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Comparison of General Contractor, Construction Manager, and Owner's Representative Models
The General Contractor, Construction Manager and Owner’s Representative are the three main functions an owner / developer can utilize to get a project built. They are, however, very different in their approach to a project. The Owner - General Contractor - Subcontractor model is the most conventional or orthodox method for building projects as evidenced by the following diagram: Traditional System

In this model the owner assumes the least amount of risk, but gives up a lot of the project profits to the General Contractor. This is a good model for inexperienced developers. The Owner - Construction Manager - Subcontractor model is the most risky for the owner, but can be also the most rewarding by allowing the owner to avoid paying the GC mark-up on each of the subs. However, it does not allow the security of a lump sum bid, since the risk of a forgotten subcontractor or missed work scope is a burden of the owner and not the GC. Construction Manager System

This model is only recommended for experienced Developers and those who can afford the risk of mistakes being made.


The Owner - Project Manager - General Contractor model is the most expensive on paper, since the cost of the owner’s rep. is added to the GC cost. But for the inexperienced or small Non-profit developer, this may be the best route to follow. See the following diagram for the responsibility/control lines for this model. Project Manager System


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