Undertaking a multifamily construction project can be a daunting (and exciting) task! That is why selecting the right general contractor is crucial to the success of your project. If this is the first time you are undertaking a multifamily housing build you may be wondering what kind of role the General Contractor plays in these kinds of projects and what can you do to make sure you find the right one for you.
Typically, in multifamily housing projects, the General Contractor is responsible for completing the project from start to finish. This includes the initial stages of a project such as working with your architect to suggest improvements, value engineering, money savings, permitting, all the way through hiring the sub-contractors, completing the build, and everything in between.
With that level of involvement, it is obvious your GC will have input in almost every aspect of the build, and finding the right one for you will save you many headaches down the road.
So what can you do to ensure you select the right General Contractor for your multifamily housing project? Keep these 5 tips in mind.
- Start the process as early as possible: For large multifamily development projects getting all your ducks in a row can take time. Checking zoning, getting the proper permits, approvals from local government agencies, etc. all take time and lots of paperwork. Getting started early will help your project get off the ground sooner so you can get the most from your investment. That is why working with the right GC who has navigated these projects in the past can speed the process along as they have been through the process before and know the best way to move things along and inform you of what to expect.
- Develop a Detailed Project Description: The more details you can provide your GC about your build the more accurate estimates they can get you on timeline and cost estimates. By helping to provide a thorough project description ahead of time it allows for the proper expectations to be set early to lower the chance of misunderstandings down the road and ensure a successful build.
- Ask For References. Any reputable GC will be happy to offer you a list of past contacts and projects for you to call and ask about their work. The time you spend checking and verifying references can give you a better idea of what to expect, while also allowing you to make a sound decision that you feel confident about. Additionally, this is a great time to ask past clients specific questions you want clarity on to help you feel confident in your choice of GC going forward.
- How well do they communicate? This is a big one. Multifamily housing projects are large, complex projects and communication is essential to ensure everyone is on the same page. Find a GC that is compatible with the type of communication style you envision. Do you want frequent updates once a week? Every day? Or take more of a hands-off approach? A lot of it depends on how involved you want to be and what stage of the project you are in.
- How do they choose their Sub-Contractors? While pricing often plays a very large role in large construction projects, a cheaper price does not always equal a great result. Ask your GC if they work with a group of trusted subcontractors that perform high-quality work and whether within this group the GC gets multiple bids for the necessary work to be performed which can allow you to get a high-quality result at a reasonable price. Oftentimes, just going for the lowest quote can lead to many more headaches down the road.
With all this in mind, here is an example that can shed some light on how finding the right GC can make a big difference. Consider this:
Multifamily housing projects are typically large investments in which even a small mistake can lead to a significant cost increase. Issues such as errors in design, which a General Contractor with the right experience can help avoid, can cost you tens of thousands. For example, a $1000 design issue that could have been spotted in the initial planning phases by an experienced General Contractor on a 50-unit apartment project could then lead to a $50,000 change order which is a substantial impact on your investment.
Over the years, Resetarits Construction’s extensive experience has created checklists to hopefully avoid making these types of errors and/or omissions and make multifamily housing projects go smoothly.
If you are looking to undertake a multifamily housing project reach out to us! We are happy to do what we can to prove we are the right choice for your project.