they will develop the means and methods to achieve the building completion goals. They will develop an execution plan and supporting documents and tasks consistent with these goals.

These tasks are items such as contracts, procuring long lead item materials, creating a master construction schedule, and acquiring the necessary building documents to execute the project.

The preconstruction construction management task also includes safety planning, quality control monitoring, logistic planning, and a detailed compliance inspection plan.

The administrative management tasks include conducting a financial feasibility study, developing a construction budget, leading the design teams, insurance monitoring, and structuring the financial & accounting process procedures.

Remember, pre-construction services form the backbone of a successful building project and require proper staffing, management, and reporting procedures.

If you are interested to learn more about the pre-construction GC responsibilities, feel free to go through our blog on the subject General Contractor Design & Pre-Construction Responsibilities.

No matter how challenging a building project is, a prime contractor knows how to tackle the pressure and prepare everything that is required to support the construction management skills with the firm’s exceptional leadership qualities.  

Hiring and Contracting with Suppliers and Vendors

Boasting vast networking skills, prime contractors have contacts and knowledge of top suppliers and vendors operating in the construction market.

As such, they are the best professionals to contract directly with subcontractors for your project. From roofing and plumbing to carpentry and tiling, the building contractor is responsible for procuring high-quality products and skilled trade services from reliable subcontractors.

As the expert hires vendors on behalf of the project, the general contractor’s responsibilities are direct and clear for the nature and quality of work they deliver.

They can even negotiate with subcontractors and procure supplies and products at the best prices on behalf of the project.

Moreover, the GC gets into written contracts with the suppliers and subcontractors before allowing them to begin work.

The contracts include pre-agreed payment procedures, insurance requirements, and detailed scope of work and performance specifications.

As your reliable guide, the GC protects the interests of the project by ensuring that every supplier is carrying general liability insurance and workmen’s compensation.

Keeping all these factors in mind, the GC hires subcontractors well in advance of scheduled work to avoid delay and prevent prices from spiking up. 

The general contractor’s responsibilities include maintaining communication with all subcontractors and suppliers regarding activity progress reports, problems, and any discrepancies with the construction documents.

To ensure transparency and avoid confusion, the GC also signs separate contracts with each vendor and supplier. 

Construction Cost Control for Budgetary Compliance

During the pre-construction stage, the GC develops budgetary estimates for preliminary construction budget costs.

It is very important that the prime contractor creates a cost control plan that gets regularly reviewed throughout the construction phase.

The prime contractor matches the project payment draw schedule with the payment schedules for project vendors. The aids in projecting cash flow for accounts payable.

As delays can result in additional costs and price hikes, the expert tries to procure essential materials, and products, and hire labor to lock them into price agreements early in the process.

They constantly monitor the construction budget against the actual expenditures to see if any alteration is required. The GC might reduce costs in one area to compensate for the extra expenses incurred on the other front.

The prime contractor manages all of the vendors to keep them within the building budget thereby sticking to the projected budget. 

Apart from these general contractor responsibilities, the prime must provide the owner with line-item updates from time to time.

By keeping the owner up to date on allowances it reinforces the trust and confidence the owner should have in their hired professional.

Depending on the contract the owner should be flexible and understand that there are external factors like inflation or shortage of material supplies that can lead to price changes.

Furthermore, concealed conditions, design changes, and associated costs are difficult to predict.

To help you stay on the safer side, the GC might advise the owner to maintain building contingency reserves to meet the requirements of unforeseen circumstances.

On another note, it is worth noting that the actual building contract price does not equate with the market value of the finished deliverable property. When it comes to construction, other variables affect and influence the property market value.

If you want to enlighten yourself on the subject, read this insightful write-up Luxury Custom Home Price Value 

Responsibilities of General Contractors

Maintaining a Schedule for Timely Project Completion

Adhering to the schedule is both important and challenging, for the non-availability of resources, and adverse weather conditions can disrupt the planned timeline.

However, general contractors in Houston delve into the detail of the work scope to ensure everything falls in place smoothly. Once they have created the master schedule, the GC breaks it down into phases and further into specific tasks.

This method makes it easier to achieve every task while maintaining the overall timeline ascertained in the master schedule.

The GC’s responsibilities also include quality control. They visit the site regularly, hire superior labor, and procure high-quality materials.

Thereafter, the expert also ensures the proper installation of goods & services as per the specifications highlighted in the building drawings.

To stay assured of such dedicated services, you cannot settle with anyone mediocre and must hire only an experienced GC.

For further information on this, we suggest you read Selecting & Hiring the Best General Contractor

The responsibility of your GC simply does not end here as he is further responsible for preparing detailed reports to track the progress of the project.

They also keep reviewing project documents to understand which tasks are lined up, which must be completed sequentially, and whether or not they can be carried out concurrently.

Collaborating with the project team regularly is extremely important to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Moreover, to keep the owner abreast of the latest developments, the GC provides him with regular scheduled reports and updates on project delivery estimated time.

Reputable GCs start their work well in advance but creating a contingency plan always pays off.

Besides, the professional must also check the financial repercussions of schedule delay or derailment. 

Construction Document Control Management

Managing construction documents is an extremely challenging and tedious process. Since larger projects have a larger scope of work, they generate documents in excessive amounts.

From construction drawings and payment applications to estimates and changed orders, all these documents fall under this category.

Having quick access to these documents is very essential to avert delay, analyze progress, and give briefings to tradespeople and the owner.

These records need to be preserved not only until the completion of the project but even after that to use them as a reference for the next projects.

In addition to paper documents, digital documentation preserves cost control, safety audit inspections, change order trails, compliance inspection reports, and insurance verifications.

This will help in the creation of a central document location and ensure easy accessibility from anywhere. 

Further, to prepare reports on daily progress, general contractors also have to visit the site and even conduct compliance inspections to test the standards of work on the site.

As well, they also conduct compliance inspections of trade disciplines to assure that they are in line with building specifications and codes.

Do not presume that the managers memorize all these details. Any experienced and responsible GCs shall preserve these details in document form to keep a clear track of developments.

Needless to say, construction document management is indeed a cumbersome job.

Construction document management is an administrative construction management task, as well as safety audit reports, material testing & compliance reports.  

The day-to-day management of construction requires both onsite construction management controls as well as admirative construction management controls.

Are you intrigued to learn more? Then read “Construction Processes Followed by General Contractors in Houston”. 


The construction responsibilities of GCs are immense but how well they are going to fare depends on their experience and knowledge. From the above discussion, you must have understood what to expect from your general contractor.

If you are searching for a reliable GC with “general contractors near me”, choose someone like Marwood Construction with years of experience. The right professional can deliver guaranteed results and ensure the successful completion of your project.

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