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Comparison of GC,CM, and O&R Models
The General Contractor, Construction Manager and Owner’s Representative are the three main functions an owner / developer can utilize to get a project built. They are, however, very different in their approach to a project.
The Owner - General Contractor - Subcontractor model is the most conventional or orthodox method for building projects as evidenced by the following diagram:
Traditional General Contractor Model
**A/E (Design Consultants, typically Architects & Engineers)
In this model the owner assumes the least amount of risk, given that it is usually a fixed lump sum agreed upon price. The owner gives up the potential project savings, as profits to the General Contractor. This is a good model for inexperienced developers. This model does however also increase the risk of a competitive relationship between GC and owner, since the GC competes for profits within the fixed contract price.
The Owner - ConstructionRead More
The latest "tool" in our belt.
Constantly looking for ways to differentiate ourselves and enhance the offerings we provide to our clients, in 2013 kc&b implemented a project management software platform.
What this has enabled us to do is bring together the many different tools (software, paper based, processes, etc.) that we formerly used to manage a construction project under one umbrella so that all aspects of your project could be monitored and managed through one portal much more efficiently.
The product allows us to increase mobility, efficiency and profitability. A secure cloud based solution allows for accessibility across all platforms and locations. Your project information is not restricted to a certain file in the office but rather, our staff have access as needed to this information wherever they happen to be.
Tailored specifically for.....Read More
Adjust your thinking and save.
What is the most common mistake in new construction? Not accurately calculating the total cost of ownership of your new home.
One area that is often overlooked is the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. The HVAC system will easily have the biggest impact on your monthly budget and daily comfort, yet for many is an afterthought.
Geothermal systems offer astounding savings that will allow you to re-invest the money you save back into your home. Imagine being able to afford to put extra money onto your mortgage payment each and every month! That is a given with a Geothermal system, thanks to lower operating costs on heating and cooling. Why not start with the most efficient and lowest operating cost solution available on the market today?
While the upfront cost for a geothermal system is higher than everyday gas or electric heating and cooling options, no other system provides the monthly savings and overall cost of ownership that geothermal offers.Read More
Under-utilizing the benefits.
The 2nd most common mistake in new home construction. Under-utilizing the benefits realized.
Saving is only saving if that is what you actually do with it!
Say you save $75.00 monthly on energy costs using your new Geothermal heat pump system. While the $75.00 figure is realistic in some cases, in actual fact, this can vary considerably and generate more substantial monthly savings. What will you be doing with this "savings"? Purchasing some new tools, shoes or another night out? Considering the cost of geothermal installation, wouldn't it be just prudent to capture all related energy usage savings and make it work overtime for you?
To maximize the full geothermal energy advantages let's harvest the true value by using these saving strategically. If placed back against your initial mortgage, monthly energy savings of a properly sized and designed Geothermal system can take four or five years off of a 25 year mortgage -and this is in addition to the amazing heating and cooling comfort your new system will be providing. At all times, but specifically in an era of uncertain energy costs, this is an option with a very "real world" consequence.
Build a new home the right way
So with construction plans in hand, let us build a new home.
A General Contractor (GC) is someone you hire with experience in residential construction/home building/home improvement and all design build projects. Typically, General Contractors have people on staff to handle the various aspects of building a house including framers, plumbers, electricians and others. For other aspects of a new home build, those aspects where they do not have the appropriate skills on their own staff, they will hire various subcontractors with whom they have established relationships.
How much does a General Contractor Cost?
While you could “sub” the work out yourself on the construction of a home, and many do this with varying degrees of success, the “true” cost of a GC needs to be considered. While the costs associated with GC averages from 10 – 20 % higher than a “do it yourself” plan, many times the actual finished cost of an owner controlled build can far exceed initial expectations. Keep in mind that a GC has many years of experience, has well established relationships with other trades, (and can get multiple bids for sub trade work) etc.
Other advantages of a General Contractor
• One of the most important responsibilities of a general contractor is to control costs. By using his expertise in securing multiple bids for the different aspects and skills needed, a strong competitive environment is created. In addition to this, a GC has the ability to generate additional saving buy using his credentials in bulk purchasing.
• Securing all necessary permits
• Vetting of construction plans
• Experience in overseeing other sub trades to ensure that the finished product meets YOUR design build project specifications and desires.
• A GC is your main point of contact throughout the build process and will be able to explain any activity or step that is currently going on as well as communicate your dreams/desires/ideas for the project to the specific vendor or sub trade.
• A GC pays all the bills including sub trades, verifying these against contracts and change orders.
• Experience in coordinating the entire project. This entails knowing what has to happen and in what order, when to get permits/insurance/licensing/bonds etc.
• A GC is the main point of communication with the trades working on a project freeing up your time and preventing potential frustrations
• A good GC typically also has longstanding established relationships with vendors and sub trades. Having done a great deal of business for the GC, a sub trade can quietly bump up their schedule to complete their portion of the project sooner than required in an ongoing effort to maintain close working relationship with the GC and to help ensure a long term, ongoing relationship.
• Long term experience in residential construction
As you can see, a General Contractor can make a dramatic difference to the completion date and financial burden of your project. If even one of the above mentioned items falls apart during a “self-build”, project completion dates and the financial burden can balloon out of control quickly.
If you decide to use a general contractor make sure you interview him or her thoroughly. See the following tips for that process.