Choosing a contractor: Why low-bidder isn’t always the right move for your business

Posted on 12. Dec, 2018 by in Blog

The impact of choosing the right – or wrong – general contractor for your business or municipal building project will carry significant ramifications for years.

Select wisely and you’ll be happy with your return for the lifespan of your facility. Make a disappointing move and you’ll be haunted by it every time a problem develops.

That’s why as your team evaluates project costs, it’s important not to default to the low-bidder in an effort to save money. It’s not that the low-bidder can’t be the best decision, rather it’s that the price tag shouldn’t be the only consideration.

Construction experts advise finding a building contractor you are comfortable with and can trust. The leadership of your contractor takes day-to-day command of your project and manages it with your best interest in mind.

With that in mind, here are 12 key questions to ask while choosing a contractor:

  • How long have you been in business and how many projects have you completed?
  • How many jobs like mine have you finished?
  • Do you have a formal quality management program?
  • How are change orders handled?
  • Do you guarantee maximum cost?
  • Who will supervise the construction site and what is that person’s experience?
  • What are your plans for safety and security at the project?
  • What areas of the project will be sub-contracted and how will you obtain those needed?
  • What work do you warranty?
  • What is your timeline for project completion and do you guarantee it?
  • What is your current workload and how will my project fit in company goals?
  • How do you resolve disputes?

Other items to be considered:

  • Evaluate recent jobs and speak to clients, don’t just follow references.
  • Examine market longevity, financial stability and credit history
  • Review legal history for litigation from clients and/or sub-contractors

A reliable and experienced contractor will have answers to these questions and others that may be specific to your project. If the firms you are evaluating stumble, it should raise a red flag to their ability to complete top-quality construction to your demands.

At Kalleward, we provide complete construction management, general contracting and business development, design/build services as well as serving as an owner’s representative. We’ve been working in Southwest Michigan since 1963 and have a history of success on construction jobs for private business, public universities and colleges, community arts organizations and centers of worship.

We believe in an open and transparent relationship with clients. We learn about your goals and objectives and then turn them into reality.

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