Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a longstanding relationship with a contractor, you will need to vet a contractor when you have a construction project. The following are three areas that you should gather information to review to make an educated decision.
General Company Information
It’s essential to learn about the construction company and its history. For example, you will want to know how long the contractor has been in business and where they have a license to work.
Check if the contractor is insured, certified, and carries liability insurance and workers’ compensation that covers all site workers. Relevant work experience is also important. Ask for a list of similar projects they have worked on and references you can speak with to learn about the company’s track record. Determine if the contractor’s bid is an estimate or a fixed price to eliminate unwanted surprises. Also, discuss when payments are due and the amount.
Company & Project Policies
Knowing how a contractor stands behind their work and has performed in the past is critical. Identify what type of guarantees, warranties, punch list system, and arbitration process they provide. Ask about their claims record to see the number of unsatisfied clients they’ve had. Review their safety record. A good safety record indicates that the contractor is concerned about their workers, professionalism, and the overall quality of their work.
An experienced commercial construction contractor often has unique processes. Understanding how the construction process will work is critical to a successful build. Establish an estimated start date and project timeline to set project expectations. If the construction company is designing the project, you will want to know if they have in-house engineers and architects. If they outsource this part of the project, ask about the firms they use. Additionally, determine which services will be self-performed and which delegated to sub-contractors. To assure the quality of the materials used in the project, ask which suppliers will be used.
Gundlach Champion has over 125 years of experience dealing with the challenges in the construction industry to assure a successful project for our clients. The GCI team brings over 350 years of combined experience to every construction project, from new buildings to renovations. To discuss your next project, contact us at gcfirst.com.