What is a General Contractor?
In a construction project a General Contractor or “GC” can be defined as one who plans, coordinates, manages, and communicates the entire construction project from budgetary concepts to final inspections. Often times clients hire general contractors to come in and be their construction expert ensuring that their project will run smoothly and they get exactly what they desire. Some companies believe that they can General Contract their own construction projects to save money but most cities require the following: “All commercial building permits must be obtained by a licensed commercial contractor, licensed through the City of St. Cloud.” Starting as early as the conceptual design stages of a commercial remodeling project, construction expertise is needed. City codes and building requirements change on a yearly and even monthly basis and understanding what’s required from the city is a very important from the start. In the early stages of the design process of a construction project, General Contractors can help you identify possible issues and variables prior to starting construction as well as give you the information needed from a budgeting standpoint. Contractors can also help you understand what options are viable within your budget. Often times contractors help bring some clients back to reality.
General Contractor Documents
Architectural drawings, project manuals (including general, supplementary and/or special conditions and specifications), addendum or modifications issued prior to proposal/ bidding and prepared by a design professional such as an architect. The GC will also work with the Structural Engineer, Electrician, Plumber, Mechanical Engineer, and Site Survey team to present those drawings as well.
The Randahl Construction Team
Being in the business for over 30 years our construction team is equipped to handle all types of commercial construction projects. With our four divisions (General Contractor, Construction Management, Commercial Concrete, and Commercial Remodeling) our team is built to specialize in all aspects of a construction process. Randahl Construction, Inc. was established in 1986 and maintains the same ownership from the beginning now operating out of Corcoran, MN. The Randahl team has worked with customers all across the state of Minnesota including The Minnesota Vikings (Winter Park), Sun Country Airlines, KFAN, Frito Lays and many more… Bringing over 30 years of experience to each construction project, we orchestrate, plan and coordinate the construction of your project according to your special conditions, budget, contract documents, building plans, blueprints and speciﬁcations for your project. One of our biggest strengths is understanding our customers. Owner Randy Olsen works individually with each customer and listens to them closely identifying exactly what their goal for the project is. Being able to understand their vision and combine it with his experience is a true work of art. Often times clients are amazed with the results. (See Medina Entertainment Center Before/After).
Pre-design Construction Services
As a general contractor we often participate in the early planning and design stages of a construction project by providing pre-design construction services – these services can help you with budgetary numbers, design questions and also help you identify any potential problems that you may have with your project. We work closely with several of the best architects in the State of Minnesota. Our architects help us create a visual plan for our customers, which truly excites everyone involved. Often times soil samples, structural issues, and other tests / information needs to be gathered prior to construction, to ensure that the project can be completed as designed. Having an architect and general contractor on your team during this process is a must. For instance in St. Cloud, MN not only do you have to be a licensed commercial contractor but you also will need the following:
Two completed sets of scaled drawings, to include, but not limited to:
o Architectural drawings
o Structural drawings
o Electrical drawings
o Mechanical HVAC drawings
o Plumbing drawings
o Site/Civil drawings
So in summary, a construction project may seem like a simple overall task but as you can see above, before the project begins the General Contractors are heavily involved and invested into the project. Randahl Construction also provides clients with assistance in their real estate search. Once our clients believe they have found a place, we are able to provide them with rough or specific numbers for their desired upgrades to their facility such as: concrete repair, new docks, added office space, mezzanines etc. These numbers and estimates can also be used in their financing.
Communication is the key to a successful project
It’s that easy. Our team has been trained to over communicate before, during and after each and every construction project. In construction, everyone needs to be on the same page in order for a project to flow and run smoothly. If there’s any gap in the communication circle, it can be easily identified because that’s usually where the error or errors happen. In construction, project coordination for the General Contractor consists of understanding the clients needs, budget, timeline and expectations. Then relaying that information down the pipeline to the appropriate people. Typically General Contractors are experts in planning a construction project. At Randahl Construction we always like to be up front and honest with our clients by not over promising and under delivering. We offer a realistic start and finish date that satisfies the clients expectations and needs. When a client selects Randahl Construction to General Contract their project, we know two things, One, they are going to get everything that we promised on our proposal and two, our clients are going to be satisfied with the project communication throughout the project. In construction not all projects run smoothly due to the amount of variables that you are dealing with but if everyone is honest, upfront, and on the same team everything will work out.
Being in the business for over 30 years, we have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of different Minnesota sub-contractors on the thousands of different projects that we have completed. Through that process, we’ve been able to build our elite team of sub-contractors. We have weeded out the unreliable, poor quality and inadequate subs and now only work with the best. Some of our subcontractors we have worked with for over 20 years. Those are the type of relationships that have helped Randahl Construction become the company we are today. When we find a tradesman or company that out-performs the others, we make sure to take care of them in all ways possible. Our team of subcontractors understand that Randahl Construction takes great pride in the work that we perform and our projects are for long term relationships with our clients. This means that the work we perform needs to be top quality because we treat every job as our first. Our goal is to EARN business relationships.
General Contractor Project Estimates
At Randahl Construction, we guarantee REAL NUMBER proposals. When we provide a proposal for a project, we are usually one of the higher numbers upon first glance. That changes once our clients dive into the proposals and understand what we are providing and what we are NOT providing. Often times contractors will low bid a project knowing that a change order is coming for them to profit on later in the project. RCI does not work like that. We believe in being up front and honest with our clients from the start, even if that means being the high number estimate early on because we identified issues that others may not include in their proposal. Our proposals are extremely detailed and allow for our clients to see exactly what we are quoting. So General Contractor Tip #1 Ask your contractor about “Change Orders” and if any of their last projects had a change order. This can help you see what type of contractor they are. Listen, Change Orders happen and Randahl Construction will be the first to admit we have change orders. That said, how a company presents, handles and discusses them makes a difference. If we see a possible change order in the future of the project, we will do our absolute best to notify you of the expected or possible change orders.
After we complete your project, The Randahl Construction team along with the owner Randy Olsen will walk through the process of getting final approval from the city. Because we take great pride in our work, we also try to feature completed projects on our website and in the press. Of coarse we also keep confidentiality when needed. Most of our clients are in the medical and technology industry so we can not share or distribute any information of the projects we complete.