Finding the right contractor significantly affects the success of any project. Spending time on research before starting a project saves time, money and reduces inconveniences. While cost is the critical determinant when hiring a general contractor, it shouldn’t be the only factor to consider. Other essential indicators determine the completion and success of the project. The following are factors to consider when choosing a general contractor.
Hiring a General Contractor? Here’s What You Need to Consider
Some projects require special skills and expertise that the contractor may not possess. Thus, it is crucial to assess whether a contractor has worked on similar projects before. If they have, it is essential to evaluate such projects to determine their work and success rate. Additionally, they should provide a list of verifiable references regarding previous similar projects.
When seeking information from the provided references, individuals should ask about the contractor’s strengths and weaknesses. Such information is essential and plays a fundamental role before making the final decision. Contractors that have worked on numerous projects are adequately experienced and are likely to manage the proposed work successfully than new companies.
Reputation and Reviews
With the rise in the use of the internet and social media, it is easy to find reviews and recommendations from previous customers. Statistics indicate that 80% of individuals go through reviews and ratings before hiring or making purchasing decisions.
Reviews from previous clients help individuals assess the interaction between clients and the general contractor they intend to hire. If the contractor has an honest and reliable reputation, they can offer quality work and excellent customer service. Therefore, evaluating the contractor’s performance through reviews is extremely vital before making any hiring decision.
Availability of Resources
It is essential to scrutinize if the contractor has adequate resources at their disposal to complete a project. The following are indicators of the resource capability of a contractor.
- A strong network of sub-contractors – depending on the project’s nature, general contractors will work with sub-contractors at some point in the project. Thus, individuals should evaluate the reputation of the sub-contractors and their previous work as well. Also, they need to have worked with the general contractor on several previous projects to avoid inconveniencies.
- Adequate staff to handle the project – when dealing with larger projects, it is crucial to assess if the general contractor has the personnel and administrative capability to pull through the entire project.
- In-house capabilities – It is essential to evaluate the contractor’s own experience and capabilities, enabling them to have greater control of the project processes, schedule, and costs.
When selecting general contractors, it is vital to evaluate their current financial state. Such information is found in the financial records of a company. Clients should ensure that the contracting company has a stable and healthy balance sheet. This translates that the general contractor can manage the project and cover the costs before payments are made.
Many projects have stalled due to financial irresponsibility and bankruptcy of contractors. As a result, project owners suffer a setback in terms of their projected time and finances. Thus, evaluating the financial capabilities is extremely important and can’t be overlooked.
The importance of effective communication and general contractors is highly underestimated. During the construction period, critical decisions must be made and finalized within a tight timeline. Therefore, open communication between the contractor and the client is crucial from the start to the end of a project.
Clients should choose general contractors who are skilled at helping clients establish their ideas and effectively communicate with subcontractors for projects to run smoothly. Should concerns arise, clients should be comfortable communicating with contractors to address their worries.
Clients should make their contractors aware of any urgent deadlines before signing a hiring agreement. This is essential since it enables general contractors to assess their availability and discuss timelines with sub-contractors. Therefore, clients should determine their guidelines and checkout for guarantees on deadlines. They should evaluate the following:
- Have previous clients missed deadlines?
- What is their track record?
- Do they offer an on-time guarantee?
- Are they accustomed to meeting deadlines?
Health and Safety Plan
Safety considerations are vital when hiring a general contractor. Clients should consider contractors that carry builder’s risk, liability, and worker’s compensation insurance. For instance, if clients opt for contractors without proper insurance, they could be left out with the penalties of paying damaged properties or injuries even if the general contractor’s negligence caused the loss.
Before hiring contractors, individuals should ensure that the contractor and their personnel have safety equipment and clothes to complete the job safely. It is also critical that they ensure that contracting companies have permits from the relevant authorities.
Different contracting companies have distinct payment methods. Individuals should consider contractors that have payments plan flexible to their financial situations. However, experts advise clients not to pay everything in advance to limit unnecessary liabilities and inconveniencies.
Regardless of the offers made, clients must analyze the breakdown of the costs of labor and materials. Competitive bidding is encouraged since it allows clients to have options and review prices for different contractors.
Hiring contractors is a difficult but critical exercise. The highlighted factors will assist clients in finding the best general contractor for their projects.