Deciding on the best construction company to hire can be a difficult task. You can spend hours doing research before settling on the most appropriate company. To save you the agony, here are seven questions you should ask yourself before making the decision to hire a construction company.
1- Is the company registered?
You should only consider a company if it is registered and licensed to operate within the jurisdiction for which you want to build. If a company is not registered, it is operating illegally and can land you into problems. Lawsuits and state or federal law violations can derail your construction project months or even years not mentioning the cost you will incur. Registered and licensed companies assure you of quality in the project outcome. Ask for certificates, accreditation, awards and any other proof of complying with industry regulations.
2- How long has the company been operational?
The assumption is the longer the company has been operational, the bigger the experience; the kind that perhaps newer companies cannot match. You, therefore, stand to gain more from older more experience companies than young upcoming ones. This assumption might be misleading; since it is possible to find a relatively young company with quality construction projects.
3- Are there references that can vouch for them?
It is always advisable to do your due diligence before hiring a new construction company. Call their previous clients if you are having reservations. Let them explain to you their shortcomings if any, their strengths and their general experience. If possible schedule a site visit, inspect the quality of their previous work. You will be assured of their outcomes on projects before you hire them. You can also scout online for reviews on review websites. You can try Yelp and Better Business Bureau (BBB) to get more feedback from previous clients.
4- What is their safety policy?
Construction sites are very risky, and therefore safety should be a primary concern. You should only hire a company that maintains the highest safety standards and expectations. Site injuries for anyone can be costly, result in unscheduled delays and depending on the severity of the injuries can even lead to project cancellation. So when interviewing your potential companies, ask them to be more elaborate on their safety standards and expectations. Let them cite recent cases if any of site injuries, cases of fatalities and their response to the unfortunate event.
5- What is the company’s financial health?
It is very unprofessional accepting a bid and subsequently entering into a contract with a company based on low bidding price or personal relationship. All the companies you are considering should be evaluated on the basis of their financial health. Other than the financial health other factors that should inform the hiring decision should be the ability to communicate effectively, historical safety records among others. Request their statement of financial standing, cash flow analysis, credit reports, these will help you mitigate risks and also identify safety and operational risks.
6- What is the company’s permanent address?
If a construction company lacks a physical address, then something is cooking, and you should not be part of it. A physical address tells you that the company is legitimate and you can drop by anytime when you have problems. Thanks to technology today you can use Google Earth to look through their office without physically driving there. You can also verify this information from their previous completed projects.
7- What is their dispute resolution mechanism?
This is a fundamental question although most people do not ask. Every now and then, mistakes and disagreements arise and when they do you need to know the proper channels to use to get the problem solved. A good reputable company should have proper channels of settling disputes and leaving clients satisfied. The contractor should also come out clean if there have been cases of disputes and how they were solved. This should not raise red flags since they always occur. What matters most is how the dispute was resolved.
Settling on the right construction company is difficult. However, if you ask the above seven questions before you hire should make your job pretty simple. Pay attention to each one of them and ensure you get a satisfactory answer. If the contractor is uncomfortable answering any of the questions, you should probably just move on to the next one.