General Contractor vrs Project Manager

When you decide to build, regardless of the size of your project you will need to make a decision on whether to hire a general contractor (GC) or a project manager (PM). Now there may be a lot of confusion outside the construction industry on what exactly the difference may be, and although there are a lot of similarities there is still a large difference in the main goals and responsibilities of these two roles. To understand which one is better suited for your needs and the needs of  your project let's break these two jobs down. 

The most obvious difference is the GC objective is to just successfully complete the construction project, the PM is also responsible to keep it on budget and on schedule. Your general contractor will work on site along with the trades, as well be the ones to schedule them and ensure the quality of work that is completed. They will work with the inspectors to ensure that all inspections are passed. They are responsible for the day to day on site. Your GC will be there during the construction stages only. If you are completing a small renovation you may not need more than that, however if you are considering a large scale project such as an addition or a new home you will need a PM. The project manager will be with you through the design and permit stage, the construction process and past that. To begin you will work with your project manager through the design stages to build a general budget from your initial drawings, they will also set your expectations on the timelines, the finances and the process. Working closely with you the project manager's objective is to understand the goals you have with the specific build to be able to help guide you throughout the project by helping you make the correct decisions for your needs, offering their expertise on how to best achieve your goal within your construction plan. During the permitting stage of the project the PM will create a detailed action plan for the project. This will help maintain the timelines agreed upon. They will also create a detailed budget outlining all scopes of work. Once the permits are received they will begin to work closely with the general contractor to ensure the execution of the work. An experienced PM will spend a lot of time on site and through physical oversight, project managers are able to assess both the quality of the work to ensure that it adheres to their standards, but also to identify potential problems early on before they become large delays. Another huge benefit to having a PM is thathroughout the construction process they will keep thorough documentation of everything including all financials. Documenting every part of a construction process is not only time-consuming, it is the only way to ensure you are adhering to the budget and plan. This responsibility will often fall on the client if they are working solely with a general contractor and can be difficult if there's no past experience in the construction industry. The project manager will usually have a team designated for each part of the project such as: designers, administrators, and a full support team that will be able to help you at each step of the deciding process. Their relationships with suppliers will be able to help you in your finishing selections and much more. When making your selections on what your construction needs may be it is best to try and find a PM with a full team, they will either be able to help you in selecting your builder and GC or have their own team for building. 

At Wellcore you get a full team management company with internal design and build teams. We offer everything starting with the design consultation and architectural drawings and permits, project manager for the entire duration of the project, a general contractor site supervisor, and administrative team always available throughout the full duration of the job. 

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