Mistake 4 - Hiring a GC based on cost
Hiring a General Contractor based on cost is a risky proposition. It seems that we have all purchased the low-cost item simply because it was the cheapest and later regretted that decision.
In the world of construction, if a GC is quite a bit lower than the competitors, there is usually a good reason. You should expect that he will make up the difference in different ways, like substandard materials, cheap/unskilled labor and inferior craftsmanship, and through the change order process.
To help weed out the substandard General Contractors, there are a number of things you can do:
- Treat the process like you're hiring an employee
- What does their website tell you? Read it like a resume'. Does it foster confidence in their ability to meet your needs?
- Did they show up on time and were they prepared?
- How well does the GC communicate with you?
- Are they easy to reach and are they prompt, courteous, and on point with their responses?
- Did they seek to understand your business needs?
- Did they bring any value to your meetings/conversations?
- Ask probing questions
- How do they approach conflict resolution?
- Will they agree to put everything in writing?
- Will they provide multiple references?
- Do you feel you will enjoy working with them
- Are there any warning signs?
- Do they seem trustworthy?
- Trust your instincts.
- Do your research
- Look at previous work, not just pictures on a cell phone.
- Always check recent references.
- Search for reviews.
Note - the Experts say unhappy customers are 3 times MORE LIKELY to post a review than a happy customer.