What Are the Differences Between General Contractors and Project Managers?
A general contractor, project manager, or prime contractor is typically responsible for the overall oversight of a large construction project, the management of trades and vendors, and the exchange of detailed information with all involved parties during the course of an extensive construction project. Although this may sound like an overwhelming responsibility to be placed on just one person, it’s not really all that different from having a number of general contractors performing different tasks in your own construction business.
The general contractor can be thought of as the middleman in a large construction project. Because the contractor does most of the heavy lifting and keeping track of all of the details, he or she will usually charge higher fees than other less involved contractors. As such, it pays to be diligent about keeping an eye on their billing progress and other work that needs doing. Any money paid to a general contractor should always be seen as a first priority and any charges should never be ignored, no matter how small the amount.
The prime contractor, as the name implies, is the one who actually performs the actual construction or renovation work on a project. He or she is generally the most knowledgeable about the project and how to best handle it, so this should be your first call for any concerns or questions regarding the project. Any general contractor you choose to work with must be someone you feel confident working with and can trust, since any failure to do so could result in major problems down the road.
How to Choose a General Contractor
A general contractor, prime contractor or subcontractor is responsible for the oversight of construction projects, oversight of trades and vendors, and the management of client communications throughout the entire project life cycle. In order to find a great general contractor that can work with you on the scope and scale of your project, it is important to be able to discuss with him or her a number of details, so that he or she can make sure that your project is as professional as possible.