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What is a Commercial General Contractor?

What is a Commercial General Contractor?

Do you need a general contractor for a commercial building project?

Simply put: YES, you do!

The name says it all. When it’s a “commercial” endeavor, securing even the construction permits and the financing required for a project of that scale is not for the faint at heart. A contractor’s expertise and experience are much needed for a project of a commercial grade and many a times, more than just that. This is because commercial building projects come with a myriad of aspects to be taken care of along with hefty risks. Hiring a seasoned general contractor is crucial to steer clear of risks that may cost you heavy losses otherwise. 

Nonetheless, we cannot overlook the fact that not every general contractor will be a pro at the job. Different projects require different skills, and the industry is flourishing with countless general contractors mastering a vast domain of expertise in the field, while some excel in just specific aspects. Question withstands: how will you find the right general contractor for your commercial project? This article precisely addresses that query.

The giveaways to the million-dollar question: the industry, the size, and the type of the project. For an in-depth analysis on commercial general contractors, here are the crucial factors you should be looking for: 

What Constitutes the Work Requirements for a Building Contractor?

Individuals seeking to construct or revamp their commercial properties, whether it’s an office complex, restaurant, hotel, convenience store, retail outlet, or public building, often enlist the services of commercial general contractors to oversee these endeavors. 

Aspiring building contractors should possess the following essential skills, expertise, and attributes to thrive in their profession:

  1. Keen attention to particulars.
  2. Proficiency in utilizing planning and estimation software.
  3. Leadership and project management capabilities.
  4. Comprehensive understanding of the legal framework governing commercial construction.
  5. Technical proficiency for conducting thorough project analysis and evaluation, along with the ability to formulate effective corrective actions.

Is it within the scope of a General Contractor to Handle Commercial Projects?

Absolutely, general contractors possess the necessary training and licensing to tackle diverse assignments associated with commercial developments. This includes:

  1. Building construction for commercial purposes, such as office spaces, retail hubs, dining establishments, and convenience stores, among others.
  2. Revamping, refurbishing, and expanding commercial properties to enhance their functionality and appeal.
  3. Addressing plumbing and electrical systems in commercial structures through installation, repairs, and ongoing maintenance.
  4. Handling HVAC systems within commercial developments, ensuring their proper installation, repair, and upkeep.

Advantages of Employing a Commercial General Contractor in Building Construction

Hiring a skilled general contractor for your commercial property’s construction or renovation projects offers several advantages:

Efficient Organization

General contractors specializing in commercial projects have extensive expertise in site management. They adeptly oversee the smooth progress of construction, renovation, or remodeling tasks, ensuring timely project completion according to client specifications. Effective project documentation and scheduling are essential aspects of their role.

Optimized Resource Utilization

Experienced commercial general contractors bring a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to allocate and utilize resources judiciously. Their adept problem-solving and budgeting skills guarantee adherence to project timelines and prevent wastage of resources.

Safety Certification

A quick check of a contractor’s licensing and bonding history is a straightforward method for commercial property owners to assess credibility. Reputable general commercial contractors provide clients with a sense of security, assuring them of safe and high-quality outcomes.

Quality Assurance

Investing in a reputable general commercial contractor, whether for construction, renovation, or remodeling, ensures satisfactory results. Esteemed contractors prioritize customer satisfaction, recognizing its impact on their reputation. They go the extra mile to deliver value for the client’s investment, ensuring compliance with updated local building codes and trends.

The finest contractors not only exhibit exceptional construction and remodeling skills but also possess the business acumen required to effectively manage available financial and time resources.

What Roles Do Commercial General Contractors Play in Building Construction?

The construction industry is marked by diverse tasks, including renovations, remodeling, rebuilding, and more. In this environment, commercial general contractors’ shoulder crucial responsibilities: 

  1. Hiring Skilled Labor: Commercial general contractors oversee the recruitment of skilled workers to handle the hands-on aspects of the project.
  1. Managing Resources: They ensure the acquisition and upkeep of necessary equipment and construction materials essential for project completion.
  1. Overseeing Ancillary Tasks: These professionals take on various site-related responsibilities, including managing waste, conducting site surveys, overseeing engineering tasks, and closely monitoring project timelines.
  1. Client Communication: Responsibly addressing client inquiries about project advancement is a key task. Additionally, they communicate any unforeseen challenges and articulate plans for resolution.
  1. Ensuring Legal Compliance: Collaborating with relevant government bodies, commercial general contractors guarantee adherence to licensing requirements. They also work with legal advisors to ensure compliance with pertinent commercial laws.

How to Thrive as a Commercial General Contractor

Meeting the essential criteria is the initial step for aspiring general contractors in many states. This involves being 18 years or older, holding a high school diploma or its equivalent, and having legal eligibility to work in the country.

To propel your career forward, consider the following strategies:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree Program

Aspiring commercial general contractors benefit from obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management. This certification imparts vital construction skills, including site management, electrical systems expertise, and more. Simultaneously, it hones managerial and business proficiency.

Gaining Practical Experience

Internships provide invaluable hands-on experience for future commercial contractors. Working under the guidance of seasoned professionals exposes individuals to the intricacies of the field. Responsibilities during internships often include tasks like order preparation and site safety oversight. Moreover, networking opportunities within the construction industry can enhance employment prospects.

Securing a Contractor’s License 

Attaining a commercial contractor’s license opens avenues to subcontracting work to peers. While eligibility criteria vary by state, most require passing an exam on relevant business laws and building codes. Private businesses and community colleges frequently offer concise courses to prepare candidates for licensing tests, ensuring they are well-equipped for success in the industry.

How Long Does It Take to Become a General Contractor?

The duration to become a commercial general contractor in building construction typically involves completing a Construction Management course or a similar program, spanning around four years. Acquiring the necessary training enables individuals to achieve the status of a fully-qualified general contractor. Alternatively, opting for different routes like apprenticeship programs in trade schools or gaining experience in the workplace may vary, taking approximately 3-5 years. For those seeking a more advanced academic credential, pursuing a Master’s Degree extends the timeline by an additional three years.

Collaborate with a Company Specializing in Commercial Construction

Partnering with well-known and reputable firms such as Arrant Construction opens doors to a thriving career as a general contractor. This family-owned business provides high-quality construction and outstanding customer support. Take the first step toward success and connect with Arrant Construction for your commercial building projects NOW.


What is a Commercial General Contractor?

A commercial general contractor oversees and manages various aspects of commercial building projects, ensuring efficient organization, resource utilization, and compliance with legal requirements.

Why do I need a general contractor for a commercial building project?

Commercial projects involve complexities, and a skilled general contractor is crucial for navigating challenges and avoiding risks that could lead to losses.

What skills should a building contractor possess?

Essential skills include attention to detail, proficiency in planning software, leadership, legal understanding of commercial construction, and technical expertise for project analysis.

What advantages does a commercial general contractor offer in building construction?

Hiring a skilled general contractor ensures efficient organization, optimized resource utilization, safety certification, and quality assurance, providing satisfactory results.

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