There are hundreds of designs and build contractors out there. However, more projects fail due to a bad contractor. These reasons might include failure to follow the product specification, missing deadlines, or not working with the client’s schedule.
Often, clients choose between several designs and build contractors before them, but they don’t know what makes a good one; it is particularly important as some make promises that can’t be kept. This article will help you understand several elements that differentiate between those who deliver on their promises and those who don’t.
- Good communication skills – Good communication skills determine whether the building process goes smoothly or fails. A good contractor should work with the client to avoid misunderstandings about deadlines, the cost of the project, and all other details. They should also listen to what clients are saying, not just talk.
- Good technical skills – A good contractor should be well versed in construction law, product specification, and building codes applicable in your area. It is particularly important for a contractor who designs and constructs commercial buildings like schools and hospitals. If you encounter a design and build contractor that doesn’t know building codes or is unfamiliar with products they’re using (like steel), then keep looking; there is no reason why you should go with such a company.
- Experience – The more experience a design and build contractor has had in designing similar projects, the better results it will achieve for you. Ask the contractor to list similar projects they have worked on, and then check them out. If you’re not happy with what you see, move on.
- Good organizational skills – This trait is important because it will help the contractor stay on schedule and within budget. Time-management skills are especially critical during the project’s construction phase when things can easily go wrong if not handled properly.
- Good safety records – A good contractor should have an excellent safety record, with no major accidents or injuries on any of their projects. This is important not just for the workers’ safety but also for your peace of mind.
- Competent staff – The contractor should have a good team of designers, engineers, and workers who are all competent in their respective fields. If you encounter a contractor who doesn’t have the necessary staff, or if the staff they do have is unqualified, then it’s time to move on.
- Proper insurance – A good design and build company should make sure they have proper insurance in place at all times. A designer or builder needs to keep their work up to date to prevent potentially serious errors. No problem can arise because of a lack of coverage by having the right construction insurance. All kinds of issues could come up, so it’s best to be safe than sorry by knowing one’s boundaries regarding their designs or building practices. Without the proper construction insurance in place, everything could go wrong for both parties leading to months, if not years, worth of problems until everything is solved.
- Good reputation – A good reputation is perhaps the most important thing for any contractor. Ask around for reviews and see what other clients have had to say about the contractor’s work. If there are any red flags, move on.
Once you’ve determined that a design and build contractor is what you need, the next step is to find one. Even though there are hundreds of choices out there, all you need to do is choose one with most of the characteristics described above. Good communication skills still apply even if this isn’t someone who also does design work; contractors should explain things clearly and answer any questions you might have about the project.
Asking for references from friends, family members, or other professionals may help narrow down your search even further. You can then meet with the recommended contractors and decide which one you want as part of your team for your current project before signing on a dotted line.