The Top 7NO-NO’s for the General Contractor Industry

The top 7NO-NO’s for the General Contractor Industry

There are many instances when you, as a general contractor, regret that you would have done differently in your role as a general contractor. Often, there are situations when you think, post-facto, had you handled them differently, outcomes could be better.

After working with many custom home builders, we identified common issues ailing everyone in the sector. These top 10 challenges and problems account for more than 90% of general contractors’ woes in the industry.

So, if you can avoid these top 10 DONTs or Big NOs, you could come out as a successful general contractor with an impeccable record of finished projects and satisfied clients.


Most things go wrong when either you didn’t understand client requirements, constraints, budget, or deadlines clearly, or you couldn’t communicate your concerns to them.

Things also go wrong when miscommunication happens between you and your sub-contractors, workers, or suppliers.

A communication breakdown is a worst-case scenario where whatever you say is falling on deaf ears!

You may be right, logical, and well within your rights to correct the other person, but instead of escalating a tense situation, you must take a step back and try to understand where they are coming from.

Using smart apps for communication and conveying the correct designs, project estimates, materials lists, and project monitoring can help you keep the team in sync.


One cannot be present everywhere and cannot do all the things. When becoming a custom home builder in Naples, you realized that you need to delegate your work to beefficient and reliable sub-contractors.

Many subs also dupe general contractors by forging or not presenting their work licenses and up to date general liability insurance. Make sure that they list you for added coverage on their insurance.

If you are having problems finding reliable subcontractors (subs) for jobs like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, excavation, earthmoving, etc., then you are not alone.

Finding reliable partners in suppliers,who canprovidetimelydelivery and quality materials, is another issue. Many suppliers do not value long-term relations and will supply to the highest bidder.

Finding a team of reliablepartners – subs, workers, and suppliers –is an art form, and it takes investment on your part to retain them for long.

Poor scheduling

Scheduling means to ensure that materials, workers, and equipment are at the correct place and at the right time.

Drawing up a perfect schedule that is acceptable to all is close to impossible. But drawing up a good enough program that satisfies the most critical and urgent constraints is not that difficult.

Poor scheduling and movement planning areamong the oft-cited reasons for project costs overruns, time delays, and frequent changes to them.

Using project management and construction scheduling software or apps, you can key your details, requirements, and availability to generate a working schedule. You can then make tweaks to it as per your more specific needs.

Overpaying for insurance

Every professional and company requires insurance to cover for unplanned delays, accidents, and other sorts of liabilities.

General contractor Naples FL insurance contracts from most companies are standardized, and insurance premiums are an unavoidablecost of doing business. But, overpaying for an insurance cover just because it covers “everything”will not do you any good.

Depending on the types of projects, construction regulations, statistical data about the likelihood of different eventualities, and their impact, you must tailor-make your insurance plan.

Cashflow mismanagement

For any venture, cash is the lifeline on which they depend. Therefore, its flow must be tracked appropriately and planned to avoid any blockages at any end.

The working capital requirements of a construction company and a general contractor are very high. It would help if you had cash not only for the ongoing budgets but also to meet any eventuality or emergency.

You may find that your suppliers, subs, and workers often demand early payments, and you cannot always deny the request. Sometimes your clients may defer paying your dues on time.

In any case, you may find yourself looking for cash under the couch or mattresses!

Having theright balance in the bank and not over-leveraging can help you through lean times when the going is tough.

Don’t overbuy any material for which there is no immediate use to release the inventory costs. Ordon’tbuy expensive heavy machinery if you cannot ensure more than 75% use for it.

Misplacing documents

Many important documents such as construction permits, contracts, designs, renovation or construction orders, purchase orders, cash receipts, bills &invoices, employment cards, insurance define the framework of your business.

Each project generates a ton of paperwork that isnever to be used but are needed for future references – for taxation and legal reasons. Document management and proper filing is a requirement of your business.

But document not necessarily mean paper – you can go completely paperless and use proper digital solutions to store your documents on cloud storage securely. It will also allow you to access these documents from anywhere and share them with a few taps.

Passing the buck

Nothing ever happens 100% as planned, and no one can control that. There are bound to be many bumps, diversions, and delays.

The most usual response from anyone is to pass the buck on someone else, to blame something for the delay or fault. You may feel tempted to blame your subs, suppliers, and workers in front of your clients.

But passing the buck will never absolve you of anything. In the end, as a general contractor, it is your responsibility to get all things in shape and get the work done. Blaming others will only make you an unreliable general contractor for the client, and you’ll have to contend with negative publicity.

Instead, own up the mistake and give the best possible solution that you can offer, within your means, to make things right.

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