To Self-Perform or Not Self-Perform? Why You Should Hire a General Contractor for Your Next Boutique Multifamily Project

September 23, 2015
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Got a boutique multifamily project in your pipeline?

These days, D.C.’s multifamily market is incredibly opportunistic.  Creating a project that makes the most of this market starts with assembling an all-star development team, complete with a meticulous architect and an accomplished general contractor. While it may be tempting to skip out on a general contractor in favor of cost savings, self-performing means dedicating a lot more of your time on the orchestration of trades, dealing with schedule issues, and most importantly, you won’t be spending that time looking for your next real estate deal. Before you decide to self-perform your next boutique multifamily project, consider the upsides of having a general contractor on your team:

General Contractors have more negotiation power with the trades

General contractors communicate with suppliers, subcontractors, and the labor force on a daily basis. We work very close with the people from these industries and have some negotiating power when it comes to buy out, often resulting in being able to achieve the best price. What you think you might be saving by not hiring a General Contractor, you may end up paying when purchasing supplies without wholesale buying power.

You are paying someone else to handle the headaches

Not happy with the price you got from the window supplier and not sure who else to call? We do. Wondering why Pepco didn’t showed up at your jobsite? As general contractors, overseeing the complex coordination of construction projects is what we do for a living. We realize that every construction project is different but with each project we complete, we become that much more equip with the ability to deal with the issues that arise. Hire someone else to manage the schedule and resource allocation, which leads to the next point:

You can spend that time looking for the next deal

When you hire a general contractor to manage the day-to-day of your construction project, you are buying yourself the freedom to focus on what you do best: analyzing the market in search for the next deal. Time is money and you can’t afford to miss out on a great opportunity because you were trying to figure out why the concrete guy didn’t show up.

The General Contractor assumes the risk of sub performance

There is peace of mind knowing your general contractor assumes some of the risk involved in your deal. A good general contractor will implement risk management best practices and uphold all safety protocols. By covering the errors and omissions of the subcontractor’s bid, the GC qualifies the subcontractor’s scope of work and fills the void between the owner and the intent of the documents. The general contractor does not typically cover the errors and omissions of the design professional (see: Our Guarantee).

General Contractors are a champion for value engineering during design

As an owner, your pro forma is the main dictator of whether or not your project is feasible. Materials can become expensive fairly quickly and having a seasoned estimator on your team means you’ve got a materials encyclopedia ready to participate in creating a design that works with the architect’s style as well as the owner’s pro forma. By bringing a general contractor to the table for preconstruction and design, the dialogue can be open between the architect, general contractor and owner when considering how different building materials will affect the budget.


Moseley Construction Group Can Help.

The benefits of having an experienced general contractor on your team far outweighs the inconvenience of not having one. This is especially true if you pick a contractor whose main priority is earning your business time and time again. Contractors who are focused on good client and subcontractor relations will bring cost savings to your attention, manage the day-to-day schedule and resource coordination, assume risk, and best of all, grant you as the developer the freedom to search for your next real estate deal. Whether you are working on your first or 20th boutique multifamily project, we’ll help you get the job done within the parameters of your design, financial, and timeline goals. Drop us a line or give us a call at (703) 870-7991 to discuss your upcoming projects today.