Home Improvement

Negotiating Contracts With a General Contractor

General Contractor Lexington KY is the person who manages a construction project. They take on a managerial role while hiring subcontractors to complete the actual labor.

To be a successful general contractor, you need to have the right combination of experience, education and skills. Having a well-constructed resume is the first step to landing that job!

One of the most important aspects of being a general contractor is planning. Whether it’s creating project budgets, scheduling tasks or hiring subcontractors, the GC’s job is to ensure that all work is executed according to plan. In addition, a GC will also manage any unforeseen events that may occur during construction. This is why experience is key, as it will allow them to anticipate issues and find ways around them.

The GC will work with the design team to create and finalize a blueprint. Whether it’s remodeling your home or building an office, the design process is a huge step in the overall project and requires the involvement of multiple teams. The GC will also act as an intermediary between the client and the design team. They will ensure that the client’s needs and preferences are met.

Once the design is completed, the GC will plan the work schedule. This includes determining how many workers and contractors will be involved in the project, when they will start working and their responsibilities. They will also coordinate with the subcontractors and vendors to ensure that they have the required materials for their work. In addition, a GC will arrange all the necessary permits for the project and ensure that all inspection requests are submitted on time.

It’s also the GC’s responsibility to ensure that all projects are completed with high quality standards. This means that the GC will select materials that are durable and safe to use in the construction. Moreover, they will resolve any disputes that may arise on the site. They will also ensure that all subcontractors are aware of the required safety rules and standards.

During the planning phase, the GC will create a work breakdown structure that breaks down large tasks into smaller, interdependent ones. This will help them to manage the project better and prevent cost overruns. The GC will also plan the schedule of tasks and set deadlines for each.

GCs will also evaluate the risk inherent in the project and decide on how much mark-up they need to earn a profit. This is crucial because it helps them keep their businesses running and avoid financial crises. Streamlining paperwork and ensuring clear communication will also help reduce payment delays.

Contract Negotiation

There are a number of key contract provisions that pose risks to general contractors that require negotiation. One of the most important is the scope of work. This is because scope changes become contentious as projects move forward, so it’s best to focus on this early on. Other areas that need to be negotiated include warranties. For example, GCs should ask for an express warranty that the design and construction documents are complete and accurate. Similarly, they should avoid indemnification clauses that don’t provide the level of protection they are seeking.

Another area of importance is the payment chain. This is the way money moves from the owner to various tiers of contractors and suppliers. Problems with this process are common and can result in delayed payments for all parties. GCs typically manage this process on behalf of everyone involved in the project and should seek ways to streamline it, such as increasing visibility, streamlining paperwork and keeping open lines of communication.

GCs should also negotiate how they will be paid for their work. They may receive a lump sum or stipulated sum for the entire project, or they might be hired on a fee-for-service basis and charged an hourly rate. Regardless, they should ensure that this arrangement is documented in writing and agreed upon at the start of the project.

In addition to negotiating their own contracts, GCs are responsible for managing the contracts of subcontractors. This requires an understanding of the different forms of contract used in the industry and how to properly interpret them. For instance, GCs should know that the American Institute of Architects has a set of standard contract forms for use in most projects. They should also be familiar with the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) contract documents that are commonly used for water and wastewater projects.

During the contract negotiations, GCs must maintain their professional image while remaining firm on the issues they are attempting to address. They should not be confrontational or aggressive, as this could hurt their ability to build positive business relationships.

Contract Execution

Contract execution is a critical juncture in the project lifecycle, ensuring that contractual agreements are binding. It also helps streamline operations, foster trust between parties, and optimize overall contract management practices.

The process of contract execution includes all the tasks that take place after negotiations and prior to the start of construction on a project. It can include a variety of things, from obtaining all necessary building permits to arranging all subsequent city inspections. It is also the responsibility of the GC to ensure that all materials and equipment are delivered on time and that there is a robust communication channel among different project units.

Once all contract terms and conditions are agreed upon, they can be signed and formally executed. Once that occurs, the contract’s effective date will usually coincide with the beginning of all construction obligations — although some provisions may not begin until specific requirements are met.

During the actual construction of the project, the GC oversees all aspects of the on-site work. This can include coordinating with vendors, managing subcontractors, and handling all other activities associated with the construction site. They must also make sure that all workers are appropriately trained and certified to perform their jobs.

Another key aspect of the contract execution process is establishing a clear procedure for future amendments. For example, if there are any changes to the project scope, then a specific mechanism for making those modifications must be established. This could involve a power of attorney or a resolution at a board meeting.

A GC should also have a plan in place for managing risks and resolving disputes. For instance, they should make sure that a dispute is resolved in accordance with the contract and that any necessary changes are made before the dispute escalates into a costly legal battle.

For all of these reasons, it is essential for a general contractor to have a robust and effective process in place for contract execution. This will help them avoid common mistakes that could be costly in the long run. A specialized construction lawyer can provide additional guidance on this topic and help you streamline your process for executing contracts.

Project Management

Project management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and objectives. It’s important for general contractors because it helps them balance the needs of their clients, employees, and other stakeholders. For example, it allows them to meet deadlines and deliver projects within budget. It also ensures that all parties involved in a construction project are aware of their expectations and are working together to achieve them.

The first step of project management is creating a detailed plan that details how a construction project will be executed. This includes establishing timelines, milestones and critical paths, as well as developing cost assessments and identifying potential risks. It also involves assessing potential subcontractor and supplier partners, as well as engaging in contract negotiations.

Once a project scope is established and contract terms are settled, the GC or CM starts preconstruction work. This involves collaborating with the design team to evaluate constructability, preparing cost estimates and securing any necessary permits or regulatory approvals. During this phase, the GC also prepares construction drawings and specifications for review by the client.

During construction, the project manager oversees the onsite activities of the GC and subcontractors. This includes monitoring the progress of the work and ensuring that the GC, owner, and other contractors are adhering to schedules and meeting specifications. It also involves reviewing invoices and managing budgets by continuously comparing actual expenses against the estimated costs of the project.

The final part of the project management process is evaluating the results. This can be done through a variety of ways, including conducting surveys with project stakeholders and comparing the original estimates of cost, time, quality and other factors against the actual results achieved. It can also be done through a series of meetings with key players.

Ultimately, the results that are produced will determine whether or not a project is successful. If a general contractor is meeting deadlines, solving problems in the field, taking owners’ and building occupants’ needs into consideration and communicating effectively, then it’s likely that the project will be successful.

Concrete Contractor

What Does a Brick Mason Do?

Brick Mason Charleston SC construct, repair and rebuild structures made of brick. They use tools like levels, plumb bobs and trowels to make sure that the structure is level and secure.

They also mix mortar, a mixture of cement, sand and water, and apply it to the bricks to hold them together. Having the right skills and qualifications are essential to this job.

Brick masons work with masonry materials like bricks, stones, and concrete blocks to build a variety of structures including walls, patios, walkways, driveways, and other commercial or residential construction. They also install, repair, and maintain firebrick linings in industrial furnaces, kilns, and boilers. Other responsibilities may include:

  • Reading plans or blueprints.
  • Laying bricks or other materials according to the specifications in the drawings.
  • Cutting down the materials into smaller sizes.
  • Mixing and spreading mortar.
  • Cleaning surfaces at the end of a job.

Applicants for this position should have physical stamina and strength to perform physically demanding tasks, and they must be able to climb ladders or scaffolding as needed. They must have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity to handle tools and manipulate bricks, as well as excellent math skills for measuring dimensions and calculating quantities of materials needed for a project.

In addition to these qualifications, a brick mason should have a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality workmanship. They should be able to follow construction guidelines and safety protocols, as well as communicate effectively with other members of the construction team. They should have good problem-solving skills to overcome construction challenges and troubleshoot issues that arise during the course of a project.

A brick mason’s career trajectory can vary depending on their location and the availability of jobs. In areas where there is a high demand for bricklaying, brick masons can command higher salaries than those working in other types of construction industries. Those looking to advance in their careers may consider seeking additional certifications or specializing in particular fields, such as historic restoration or masonry project management.

A good brick mason job description can help attract qualified candidates for the position. It should clearly list all of the responsibilities and qualifications that are required for the role, so that potential candidates will know whether or not they have the skills and experience necessary to succeed in the position. This will save time for both the candidate and the employer, as it will eliminate applications from candidates who are not a good fit for the role.

Education and Training Requirements

Brickmasons use masonry materials such as brick, concrete blocks and stone to construct walls, walkways, buildings and other structures. They must read plans or blueprints and calculate the amount of materials needed for each project. They must also know how to cut and lay out building material, mix mortar and clean surfaces at the end of a workday.

Although formal education is not a requirement to become a brick mason, it is recommended that potential workers complete high school or earn a GED certificate. They can then enroll in a vocational school or community college program that offers programs in brick masonry. An apprenticeship is another option that offers on-the-job training for 3 to 4 years under the guidance of experienced brick masons. Apprentices usually receive about 50 percent of the wages paid to fully qualified brick masons. Apprenticeships may be sponsored by labor unions, contractor associations or by individual construction companies.

Once a brick mason has completed an apprenticeship, he can apply to obtain journeyman certification. This qualification demonstrates his competence and enables him to supervise other masonry workers. In addition to possessing technical knowledge and skills, a successful brick mason must be reliable and have a strong work ethic.

Many brick masons are members of labor unions such as the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. In addition to providing benefits such as medical insurance, unions can provide career advancement opportunities for their members. With additional training, brick masons can move into supervisory roles or even become owners of their own masonry businesses.

Those interested in becoming a brick mason should take a career interest inventory and consider their preferences for different types of working environments and activities. Those with strong Realistic interests are likely to be happier in this occupation, as it involves a more hands-on approach to problem-solving and the use of physical tools and real-world materials. It is also important for potential brick masons to have strong Mathematical interests, as they will need to be able to accurately measure dimensions and prepare construction plans. They should also be comfortable using power tools and have the physical stamina for long hours of manual labor.

Work Environment

Brick masons work in a variety of settings, including residential and commercial construction sites. They may also work in collaboration with other construction professionals, including engineers and architects, to ensure that their brickwork complies with the project specifications.

Masons use their mathematical skills to accurately measure dimensions and calculate the amount of materials needed for each job. They also need to be able to mix mortar, which is a combination of cement, sand, and water, to the right consistency for each project. Masons may also need to excavate and prepare the site for construction, such as laying a foundation or removing existing materials.

The physical stamina required for this career is considerable, as brick masons must often lift heavy materials and tools. Their strength enables them to construct masonry structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound. In addition, brick masons must have good hand-eye coordination to handle their tools efficiently and accurately.

As they gain experience and expertise, brick masons can earn higher wages. In some instances, they can even take on supervisory roles within the construction industry, further enhancing their earning potential. Additionally, brick masons can choose to participate in various professional development activities and networking events to increase their knowledge base and stay abreast of industry advancements.

In this career, brick masons need to have a high level of self-motivation in order to perform their duties to the best of their ability. In addition, they must be able to handle the stress of working in a physically demanding environment, as well as the long hours associated with the job.

Brick masons typically have Realistic personalities, meaning they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, and thrifty individuals who enjoy tasks that are tactile, physical, or athletic. They also tend to have moderate Investigative interests, which suggests they like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. Finally, they prefer careers that allow them to utilize their problem-solving abilities and creativity. In addition to these personality traits, brick masons need a strong desire to create a positive impact on the built environment.


Brick masons are typically paid an hourly rate that varies according to the complexity of each project. A brick mason’s salary may also be affected by his or her experience, skillset, and location. Those with more experience can earn higher salaries, as well as take on supervisory roles and lead teams of brick masons.

Those who wish to become a brick mason can pursue an apprenticeship that lasts three to four years, during which time they learn on-the-job skills and complete classroom instruction from a skilled master mason. Once they have successfully completed their apprenticeship, they can apply for journeyman status, which allows them to work on their own and earn professional wages.

The work environment for brick masons is primarily construction sites, both indoors and outdoors depending on the project requirements. They frequently collaborate with other construction professionals, including architects, engineers, and contractors, to ensure that their brickwork is in line with the overall design and specifications of each project. Strong problem-solving skills are necessary for brick masons to navigate unexpected construction challenges and come up with innovative solutions that ensure that the final product meets the highest quality standards.

Masons also need to have a high level of physical stamina, as they regularly lift heavy materials and stand or lean over in various positions for extended periods of time. They must have good hand-eye coordination, as well as the ability to quickly and accurately measure and combine building materials.

In addition, brick masons must be able to read blueprints and calculate how much of each material they will need to complete each job. They must also be able to handle tools and power equipment effectively. As a result, the work environment for brick masons can be physically demanding and hazardous at times.

The brick mason career path is highly desirable for those who enjoy working with their hands and are interested in being part of a team of construction professionals. Those who are successful in this role can advance within the industry, becoming a senior brick mason or even becoming a general contractor.