Here’s Why You Need a Commercial General Contractor

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

A commercial general contractor (CGC) is an individual or a construction company responsible for managing the overall construction process from start to finish.


In construction management, a CGC plays a key role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of a commercial construction project and ensuring successful project completion. A CGC also serves as the project manager—the lead entity in charge of coordinating the project team’s work and communicating with the owner on project activities.


Furthermore, CGCs are necessary to ensure continuity and consistency throughout the program schedule while considering vital milestone dates.


Keep reading to learn more about the significance of a commercial general contractor.


What is the Role of a Commercial General Contractor?

A CGC performs a broad range of project management tasks to ensure the project is completed on time and at/within budget.


Let us look at the typical tasks of a commercial general contractor:


  • Develop a construction schedule.
  • Coordinate with the project team, including architects, engineers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Coordinate and oversee the work of subcontractors—making sure that they are following safety protocols and meeting project specifications.
  • Ensure project compliance with all applicable building codes and regulations and safety protocols.
  • Manage project budget (including cost estimation and expense tracking).
  • Manage the risk management process (including potential risk identification and implementation of risk mitigation strategies).
  • Manage workers’ compensation.
  • Negotiate agreements and contracts with suppliers and vendors.
  • Communicate with the project owner and provide updates on the project progress.
  • Oversee the project site to get work done according to required plans and specifications.
  • Oversee the final inspection of the project to ensure compliance with quality standards, regulations, and safety protocols.


Projects for a Commercial General Contractor

Commercial general contractors typically work on a wide variety of commercial construction projects, including:


Civil engineering: Civil engineering projects, such as dams, water treatment plants, and other public works.


Educational facilities: Colleges, schools, and universities.


Healthcare facilities: Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.


Hotels and hospitality: Hotels and resorts.


Industrial facilities: Factories and warehouses.


Infrastructure: Airports, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure projects.


Mixed-use developments: CGCs construct mixed-use developments, which include residential, commercial, and retail spaces in a single building.


Multi-family housing: New multi-family housing, such as apartments and condos.


New office buildings and retail spaces


Apart from undertaking new construction work, CGCs renovate and remodel existing educational, healthcare, and industrial facilities, as well as hotels and residential and commercial buildings. General contractors are always in demand for commercial renovation (also known as “commercial upfit”) or new construction needs.


For example, Sigmon Construction is a Raleigh, North Carolina firm providing residential and commercial remodeling, among other services. According to a press release, the company has been ranked #1 remodeler by the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ).


Examples of General Contracting Services

Residential construction includes residential buildings like apartments, condos, single- and multi-family homes, and so on.


On the other hand, commercial construction focuses on building commercial and industrial structures, such as hospitals, hotels, malls, manufacturing facilities, and offices.


Unlike a residential contractor, a contractor in a commercial setting works on projects with different budgeting, materials, permits, schedules, etc.


Various types of licenses (such as a building contractor license and residential contracting license) apply to contractors specializing in residential or commercial construction. However, a licensed general contractor can work on both projects.


General contracting services include, but not limited to the following (listed alphabetically):



  • Bidding and procurement
  • Cost management/Estimates
  • Design coordination
  • Scheduling/Time management
  • Site evaluation



  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Cleanup
  • Project management
  • Project safety
  • Quality control



  • Certificate of occupancy
  • Client feedback
  • Completion walk-through
  • Contract closeout
  • Warranty


Some well-established commercial general contractors are family-owned businesses that have grown into global organizations with corporate offices worldwide.


For example, Gilbane Building Company is a family-owned global integrated construction and facility management company that has worked on a variety of project types, including administration spaces (tenant improvements), data centers, retail banks (new and renovations), roofing, and parking lots.  


The company also plans to work with local partners, including women- and minority-owned businesses, to develop a large-scale project in South Carolina (The University of South Carolina’s BullStreet District health sciences campus).


Wrapping Up

A commercial general contractor or a commercial contractor is an integral part of any commercial construction project and is involved in all phases—from developing a construction schedule to overseeing the final inspection.


A commercial building, such as a convenience store, healthcare facility, hotel, office, or school needs the expertise and in-depth knowledge of a CGC to lead the construction process from a project blueprint to a full-fledged structure. CGSs also manage infrastructure projects and large-scale buildings (such as airports and skyscrapers).


Whatever the type or size of a project, CGCs are well equipped to handle simple and complex projects and provide various construction services to meet commercial project objectives and requirements.


It is important to choose a fully licensed, insured, and an experienced contractor with a proven track record of successfully completing commercial construction projects. 


A commercial general contractor plays a crucial role in successful project completion and significantly contributes to the construction industry with experience, hard work, and professionalism.


Are you looking for commercial construction projects? Stay informed with our Global Project Tracker and identify new opportunities for your business.


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