What is Commercial Contracting?

Commercial contracting involves renovation and new building projects for commercial construction projects, such as for schools, highways, malls and shopping centers, office buildings, and so on. Contracts for commercial construction projects are bid on by several contractors. Once the project owner has awarded the contract to one of the bidders, usually chosen on the basis of both cost and quality, he or she will oversee the entire project from start to finish. In commercial construction the most common type of contractor is the general contractor.

Contracts

After being awarded a contract, the general contractor is required to sign a variety of contracts with many different clients, including the owners of the commercial construction project, developers, and any municipalities involved. Once the commercial construction contract is signed it becomes the general contractor’s job to act on behalf of the owner’s interests and ensure that the project is completed to the owner’s satisfaction. To accomplish this, general contractors need to carry out many tasks, such as reviewing architectural plans, securing permits, deciding upon materials that will be required, and contracting subcontractors, to name a few. General contractors are responsible for any mistakes made by subcontractors or other groups or individuals involved in the commercial construction project, and as a result are motivated to ensure that the construction proceeds smoothly through completion.  

Architectural Plans

Project architects are usually contacted by the project owner so that by the time a general contractor is brought onto a project, architectural plans are usually completed, or at least nearly so. In order to determine which materials the project will require, the general contractor will review the drawings. After a thorough review, the general contractor should have an idea of what sort of materials and equipment will be required for the project. He or she will then be able to formulate a schedule that works for the owner and that follows the logical sequence of construction.

Permits

Once a schedule has been arranged that satisfies the needs of the owner and that can be presented to possible subcontractors, the general contractor will begin securing contracts and permits from whichever local authorities or municipalities are necessary for the project to begin. This can be an extensive process, depending on the local regulations and requirements.

Subcontractors

The general contractor will also need to begin contacting subcontractors. Subcontractors are commercial contractors who specialize in a certain aspect of construction. Depending on the type of work needed, a single project can require multiple subcontractors for various needs. Electricians, carpenters, excavators, painters, and plumbers are only a few types of subcontractors that may be hired on for a single commercial contract.

Scope of Work

Besides hiring the necessary subcontractors, the general contractor will need to write up scopes of work for each subcontractor. These documents will list the tasks delegated to each individual subcontractor. This list is what subcontractors will use to price the project, and any negotiation between the general contractor and the subcontractors may take place at that time. Once an agreement has been reached that satisfies the subcontractors and the project owner, construction of the project can begin.

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