A Homeowner’s Guide to Select the Right Construction Company

Published by Wayne Kienbaum

The real estate and housing markets in U.S. are showing signs of recovery. According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1, 143, 000,” which is 6.4 percent more than the April 2014 estimate.

It is therefore a great time if you are planning to build your dream house or remodeling the existing one. The challenge, however, lies in finding a trustworthy construction company who can accomplish the task within the given time, at an acceptable cost and with minimal trouble. Choosing the right construction company, irrespective of the size of your construction project, is a crucial decision and requires careful consideration.

Aspects of a Good Construction Company

A good construction company usually offers one-stop service, from start through finish. It oversees and manages all phases your building project, including obtaining building permits, working with designers and architects, hiring and supervising subcontractors, and scheduling inspections or examinations.

When it comes to implementing the design activities, your construction company should select an integrated and wide-ranging approach, which encompasses the following aspects:

  • Design technology and management architectures and system management tools
  • Service solution design, which includes all approved functional requirements, capabilities and resources
  • Process, implementation and operation of the design
  • Design of the management service portfolio as well as controlling services across the entire life-cycle
  • Measurement systems’ design along with their processes, methods for services, architectures and underlying components.

The service design is a blueprint of your expected results, which also outlines the influence and the risks involved with using new or altered service, other than the one mentioned in your service design packages.

It is therefore imperative to choose a construction company that understands design and works closely with your architecture. Although there are lots of constructors out there, not all of them are accustomed with the critical aspects of architectural designs.

If you fail to choose a construction company that has without a deep understanding of the features of an architectural design, you are basically gambling with your building structure. Such practice may lead to:

  • Misuse of building materials, which will drastically increase your construction costs
  • A fragile building structure that fails to withstand extreme conditions and natural calamities such as earthquakes
  • A structure system that fails to comply with the federal environmental standards


Qualifying the Right Construction Firm

Finding the right construction firm is a daunting task. As mentioned, you need to consider a number of things before selecting or hiring a constructor. You need to ensure that the construction team understands your requirements, scope of the building project, the design specifications and gets the job done appropriately. And this is often easier said than done. The following are a few tips to help you find the right construction firm for your building project.

First thing first, you need to find a list of construction firms in your area and Google is your best friend here, though personal recommendations should also be considered.  For example, if you stay somewhere in Alaska, a simple Google search with a term like “construction companies Alaska” will show the top construction companies in the area from where you can start selecting the ideal firm for your project.

Interview various constructors and shortlist companies that agree upon your project. This is likely to take a lot of time. The next thing you need to see is if the constructor is familiar with the features of your architectural designs. Finally, opt for the construction company that qualifies in the above criteria and whose estimate is well within your budget. However, you need to understand that it is often difficult to estimate the exact amount of cash required and you are more than likely to exceed the budget at times.

A Sample Review

It requires due diligence on your part when selecting a construction company. The best place to start with is a sample review:

  • What kind of work have they done before? Can they handle your kind of building project? Your construction company should be able to show examples of their past projects along with testimonials from clients, developers, architects and subcontractors regarding the quality of their work.
  • What is the work style of your construction company? As a home owner, you must be aware of the work style of your construction team such as how they handle your kind of building projects, what kind of resources and materials they will use, and how will they keep you in the loop on all project related communication etc.
  • What is their past track record? Can they provide accurate pricing? How often do they change/exceed pricing? How they manage and price change? Answers to these questions will help you understand how your construction team is going affect your budget. Also, consider how quickly they can alert you to the change.


This will help you gain a better insight about the construction company and the kind of end-result you can expect from the team.

Ask for References

Ask your construction company for three to four references including past clients, architects and subcontractors they have worked with, and the local legislature. Dig information about them and see what these people have to say regarding the constructor’s competency. Were they able to complete the work within time? Was there any legal issue the construction company was involved in? How closely did they work with the architects and subcontractors? What was the quality of material used? How was the work experience?

Ask for as much information as you can about your construction company before hiring them. Word-of-mouth rumblings are a great way to gain insights about your prospective construction company.

Confirm Licensing & Check Safety Procedures

Your construction company should be licensed, especially if your state requires it. For example, a construction company in Missouri does not need a license to operate.

In addition, check the safety procedures and bonding capacity of the company. Your contractor’s ability to bond a project will help you if something unfortunate happens. Safety is another prime concern and your construction team must have a proper safety plan in place.

Consider the Budget

Never fall prey of a construction company that firms tend to underbid. They are likely to bid on the scope of the building project and not what you are looking for. In such scenarios, your expectations are less likely to be met and the project is likely to fail. A good contractor will give you an accurate pricing and an honest timeframe right from the beginning.

You must also have a clear understanding what will be included in the in the bid and all these clause must be clearly mentioned in the contract.

Conclusion

By being diligent when selecting a construction company, you can avoid major arguments, hiccups and headaches later. Search for companies that have stood the test of time and have the reputation of being honest, fair and upfront with their abilities, past experience and pricing. Good constructors who are committed to the building projects and the clients, remain transparent and provide the highest quality available, in terms of both experience and end results.

(Image Credit:https://www.construction21.org/articles/h/selecting-a-construction-company-for-home-renovation.html)


Moderated by : Sylvain Bosquet

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