Choosing the right general contractor has a big impact on every aspect of your construction project. Whether you are building a residential or commercial building, you are more likely to get hundreds of bids from different contractors. But, you will need to choose the right contractor for the success of your project.
Most people normally choose a general contractor based on their price. However, this is where they go wrong. There are various things that you must know when choosing a general contractor if you want to make the right choice. With that, let’s look at 6 things that you must know during the selection process.
Check their references
When interviewing the general contractor, there’s a chance that they will try to convince you to hire them right from the start. However, this shouldn’t be the case. First, you need to ask them to give you a list of their recently completed projects, similar to yours. This will help you to have accurate information about the contractor.
When you get the list of references, take your time, and call each of them. Ask them about the quality, schedule, safety records, and other things about the contractor that might be of concern. To ensure fairness to the general contractor when they get a negative review, ask them about the review so that you can have two sides of the story.
The contractors at AFS General Contracting agree that the construction industry is becoming more and more competitive every day. And contractors are becoming specialized to gain an upper hand over their competitors. Now, if you want to construct a new commercial building, any general contractor can handle this job. However, if you want a building for industrial process, hospitality, or health care, among others, you will need to hire a contractor experienced in constructing such buildings.
With this, you should expect to get better price bids, quality work, as well as scheduled because of the experience the contractor has gained from such projects. It can be even better when you bring the contractor on board during the first stages of the construction project, as they can help you in value engineering. This is because engineers and architects don’t design a building with ease of construction in their mind, which increases the cost of the project.
In the past few years, there has been an increase in the importance of having safe work practices—and there are no signs of this slowing down. This is even more important if the construction project is on the same site as your current facilities, as the contractor must ensure the safety of your employees. The last thing you need to deal with is a loss of productivity because an employee has been injured or negative publicity as a result of an accident that could have been prevented.
Therefore, you will need to ask the contractor about their safety practices, and the measures that they’ve put in place to make sure that the construction site is safe. If possible, check the contractor’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR) as well as Total Recordable Injury and Illness Rate (TRIR), since these are the best indicators of safe work records. The numbers should not exceed 1.
The reputation of the general contractor is essential, and it’s something that you must consider. A good reputation comes from delivering quality services consistently. So, you can check online reviews to check what their previous clients say about the contractor. Also, try talking to people who have worked with the contractor before, like building inspectors, and subcontractors, among others. This will allow you to get first-hand information about the contractor’s reputation.
Check their subcontractors
When choosing a general contractor, ask them to give you a list of subcontractors who they want to bring on board. Now, you will also need to review these subcontractors. While it might be a challenge to perform all the due diligence on subcontractors as you’d do with the general contractors, never fail to vet them. First, you’ll need to check whether the subcontractors have the same reputation as the general contractor. It’s important to note that the subcontractor plays a vital role in any construction project, thus, they must be pertinent and viable. Lastly, you need to check and confirm whether the subcontractor has met all the safety requirements set by your state.
Check with your local building department or building contractor’s associations whether the contractor has the proper licensing for your project. When a general contractor is licensed, it means that they are working within the laws set by your state. Most states require general contractors to be insured and bonded. This will make sure that you are protected in case of an accident or if the general contractor fails to observe the contract.
When you hire a licensed and insured contractor, you have peace of mind, since you know that you’ll not be liable in case of an accident at the site. So, when checking the general contractor’s license, don’t forget to confirm whether the subcontractors have the necessary licensing too.