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  • declan191

So what’s a main contractor anyway?

Experts, the world is full of them. There are professional experts available for any job. Some add value - others just seem to add cost - but when it comes to a construction project the one expert you can’t afford to be without is the main contractor.

It’s not just the fact that the main constructor will have full oversight of everything that happens within a project. Nor the fact that they will coordinate every activity on site. Your choice of main contractor will also influence how your build or refit progresses, the quality of the sub-contractors, the scheduling, planning, management and site engineering. It’s not stretching the point to say that it may be the most important decision you make for the project.

Your main contractor will take care of the management of your project from initial plans right through to delivery. They’ll use their network of subcontractors to add expertise for specialised elements of the build. In short, they’ll deliver on your vision - and do it on time and on budget.

That, at least, is the theory. In practice two of the most important aspects of the main contractors remit fall under the scope of quality management and health and safety management.

It’s all about the quality

Every project works to a different spec, so when we talk about quality management in construction it is of course about ensuring the finished job lives up to that spec - but it goes beyond that as well. And it starts with a strong quality management plan. Simply put that plan will deliver clear guidelines to cover the main contractor’s:

  • Quality policies

  • Quality objectives (clear and measurable)

  • Requirement standards (ISO accreditations etc.)

  • Statutory and legal requirements

From our experience at Built Interiors the quality management plan is a vital first step to ensure that the entire build goes according to plan - and that everyone from client to main contractor to subcontractors understands what’s expected from them. Experience plays a massive role in this of course - and the supply chain that we’ve developed over many years leaves us uniquely placed to deliver the highest available standards on every project. We also regularly revisit the quality management plan to ensure that it remains fit for purpose for every stage of the build.

Safe as houses (or offices!)

On any site the one thing that won’t be negotiable is health and safety management. This is the direct responsibility of the main contractor and, given that any build naturally contains innumerable hazards and dangers, it’s something that we take very seriously. Strictly adhering to legal requirements is one aspect of it but ensuring the welfare of our workers is also paramount. Among the many health and safety procedures we carry out on every build we undertake are:

  • Check that every person has the skills, knowledge, and experience to carry out their work safely and without risk to health

  • Ensure suitable welfare facilities are provided from the start and maintained throughout the construction phase

  • Identify and eliminate safety hazards or reduce risks during construction

  • Ensure workers have relevant safety accreditations and certifications (e.g. Safe Pass)

  • Provide workers with site specific induction

  • Ensure employees comply with the site health and safety plan

  • Monitor safety compliance and take corrective action

  • Take steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site

With Built you’re in good hands

One of the key attributes you want from your main contractor is, of course, experience. It’s not just about being able to understand the ins-and-outs, the logistical challenges and delivering to the expected standard - it’s about being able to react and solve an issue as and when it arises (and let’s be honest here, there are always issues). Built Interiors has decades of experience in the refurb and fit-out of both occupied and unoccupied buildings and on greenfield and brownfield sites.

But, in construction, you’re only as good as the work you’ve done, so drop us a line and we’d be happy to talk through some of the projects we’ve worked on and to let you know how we can make your next project a smooth and successful one.

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