Choosing a construction contractor is very similar to selecting a doctor. ‘Trust’ is the first thing that should come to mind. We never go to a doctor whom we cannot rely entirely. Similarly we need the contractor to carry out the works honestly and sincerely even when we are not available to supervise his works. Some steps to follow to find out the best construction contractor are as follows:
1: Check over internet to get reviews about the contractors in construction industry around your area.
2: Preferably try to look out for contractors who have carried out works nearby so that you can have a look at their completed works.
3: Talk to neighbors or people around you regarding the quality of their works.
4: Check for affiliations to different agencies like National association of home builders to get an idea of their credentials
5: Contractor experience is one of the best measures to know about them. Look for contractors with maximum experience in executing quality works. Check their website or talk to them.
6: When you go to the contractor’s former clients carry a checklist with you to ask a few questions like
i) How was the quality of their job?
ii) Any delays in executing the works?
iii) Any cost overruns?
iv) Was he open to your ideas even though he has more experience?
v) How is this contractor compared to any previous contractor you have worked with?
7: When you talk to the contractor be sure to ask a few questions like
i) What is the cost for executing the works?( Compare it with other reputable contractors in this field. At the end of the day it should fit your budget. Better still like big organisations you can go for open tender in newspaper so that the technically qualified ones as per you will bid competitively to bring the cost down)
ii) Talk to contractor regarding their vision, mission and values.
iii) Ask the contractor about the person who will be supervising the works on a daily basis.
iv) Talk about his experience in energy efficient and green construction, keeping the site safe and clean.
8: As mentioned above, going for competitive bidding will be the best method in this regard. Hence making a techno-commercial specification fulfilling your requirements to be published in a newspaper or over the internet becomes very important. Take the help of a friend or neighbour who have this experience or somebody who works in the construction industry to make a technical specification consisting of points to be fulfilled by the bidding contractors. Get the commercial terms and conditions made by a reputable lawyer.
9: Keep an eye on the lowest bidder. Even though you have verified everything, things might still go wrong. To cut costs and win the bid, even good contractors might cut corners. So that is where strong track record and contractors who value honesty and integrity above anything else are the best bets.10: If you are choosing the contractor without going for tendering, make sure to show the contract to a lawyer before signing it