What is a commercial contractor

JST Construction – What is a Commercial Contractor  

A Commercial contractor is an individual or company who IS engaged in constructing buildings and complexes for public or business use, such as restaurants, hospitals, schools, office blocks. The scale of commercial construction is considerably larger than domestic construction, although housing estates and larger projects such as care homes could be included as commercial construction and therefore could use a commercial contractor.  

As the workload and logistics of commercial construction is often far greater than domestic construction the requirements for project managers is increased as well as their responsibilities. These responsibilities include ensuring the workers on site are completing the relevant work correctly, on time, and in a safe manor as well as ensuring that the site itself is safe for the workers to be on. The larger the project, the more necessary it is to involve more than one contractor and to maintain order and safety onsite.   

What are subcontractors? 

Commercial contractors often work alongside subcontractors who are brought in to complete specific phases and parts of a construction project, such as window fitters or electricians. They are not the main contractor yet have an important role in the completion of the project and so must be able to work seamlessly alongside the main contractor and possibly other subcontractors at once to provide a continuous flow of momentum within the project and to prevent any communication problems that could hinder the completion of the project. A critical feature to avoid in construction projects, especially commercial projects, is the snowball effect, when one part of the project is not completed on time perhaps by a subcontractor which then has a knock on effect for the rest of the construction and each phase becomes more at risk of being delayed. This then affects the overall completion date for the project itself. This knock on experience is sometimes refed to as the ‘snowball effect’ as more and more delays build up getting bigger and bigger much like a snowball rolling down a hill. 

Are subcontractors the reason for delays in large construction projects? 

Commercial contractors although they work on considerably larger projects are as susceptible if not more so than smaller contractors given the logistical challenges they face and the impacts of delays and hold ups on their clients. When commercial contractors are unable to complete a project or financially collapse, the impacts are felt far beyond the construction site. The collapse of Carillon Construction in 2018 had a major impact as their construction projects were largely commercial and one of their largest clients was the public sector and the UK government. The collapse of the UK’s second largest construction company caused much disruption and financial difficulty across the country. When it comes to commercial contractors and public sector projects the stakes are high for all involved. Therefore the need to be mindful of decisions made large or small, and the impact they have, must be clear and controlled with coordination and cooperation between all participants, from commercial contractors, subcontractors and the clients. The clients are important links during each project and must retain awareness and monitor the work and the progress that is being made. Thus keeping on track the contractor who is aware that the client is monitoring the situation and is remaining involved during the project. The Health and Safety Executive outlined the in the Construction Design management (CDM) regulation of 2015 the importance of the clients to commercial construction and how the client is key to overseeing the construction work and ensuring all aspects of the work are completed successfully. 

What else do commercial contractors do? 

Commercial contractors are also involved with maintenance and refurbishment of premises for clients who require improving the visual appearance and environment of a building such as offices or public spaces, the Elizabeth Tower in London is one prominent example of commercial restoration. Maintenance including roads, bridges and other transport infrastructure is also a significant part of commercial contractors portfolio. Much of the national construction carried out in the public sector is completed by commercial contractors, who have the experience and capability to manage and conduct construction projects on a scale that smaller providers would find difficult to achieve. This is due to the challenges of resources, costs, logistics, deadlines and other influences and expectations laid out by clients and the users of the facilities and infrastructure being built. Without commercial contractors, major and essential building work would be made substantially more challenging for those left to achieve them This would leading to major problems and setbacks across the country as vital services and capabilities would be unable to provide the necessary outcomes that many people depend on.  

If you would like more information regarding commercial contractors or construction services then please contact JST Construction who will be able to provide construction expertise and experience to assist you with your Enquiry.  

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