The Move Towards Self-Performing in General Contracting

For centuries, building a structure required many different specialized laborers. One person would be hired to build the walls. Another individual would be used to do the foundation. Someone else was in charge of the floor. The list went on and on. However, in recent years, this fact has started to see some changes. Many general contractors are moving towards a system where they take care of more aspects of the building, with the exception of tasks that require signi cant expertise, such as plumbing and electrical. This shift has mainly occurred because few building components requires artisan-level skill. The tasks can easily be learned and it is just simpler for the general contractor to take care of it themselves. Additionally, there are several other benefits that come with a contractor that self-performs.



The most beneficial aspect of being a self-performing contractor is that they are seen as not just a jack-of- all-trades, but also a master-of-all-trades. When a job comes up that requires many different building skills, a self-performing contractor is the most compelling option. They can do everything themselves and fewer people will be involved. This means less calling around, less negotiating, and less confusion. Rather than having 10 or 15 subcontractors around, who all have different needs and different schedules, a self-performer handles everything.


As previously stated, self-performing contracting is a newer trend in the construction industry. Because of this, general contractors who self-perform have to prove themselves. They have a reputation and do not want it to be tarnished. Therefore, their commitment to quality ensures incredible workmanship, as does the fact that they usually have intensive hiring, on- boarding, and training for new employees. Property owners and architects know that when they work with a good self-performing contractor they will be getting a skilled workforce that has all of the necessary talents to accomplish a job and do it well.


A self-performing general contractor, simply put, is the biggest asset to a construction site’s budget. The first reason for this is that they are not working on different types of sites month-in and month-out. They know every aspect of the site. They know how long each portion of the project will take. They know what all of the material and labor will cost. If an architect or property owner hasa budget that they need to stick to, a self-performing general contractor is the best person to help them stick to it and get the best value for their money—if one technique or material is too expensive, they will know of an alternative.

And then there is the fact that a self-performing general contractor may be able to have a lower bid. They have their own labor so little to no money will be spent on hiring subcontractors at their marked up labor rates.

In short, a self-performing general contractor is a good choice for anyone who needs to stick to a budget.


One of the key concerns for every construction site is safety. There is heavy machinery, a lot of people,electrical work being done, uneven ground, and so many more hazards. When self-performing general contractors are employed, though, the job site becomes much safer. The reason for this is two-fold. First off, most of the labor that is on-site is on the same team. They all work together on a regular basis and communicate well. Secondly, most self-performing general contractors will have thorough safety standards and rigorous safety courses that all staff are regularly trained in.


In years past, many general contractors chose to use subcontractors because they preferred the specialized labor for particular tasks, plus subcontracting used to come at a lower cost and subcontracting tended to reduce the overall risk for general contractors. However, this is no longer the case. A 2015 FMI study showed that nearly half of general contractors are planning to increase the amount of construction tasks that they self-perform.

The main reasons that contractors are making this move are three-fold. First, when a general contractor self-performs they have more control over the schedule.They do not have to wait for subcontractors to show up and complete their work. They do not have to spend time communicating, negotiating, and planning with other subcontractors. They can promise a client that they will be nished with the project by a certain date and have more control, allowing them to keep their promise.

Second, self-performing contractors have more control over the quality of the construction project. They know the level of craftsmanship that their laborers can maintain and they can guarantee this level to the client.This type of control over the quality helps general contractors to grow their brand and their reputation. It also allows the contractor to be assured that all aspects of the project will be on the same quality level, reducing the amount of costly repair work.

Third, by avoiding subcontracting and the fees that come along with it, self-performing general contractors can significantly increase their profit margin while possibly saving the client money. This money can then be used to reinvest into the company so that skills can be increased and expanded. It can also be used to provide more competitive bid and still be at an acceptable profit level.

One of the keys to self-performing is to use products that lend themselves to self-performing. An example is the Bautex Wall System that can be easily and correctly installed by general laborers who work directly for the general contractor.

One general contractor, in Texas, hired a subcontractor to build a Bautex Wall on the first of two buildings. When they saw how easy it was to install Bautex, they self-installed the Bautex walls on the second building.

Another benefit of the Bautex Wall System, that makes it a good choice for self-performing, is how it takes fewer steps. A traditional framed, block or tilt-up wall requires three trades. One to erect the wall, another to insulate it and a third to install an air barrier. With the Bautex Wall System, one team installs the structure, insulation and air barrier at the same time.

In addition to being easy enough to be self-performed,the Bautex Wall System installs up to twice as fast as traditional walls.

When making the move into self-performing contracting, it is important for contractors to slowly expand the tasks that they can self-perform. One product that will serve every self-performing general contractor well is the Bautex Wall System. To find out more about this lightweight, stay-in-place, insulated concrete block for wall systems, please contact us.