Finding the right general contractor for your needs is essential to the success of the project. Spending time before the start of a project to find a quality general contractor that is the best fit can end up saving hours of time, money, and headaches. While the contractors quoted cost can and should be a significant factor when making the decision, it shouldn’t be the only factor. There are several other considerations and certain red flags to look out for. Here are five things to consider when choosing a general contractor:
Does the general contractor have the experience required to meet the scope of the project?
- With any project, it’s important to align the skills of the general contractor with the work that needs to be completed.
- Ask the general contractor about their unique capabilities and if they’ve performed similar types of work.
Does the general contractor have adequate resources at their disposal?
- A strong network of subcontractors and suppliers. Your contractor should have no qualms about telling you where he gets his materials if he’s an upstanding customer.
- Adequate staff to handle the project – especially for larger projects, you should ask yourself, does this general contractor have enough staff on both the project management and administrative sides to take on my project?
Does the general contractor effectively communicate with customers and subcontractors?
- You can never underestimate the value of effective communication between subcontractors and customers. It’s what keeps projects running smoothly and on time.
- It’s important to choose a general contractor that is skilled at helping clients get their ideas out of their heads and onto paper and then effectively communicate what needs to be done with subcontractors to best achieve goals.
Does the general contractor have great references regarding past performance on projects?
- To get an accurate representation, ask for contact information from their five most recently completed projects of similar contract value, or you are likely to get their clients that they feel would give them the best recommendation.
- When you call the references, specifically ask about safety incidents, number and value of change orders, quality, and schedule.
Does the general contractor have a strong financial record?
- Having a healthy balance sheet is a very important quality to look for in a general contractor. If a general contractor is financially responsible in their own business practices, then it is a good sign that they will manage the costs of your project responsibly as well.
- Keep in mind that a quoted cost does not always turn out to be the actual end cost – the most responsible contractors do their research in order to give accurate estimates.
To find out about more ways to increase your company’s success… have you thought about going green?