The GC has many difficult and time-consuming modular home contracting responsibilities. Some of these are obvious, but many are not.
Some of the More Important Modular Home Contracting Responsibilities
- Obtain competitive bids
- Help determine the scope of work
- Help determine the building specifications
- Select subcontractor candidates for each area of construction
- Review written proposals for each subcontractor candidate
- Select each subcontractor and sign a contract detailing the scope of work, building specifications, and price
- Create and manage the schedule for materials and subcontractors, including the sequence of each subcontractor to maximize productivity and reduce conflict
- Ensure the job is ready for each subcontractor before instructing him to begin
- Revise the schedule weekly to adjust for inevitable delays, such as weather, inspectors, and illness
- Ensure that work is done to accepted industry standards as well as to the customer’s satisfaction by completing on-site inspections
- Ensure that any warranty problems that occur after the job is done and after each subcontractor is paid are taken care of to the customer’s satisfaction
As you can see, the general contractor (GC) has a critical list of responsibilities and duties. That’s why I strongly recommend that you hire a professional, experienced GC. He (or she) is able to call upon a number of subcontractors to obtain competitive bids for each construction task. He is able to get them to perform in a timely fashion, which is no small task in the building trades. He can command a fair price and a timely response because they depend on the work he provides. He knows which subcontractors to avoid because of a history of poor workmanship, unreliability, and unethical pricing. When problems occur, as they do on every job, a professional GC solves them quickly. Better yet, he anticipates problems as a matter of course and heads them off before they become a threat.
Having an experienced GC on your side is also helpful when navigating the approval and permit steps that must be completed prior to beginning construction of a new home. A licensed GC knows the building codes. This is important not just because following them is the law, but because they protect your health and safety. A GC who has experience with modular home contracting responsibilities will have the necessary insurance to protect against something going wrong on the building site. This includes an accident causing a serious personal injury or significant property damage to your home. This insurance is very important in limiting your potential liability as the homeowner.
You may save a little money up front by hiring a GC without professional experience, but you could lose the savings and your sanity once the work begins.
For more information about modular home contracting responsibilities, see Selecting a General Contractor and The General Contractor’s Responsibilities for Building a Modular Home in my book The Modular Home.