Construction Manager vs. General Contractor: Which Do You Need?

Construction Manager vs. General Contractor: Which Do You Need?

Share on

Whether building a new location for your business or developing a new residential neighborhood in the Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz County areas, you’ll need to hire a general contractor or a construction management company. At Ausonio, we can provide both services—which one you hire will depend on your needs for your specific project.

What Does Hiring A General Contractor Look Like?

Generally speaking, a general contractor is working in partnership with the client to build the project needed. They will review documents, provide an estimate and perform the work within a certain time frame agreed upon. They will use in-house and subcontracted labor to meet all the applicable codes, standards, pass inspections, and ultimately hand the project over to a satisfied client. Here are a few different contract types to consider when looking for a general contractor: fixed price, cost-plus, and guaranteed maximum price contracts.

In a fixed price contract, the project typically has already undergone the design phase. The general contractor will make an estimate based on provided plans and specs, working on either the entire build or certain aspects to complete the project by a deadline. With this method, it is possible to encounter changes to the scope or deadline.

In a cost-plus markup style of contract, a contractor will put together a rough order of magnitude price with allowances for each scope of work. Construction costs are then tracked on work orders wherein the client is charged for only the cost to perform the work or to have the work subcontracted out, plus the standard percentage fee that is agreed upon during contract time. At the end of the project, everything is reconciled and the client is presented with the final costs of the project. This method is ideal if the project is on a tight timeline where the work needs to get completed quickly and without delay. Additionally, the transparency of this type of contract is ideal in that the client will know at all times that they are only billed what it took to do the job—nothing more and nothing less.

A guaranteed maximum price (GMP) contract is the gold standard when it comes to transparency of a project with minimal change order requests. The contractor is brought on during the design phase to assist in constructability and to value-engineer the project to meet the client’s expectations and budget. Because the contractor is brought on early in the project, it results in less unforeseen conditions and therefore less of a likelihood of unforeseen costs. This contract binds the contractor to the design documents and all avoidable costs are absorbed by the contractor.

A general contractor might be the best fit for you if you are looking for the following for your project:

  • Freedom To Negotiate What Type Of Contract To Enter Into Resulting In Full Transparency Of The Costs Of The Project
  • An Experienced Professional Guiding You Through The Construction Process From A Builder’s Point Of View
  • Control All Costs And How They Are Presented
  • Does Require Minimal Supervision From The Property Owner
  • Must Be Able To Communicate What You Need And Will Have To Negotiate On Your Own Behalf

What Does A Construction Manager Do?

A construction manager works on behalf of the client as their representative and is paid management fee based on the needs of the project. Their team will help during the design process to vet out any issues and ensure the client gets as close to what they envision for their project as possible, often resulting in faster project completion time with fewer changes. It’s a more open, hands-on relationship, with access to the costs of materials, labor, and fees throughout the build. A successful construction management company focuses on exceeding expectations and building rewarding client relationships.

As a construction manager, Ausonio approaches each project with the knowledge gained over the past 60+ years as a general contractor to represent the client in all matters from scope review and quality control to problem solving and dispute resolution. All so you don’t have to!

If you are looking for the following for your project, a construction manager might be the best fit for you:

  • Works As A Representative Of The Client
  • Freedom To Be As Involved As You Would Like To Be
  • Works For A Management Fee Based On The Needs Of The Project
  • Assists In The Design Process
  • Shares Ongoing Costs With You In Real Time
  • Your Satisfaction Is Their Success

Do I Need A General Contractor Or A Construction Manager?

Which one you work with depends on the needs of your project. If you have a tested design and want somebody to build it with some involvement on your part, a general contractor may be a better fit. If you are still in the concept phase of your build and would like some professional guidance from a trusted partner throughout the entire project, a construction manager could be the right choice.

Choose Ausonio For The Service You Need

No matter which type of management you require for your commercial contract, Ausonio can help. We offer both general contracting and construction managers, so you can stay involved as much or as little as you like for your project. Call us to schedule an initial consultation, and together we can complete your vision.

Scroll to Top