Freedom Construction Blog

Blog > Construction Management > The Difference Between Construction Management & General Contracting

The Difference Between Construction Management & General Contracting

by | Jul 18, 2022

Discover the Difference & Gain Insight to the Advantages of Our Services

A construction manager and a general contractor—what’s the difference?

At Freedom Construction and Consulting, we believe that informed property owners are better equipped to make the right decisions for their construction project. That’s why, in addition to providing exceptional construction management services for commercial properties across West Michigan, we also invest our time in helping educate our property management clients about the construction industry as a whole.

When it comes to construction management and general contracting, there’s a common misconception that they are one-in-the-same. While it’s true that both are leaders in construction projects, there are key differences between the two—the most notable of which being their level of involvement.

Construction Managers vs. General Contractors 101

Construction managers, or CMs, are brought on during the planning phase of a construction project. They are involved at the initial stage of the project to help set a sound foundation. Using their comprehensive construction expertise, a CM works directly with the property owner, architect, general contractor and other stakeholders to lay the foundation of the project. Their main goals are to:

  • Determine the best possible sequence of construction operations
  • Develop a detailed schedule and budget
  • Manage risk by establishing plans for project safety and security

At Freedom Construction and Consulting, we prefer to partner with our construction management clients as early into the project as possible. This allows us to provide direct input in foundational elements of the project, such as defining project scope, constructability, acquiring the proper resources, and identifying and accounting for any potential challenges to avoid unaccounted for costs and/or delays.

Not only do CMs get involved at the beginning stages of a project, they remain active throughout every following stage. It’s the CM’s responsibility to oversee aspects such as:

  • Balancing crews against workloads
  • Creating weather mitigation plans—a must with West Michigan’s climate
  • Ensuring everyone on site is following safety protocols
  • Project management planning
  • Compliance and quality through every step of the build
  • Costs and budget management
  • Implementing, tracking and safeguarding deadlines
  • … And any other tasks related to ensuring the safety, efficiency and success of commercial construction projects

General Contractors Duties & Responsibilities

A general contractor, or GC, isn’t brought on board a project until after there’s a finalized design in place. Once the construction plan is in place, a property owner will bid their completed project to general contractors and award the project based on price and quality.

As for the GC’s role in a project, they are responsible for managing a jobsite’s day-to-day activities, spearheading all project matters associated with the actual constructing of the building. These duties include serving as the project manager, contracting and coordinating the work of the subcontractors, and acting as the liaison in communicating with the owner or architect.

The Construction Management Services You Need for Project Success!

While we understand the differences can be confusing, the best way to sum it up is this: A construction manager manages the project from pre-design to completion; a general contractor manages the project post-design to completion. To Freedom Construction and Consulting, both delivery methods are a full-on partnership with the owner and all stakeholders.

Freedom Construction and Consulting is the reliable, results-driven construction management team you want leading your next construction project. We are woman-owned, family-operated and take pride in providing exceptional construction management services with a people-first touch. Connect with us today to learn more about our construction management services.

Similar Articles from Our Blog

What can we help you with?

Get Your Project Started Today!