What is GMP In Construction?

What is GMP In Construction- A Brief Overview

In the building industry, a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) is generally part of a contract that describes the highest price that may be imposed for a project, and it expresses that a client will never spend more than that to have the work performed, and you are accountable for what this money is for any project that you are working on so that you do not spend more than you should to perform the job. In this article, we’ll be discussing what is GMP in construction. the components of GMP, its benefits, considerations for planning GMP contracts, and alternative pricing contracts.

GMP in construction

The definition of GMP in construction is a contract stipulation that specifies the maximum payment for the relevant contract. After reaching that payment milestone, the contractor is accountable for any further expenses. Whether it’s labor, supplies, or other running expenses, construction professionals also refer to this as a construction manager at risk (CMAR) contract. This is because a GMP contract carries an inherent risk that most other contracts do not.

However, applying GMP in construction requires more than just designating a single figure. Because the sector moves so quickly, there is a lot of intricacy involved. And, of course, a GMP contract includes numerous clauses to accommodate this. It’s also worth noting that a GMP contract is typically not all-encompassing. They often state that the client is accountable for some project-related costs and the contractor for others. For example, the customer may pay the contractor’s markup, but the contractor is responsible for subcontractor markups. This theory gives the answer to what is GMP in construction.

Components of a GMP contract:

gmp in construction

There are several ways to structure a GMP contract so that both the contractor and the customer save the most money. GMP contracts usually contain the following components:

Schedule of values

A schedule of values is a document that contractors use to estimate the entire cost of a project. This schedule is created by the principal general contractor before any residential or commercial construction begins to estimate project costs, and it is updated on a regular basis with actual expenses during the project. It tackles each aspect of the project and estimates the cost based on personnel, materials, and the length of time the project is expected to take.

The contractor then combines each part together to determine the most realistic maximum price. Giving the project customer an initial schedule of values before work begins might help them determine where they might be able to cut costs to save more money. Updating the schedule of values on a regular basis allows contractors to increase contact with their clients while also tracking the cost of subcontractors’ work. Customers can then make changes to the project to increase or lower the maximum price as needed.


Allowances in a GMP contract allow contractors to receive reimbursement for project work with unknown final costs. Adding allowances makes it easier to estimate expenses, which are frequently material-related. The addition of allowances allows the contractor to increase or lower the final price based on the customer’s selection. For example, if a customer is unsure about the sort of flooring they want to use in their kitchen, the contractor can estimate a general budget for the floor and adjust the maximum price based on their final choice.

Change orders

Change orders allow contractors to change the contract’s final price in response to unforeseen situations. These could include unfinished work by another contractor, material shortages, unexpected customer requirements, or other unforeseen situations. For example, if a builder is constructing a residential project and it rains for a few days, they might increase the price of the GMP contract to compensate for weather delays and stretch the project’s timeframe.

Contingency amounts

The contractor or the customer might set aside funds to cover labor and overhead costs, as well as material costs, in the final price. These figures show the costs of things that exceeded the initial budget. While estimating contingency amounts might be difficult, contractors can use their industry experience to help them do so. For example, if they’ve conducted a specific type of work that has resulted in unanticipated expenditures in the past, they can use their knowledge to generate an improved contingency estimate.

Customers may set aside money to cover unexpected expenses. The contractor might also devise a way to reduce their own expenses. For example, if a contractor is uncertain about a portion of the cost estimates, they may propose that the customer include contingency pricing in particular areas of the project, raising the maximum price.

Benefits of a GMP Contract:

The main advantages of a GMP contract include the following:

Creates savings opportunities

GMP contracts can encourage contractors to finish projects quickly and within budget. For example, if the contractor finishes the project for less than the approved maximum price, the customer may agree to share the savings with them. This permits the contractor to recognize various cost-reduction possibilities all over the project and generate a better income by completing it more expeditiously and effectively.

Accelerates the project schedule

Using a GMP contract could help consumers in acquiring financing more quickly, allowing contractors to begin working on projects immediately. Contractors can also start working without worrying about particular specifics because the budget restriction allows customers to make final decisions on materials and designs as the project progresses. As their needs evolve, they may opt to make changes, but the overall method for finishing the project is likely to remain unchanged.

Provides the opportunity to review each phase

Customers and contractors do not have to agree on all material prices before commencing a project, but GMP contracts allow them to evaluate the agreement’s pricing and make revisions as needed. For example, if a contractor agrees to refinish a customer’s kitchen but then the customer requests new floors in other rooms, the contractor might renegotiate the maximum price. A comprehensive contract can help you analyze each aspect of a project and prepare for the unexpected.

Considerations for Planning a GMP Contract:

When planning a GMP contract, there are a few critical concerns. These include:


When performing GMP projects, the contractor often faces a higher level of risk since if the project exceeds the maximum price, they may be required to pay the additional charges themselves. One strategy to reduce risk is to increase the contract’s maximum price to ensure that the budget stays within its limits. Contractors can also employ GMP contracts with other companies they hire for the job or use estimating tools to verify that the project budget is accurate.

Cost Reporting

When specific phases of a project are completed, clients should check the associated costs before making any additional payments. This might cause project delays since the customer must verify the cost report to ensure its accuracy. To avoid delays, contractors may wish to encourage consumers to use specialized software that is accessible at all times. This software can help them stay up to speed on the project’s costs and progress, allowing them to finish their reviews faster.


GMP contracts allow consumers to audit contractors’ financials at any moment. Customers can now confirm that they are paying a fair price thanks to enhanced openness, but contractors must keep detailed records. To make their contract as transparent as possible, they may want to have a third party or a legal professional examine it before distributing it to the customer.

Alternative pricing contracts:

While GMP contracts have advantages, there may be circumstances in which another type of contract is preferred. The four extra price contracts are:

Fixed-price contracts

These contracts enable the contractor to offer a project estimate that includes the total cost of labor, materials, and overhead. Customers may then pay a lump sum that includes the agreed-upon price after the project is completed.

  • Unit pricing contracts: It estimates costs based on the per-unit expenses of various materials used throughout each project phase. Unit price contracts can be advantageous for tasks that require unit quantities, such as painting or tile installation.
  • Cost-plus contracts: In this contract, the customer agrees to pay for supply, overhead, labor, and contractual expenses. The contractor’s amount is either a fixed fee or a percentage of the overall project cost.
  • Time and materials contracts: This contract allows the contractor to be compensated for both goods and labor. They’re frequently handy for initiatives with no set schedule.


In summary, GMP contracts are really important in construction because they set the highest price for a project and make sure everyone knows what they’re paying for. They include things like schedules, allowances, and change orders to keep things flexible and clear. GMP contracts help save money, speed up projects, and allow for changes along the way. But, it’s important to think about risks, and costs, and be open when making these contracts. Sometimes, other types of contracts might be better depending on the job. So, understanding GMP contracts and how they work is key to making construction projects go well.


A GMP contract is a type of agreement in construction that sets the maximum price for a project. It ensures that clients won't pay more than that maximum amount, and contractors are responsible for staying within that budget.

A GMP contract outlines the highest price a client will pay for a project. Contractors use various components like schedules, allowances, and change orders to manage costs and keep the project on track.

GMP contracts help save money by encouraging contractors to finish projects within budget. They also speed up project schedules and allow for adjustments along the way, ensuring clients get what they need.

When planning a GMP contract, it's important to think about risks, cost reporting, and transparency. Contractors and clients should be clear about what's included in the contract and be prepared for any unexpected costs.