Office Design office redesign Office Renovation

What is a General Contractor and What Services Do They Provide?

what is a general contractor

General contractors play a very important role in the construction industry. Not only do they manage all aspects of a building or remodeling project, but they also provide valuable insight to their clients and offer them financial protection against any liabilities (should they occur). Take a closer look to understand just what is a general contractor:

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is a licensed professional who oversees the process of building or remodeling residential and commercial properties. In addition to new builds and interior fit-outs, general contractors manage site improvements, remodels, and renovations, providing services that allow their clients to maximize budgets and capitalize on a myriad of skills and expertise.

What Services Do General Contractors Provide?

General contractors facilitate the completion of many or all of the aspects of a construction project. Their goal is to keep their worksites safe while maintaining the highest standards for the projects they complete. Typical general contractor services include:

Budget Estimation and Billing — After meeting with clients and developing a better understanding of a project’s scope, a general contractor will provide an estimate for the project’s projected cost. He or she will take into consideration the price of labor; materials; tools and equipment; permits; inspections; taxes; and more, allowing clients to better anticipate the fiscal requirements of the project at hand. For the duration of the project, general contractors will also ensure that subcontractors are paid in a timely manner and clients have access to accurate financial statements.

Subcontractor Scheduling — One of the most important aspects of a general contractor’s job is to schedule all the subcontractors needed for a project. Union regulations frequently mean tradesmen can only work in one field, necessitating several different teams of tradesmen be hired to complete a single project. General contractors make sure that all the people needed to perform the various tasks of a construction project (such as plumbers, electricians, roofers, drywall installers, painters, etc.) are on site when needed. This keeps the project running smoothly, saving time and money.

Permit and Inspection Requests — Many building projects require permits or official approvals from the local government that allows construction to progress on a property. It’s a general contractor’s responsibility to apply for and secure any necessary building permits and arrange all subsequent city inspections in order to ensure all construction is up to code and, thus, remains valued at its maximum.

Materials Procurement — Of course, all construction projects require materials. General contractors work with clients, subcontractors, and vendors to supply all the tools, materials, and other equipment needed for work to commence onsite. Supplies, such as lumber, drywall, steel, concrete, dumpsters, and much more, come from a variety of sources.  General contractors locate, purchase and arrange delivery, sparing their clients the hassle.  One of the things that separates Key Interiors from our competition is our ability to control cost and lead times by purchasing most of our materials direct rather than through our subcontractors.  We also differentiate ourselves by offering office furniture through our network of over 400 furniture manufacturing partners and rep firms.

The Key Interiors Advantage

So, what is a general contractor? It’s a firm that fills an important role in the execution of quality interior and exterior construction projects. Our in-house team of design and construction professionals at Key Interiors offers a wide range of turnkey construction services that make new builds, renovations, or any other type of commercial or industrial renovation project a lot easier and a lot less stressful. In many instances, we also help our clients save money too. To learn more about the advantages of using Key Interiors for your own construction project, please contact us today.

Office Design office redesign Office Renovation work environment

The 5 Best Building Amenities for Employees

building amenities

While many employees don’t have to work from home anymore now that the pandemic is finally subsiding, more than 97% of Americans still want to. It’s a shift in employee mentality forcing a lot of companies who miss the synergism of in-person collaboration to think about the types of incentives they should offer to entice employees away from their homes and back to a corporate space. In many instances, these businesses are choosing to expand their building amenities, hoping that the promise of added on-site perks will persuade employees to ditch their sweats, brave the commute and return to the office. Here are five of the best building amenities your company can offer:

A Mother’s Room

Lactation rooms are mandated by federal law for all companies with 50 or more nonexempt employees. Per Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), these employers must provide a clean and private space (outside of a bathroom) for lactating mothers to pump breast milk while at work. A company of any size, however, would benefit from providing a well-equipped mother’s room as a building amenity. Not only does it demonstrate support for nursing women and help to reduce absenteeism and lower healthcare costs, it can improve the morale of all employees by providing space for other wellness needs (such as meditation, migraine relief, religious prayer, etc.).

A Well-Stocked Breakroom

Of course, every company needs a well-stocked breakroom where employees can take a few minutes for themselves. Studies indicate that 67% of employees with access to free snacks and a nice place to relax at work are “extremely” or “very” happy with their job, making this seemingly simple perk less of an extravagance and more of a necessity for companies wanting to keep their workers content while onsite. Indeed, providing free food is a win-win for everyone, since it often also keeps employees from leaving the building for breaks that end up lasting a lot longer than anticipated (which necessarily frequently decreases their productivity).

Natural Light and Green Space

Sometimes the best building amenities are the ones that exist outside an office’s front door. Today’s employees have (potentially) had two years of instant access to the great outdoors. To get them to give that up and come back to a work environment for eight (or more) hours a day, companies need to offer similar opportunities for outdoor exposure. Natural light sources and a pretty place to sit outside are two types of building amenities that can keep employees energized and engaged throughout the long workday.

Comfortable Furniture

Comfortable furniture is another building amenity that can have a huge impact on employee productivity. Unfortunately, too many companies neglect it. Taking the time to invest in quality furniture that can be customized for personal tastes and is comfortable, helps employees relax. In turn, they might just stay longer and get more done!

Collaborative Space(s)

Finally, all companies need space for employees to gather. Whether for work or socialization, large open space(s) can facilitate collaboration that, in turn, boosts employees’ moods, fosters innovation, and, ultimately, creates a dynamic company culture. It can be the best building amenity for companies wanting to grow into the future and improve their bottom lines.

Ready to Learn More?

Building amenities don’t have to be expensive to be effective. To learn more about using building amenities to create an inviting, supportive, and stimulating workplace environment, please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors.

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