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What Is the Difference Between Construction and General Contractor?

When you’re planning on building a new home or remodeling your current one, you may wonder if you need a construction or general contractor. While they sound like they do the same thing, there are some key differences between them.

Here’s what to know to help you choose the right contractor for your project.

Understanding What a General Contractor Does

A general contractor works to complete a project based on a projected bid. They provide some sense of security since if the projected costs go over the estimate, then the contractor is responsible.

The key is to find a general contractor in Seattle who is honest and can work within your budget and time constraints. When they complete the project ahead of schedule and under budget, that generates a profit and is a win for everyone.

General contractors typically aren’t involved in the pre-design process, but they are still responsible for planning the project’s construction and orchestrating it from beginning to end. They will approve and hire the subcontractors they need and any additional personnel to carry out the construction. General contractors are usually business entities rather than individuals. A general contracting company will have a network of specialists at your disposal to ensure the project gets done right, on time, and without going over the budget.

Understanding the Role of a Construction Manager

Construction managers are hired by a business owner and work off a pre-set fee. This fee won’t change if the project goes over budget or is completed early. Construction managers are often involved in pre-designing and overseeing building to fit the initial design.

They are not directly involved on the job site but oversee and project manage the process as a whole. It’s usually one person rather than a team.

Key Differences Between These Roles

The biggest difference between construction and general contractors is that general contractors are usually a business entity while construction managers are one person. You’ll typically hire a general contractor as a third party through a bidding process.

Both of these positions are extremely important for a successful build, but they have distinct roles. Even though it may now be clear, you may be wondering which one you need to help with your project.

Do I Need a Construction Manager or General Contractor?

In some cases, you may need both a construction manager and a general contractor. However, if you’re remodeling your home or building a new one, you may only need a general contractor. Your general contractor can handle the most important roles that the construction manager would take. For a larger-scale commercial project, it would likely be to your benefit to use both to cover all your bases and ensure a smooth build from start to finish.

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