Since the contractor’s role is one of a leader and because they are often present on site throughout the projects duration, they become the go-to for many on the job. Contractor’s must wear many hats and be available to answer questions or deal with problems on a moment’s notice. Because of this, many contractors take on unofficial roles and titles during a projects duration.
Contractor Role – Emergency Response
One of the contractor’s roles is to respond to emergency situations. These situations are not emergencies in the traditional sense, but those situations that require prompt action, most times to avoid detrimental consequences. Contractor’s constantly have to “put out fires.” They have to respond to urgent needs and should be able to anticipate possible future problems that may occur.
Contractor Role – Consultant
Contractors are often looked at like experts in many areas of their industry. They may be asked by clients to assist with design based on their experience with other construction projects. Contractors can often advise on current trends and what finishes are recommended. This is not to say that the contractor takes on the role of designer, but they can offer their input and help guide clients in the right direction.
Contractor Role – Quality Control Inspector
Contractors often have to inspect the quality of the work being done, as well as the quality of materials being delivered. In order to have a quality result, constant attention must be on the work as it is being completed. In order to avoid schedule delays budget constraints, the contractor wants to ensure that quality work is being completed and that rework is avoided.
Contractor Role – Teacher
Contractors must take the unofficial role as a teacher during the construction project. Not only is the contractor teaching the construction workers proper techniques of the trade and helping enhance their skills, they are also needed to educate others on and off of the project team. The contractor has to be able to educate the client on budget, scheduling and materials. Sometimes a client may have an idea that isn’t feasible, so the contractor must be able to communicate as to why the clients wishes can’t be made into reality. This takes the contractor having lots of experience in order to dole out expert advice, some of which may not be to the client’s liking. But it is also the contractors responsibility to be open and honest regarding constraints as to not over promise and under deliver.
Contractor Role – Interpreter
Contractor’s often have to play the role of the middleman. They must take information from the client and relay it to the designers or vice versa. While this may not always be the case, in some situations where one of the two parties are not available, then it is often the contractor that must interpret and relay information from multiple sources from the clients to the vendors to others on the project team.
Contractor Role – Budget Analyst
While technology is a great tool to use for budget analysis, sometimes contractors must use their knowledge and experience to make budget decisions on the fly. When making last minute changes, the contractor may not have the ability to complete a full budget analysis. And often clients may just want to know a rough estimate of cost or whether something is feasible based on the current budget.
Contractor Role – Negotiator
Contractors must negotiate on a daily basis. They may negotiate on material costs, design choices, timelines or any other aspects of the project. Being a leader in a large-scale construction project requires a plethora of skills, one being a master negotiator. Although projects may have large budgets, without negotiating on price, clients may end up paying more than need be. As with all types of projects, negotiating is necessary to save time and money.