Construction Management: What to Expect from Your Contractor

(Originally published as an article within ECCU’s former e-publication, Ministry Banking Today.)

The October issue of Ministry Banking Today explored three common delivery methods for construction projects. While many experts recommend the construction management method, the success of this approach depends largely on assembling the right team, starting with your general contractor. We consulted with Wendell Clark, Director of Business Development at J. D. Diffenbaugh, Inc., on what to expect from a contractor using this method.

Pre-construction phase:

  • Participates in regularly scheduled meetings, from programming to plan completion
  • Helps develop a conceptual plan
  • Establishes and monitors the project budget
  • Creates a preliminary construction schedule
  • Works with the architect and engineers to evaluate systems for suitability and cost effectiveness
  • Reviews plans, drawings, and specifications to identify potential problems
  • Solicits the expertise of subcontractors to identify potential cost savings and value engineering
  • Assists in preparation and execution of certain specifications areas
  • Assists with the permitting process (if necessary)

Competitive bidding phase:

  • Pre-qualifies interested subcontractors
  • Informs all qualified bidders of the schedule requirements as related to their areas of work
  • Solicits at least three to five proposals on all trade areas
  • Compiles and reviews all bids with the owner’s representative; prepares an itemized construction cost breakdown; compiles a subcontractor bid list with the company names and bid amounts
  • Establishes a final construction cost and schedule

Construction phase:

  • Prepares and executes all contracts and subcontracts
  • Holds a pre-job conference with subcontractors
  • Implements weekly job-site meetings and publishes meeting notes
  • Updates project schedules
  • Submits and tracks all project submittals
  • Submits information control and documentation through - Request For Information (RFI) log
  • Executes project change orders and progress billings
  • Maintains current as-built drawings
  • Provides a project close-out binder with guarantees, operation manuals, and maintenance manuals

Refer to this list as you research and interview general contractors. Keep in mind that these are basic requirements. At a minimum, the contractor you choose should be able to outline his approach to your project and confirm his involvement in these areas.

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