When you want to build onto or renovate your home or commercial space, working with the right contractor is essential to maximize your return on investment.

From renovations to inspections to new construction, it’s important to note that hiring the ideal contractor depends on various factors, including your preferences and priorities and your contractor’s qualifications.

In this blog post, the long-time general builders at Acumen Construction Management Inc give you all the information you need to find the best general contractor for your next project.

We’ve created an exhaustive list with essential criteria guidelines to make hiring a contractor straightforward and stress-free.

How to Find the Best General Contractor

Selecting a builder to support your next renovation or construction project is essential when you want to make sure you’re receiving the most value per dollar. Finding a company whose team will support your goals, provide honest communication, and manage your project professionally are all crucial elements for successful building endeavors.

We recommend the following steps to help you find a licensed and insured contractor with the resources to help you breathe life into your goals.

Assess Your Project Objectives Before Meeting with a General Contracting Firm

Before weighing your hiring options, we recommend assessing your project’s scope, scale, and goals to gain a good feel for the contracting services required.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What style and finishing materials are best for this project?
  • How does this project align with my long-term objectives for the property?
  • What’s my estimated budget, and how flexible is this?
  • Are there any specific timelines or deadlines?
  • What level of quality am I expecting, and how does that balance with the available budget?
  • Are there any unique challenges or considerations specific to this project (e.g., location, accessibility, local regulations)?
  • How involved do I want to be in the project management process?
  • What are the key deliverables and milestones for this project?
  • Are there any sustainability or environmental considerations that should be factored in?
  • What are the potential risks involved, and how can they be mitigated?

By thoroughly considering these questions, you’ll be better prepared to articulate your needs and expectations to a general contracting firm, ensuring a more aligned and successful partnership.

Research Local Contractors

One of the best ways to find a suitable match is to research local contractors to learn more about the specific services they offer. You can also use this time to read online reviews and look at portfolios of previous work. With so many licensed builders available, conducting in-depth research and weighing your options will help you narrow down a group of potential contracting firms to ask for an estimate.

We recommend making phone calls, checking websites, and creating a shortlist for further evaluation and scrutiny.

Verify Each General Builder’s Credentials and Qualifications

As part of your research, it’s a good idea to verify the credentials and professional qualifications of your prospective contractor. Working with a licensed, insured professional will ensure your project meets quality and safety requirements and help you get the most return on your investment.

Before hiring a contractor, you should verify as much of the following as possible:

  • License and insurance
  • Professional references
  • Experience
  • Portfolio of completed projects
  • Membership in professional associations
  • Better Business Bureau rating
  • Subcontractor relationships
  • Written contracts and estimates
  • …and more

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask a Building Contracting Company for References

Like any other business, a reputable, talented contractor should be able to supply references and positive customer reviews. While you should always take reviews with a grain of salt, a contractor with good references indicates that they may be worth hiring.

References and reviews can help you gauge their track record, work quality, and approach to customer service. The more information you have about your contractor ahead of time, the more confidence you’ll have in your investment.

Ask to See a Portfolio of Completed General Construction Services

Professional, well-established contractors should have an accessible portfolio on their websites or in their offices. When hiring a contractor for a renovation project, it’s a good idea to verify that they have experience completing the type of work you want and have a good eye for detail and finishing work.

If you’re uncertain about the stylistic direction of your project or need help choosing a design ethos, a contractor’s portfolio can also help inspire. A professional portfolio should show off the contractor’s recent work and instill confidence that you’re partnering with a talented team for your next project.

Work with Your Builder Contractors to Create a Realistic Budget and Expect a Detailed Quote

Whether you’re investing in a new kitchen, looking for roof repairs, or hiring a project manager for new construction, creating a detailed budget is vital for your success. A quote outlining all the costs, materials, equipment, and labor involved in completing your project is a great way to stay ahead of the unexpected.

It’s important to keep in mind that If a contractor is uncompromising on their prices or you feel they may lack transparency, you may want to look elsewhere to ensure financial stability and mitigate potential risks.

Communication Skills Matter: Choose a Site Contractor Who Responds Quickly

Anyone who’s ever invested in a significant construction project can tell you the importance of communication during service.

A good site contractor will bring issues to your attention and update you when they finish their work. A great contractor will provide regular building updates, retain open lines of communication, and maintain honesty and transparency throughout the construction process.

Partnering with a licensed contractor with solid communication skills is essential for a successful residential or commercial project. You should gauge your contractor’s communication from the moment you connect with them and consider how well you’ll be able to work with them moving forward.

The Quality of the General Contracting Services You Receive Relies on Your Choice of an Experienced Professional

Investing in construction can be a significant undertaking. Taking your time during the hiring process and checking for credentials, experience, and references will help you make an informed decision.

Whether you’re looking for residential or commercial work, you should do your due diligence and trust your gut when hiring a general contractor.

Now, you’re ready to start connecting with contracting companies. If you have any further questions about what makes for a successful building partnership, don’t hesitate to reach out to Acumen Construction Management Inc. Our licensed builders are always ready to support you in bringing your construction initiatives to life. Reach us at (408) 621-9201 for more information about our services.