Qualifying a Contractor

One of the first steps for an owner when considering a construction project, and undoubtedly most critical, is choosing a contractor. Much of the success of your build will depend on the commercial construction provider that constructs it. When you are in the fortunate position of having several construction firms to review, you need to develop a list of qualifiers to help choose the right one, such as:


A contractor’s experience can be a combination of several factors. The history of the company will tell you if it has earned a quality reputation over the years. While important, this qualifier will only give you a general sense of a firm’s experience. When it comes to experience, you need to determine expertise as well. Determining how many projects they have completed in your market and if they are similar in scale will let you know they have the skillset for your specific requirements. 


Though they work with a range of materials, equipment, and technology during a build, the people involved are the heart of its success. To help select the best contractor, review the team that will be working on your project. The project managers should have the education and experience that align with your needs. You need to evaluate the company’s in-house capabilities that they will use on the project. Today, few contractors fully self-perform all jobs during the build. The ability to solicit bids and work-trade contractors is a critical factor when evaluating contractors.


For a smooth build, a contractor must have a detailed and thorough project process in place. Whether you choose a general contractor or construction manager, they need to have each phase of the project planned. From pre-planning to material ordering to setting the schedule, each step is essential. This factor is especially true if you need to fast-track your project or have flexibility in working around existing operations.


Finally, you should be comfortable working with your contractor. Each company has a personality all its own, and it needs to align with you to create an effective team. Of course, a professional approach and communication are a must. However, some owners prefer a more personal and direct involvement, while others wish to establish a hands-off relationship. The way a builder operates with clients and its personality is crucial to a less stressful build.

The GCI team is committed to delivering a successful project to every client. We work throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northern Wisconsin, serving a variety of markets. To discuss your next project, contact us at

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