“In the construction sector, hiring the right company is easy, but hiring the wrong one is even easier…” Anonymous

 

So you and your staff have made the decision to build a new facility for your organization or to renovate or add onto your existing one. That in itself is a significant accomplishment and is a decision that, once made, marks the commencement of several months (and possibly years, depending on the scale and scope of your project) of concerns that will need to be addressed and questions that will need to be answered. The very first question that needs to be at the forefront of your mind is “how do I hire the right construction firm for my project?” This question is so obvious that it’s unbelievably easy to overlook. Of course, everyone knows that they should hire the right company, but that can sometimes be easier said than done.

In that regard, we’re going to approach this issue from a somewhat unconventional standpoint and help you to choose the right construction firm for your project by providing you with 3 surefire ways choose the wrong one.

 

Choose the Company That Offers the Lowest Price

As business owners, proprietors, and just general consumers in a free and open market, we are conditioned to get the most for the least. In other words, we have a strong proclivity toward finding the cheapest way to get the best product or service. When it comes to your construction project, this is not the way to go because you absolutely will end up getting what you pay for – a cheaply built finished product. Conversely, however, that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose or even blow up your budget in order to hire an experienced construction firm like Catalyst that provides high-quality materials and that is partnered with the best labor contractors in the industry with mastery of their respective crafts.

Catalyst Construction doesn’t promise to offer the lowest bid but we absolutely do promise that we will work within your stated budget and utilize our expertise and unique methodology to maximize the value and minimize the cost of your project.

 

Hire a Company That Has No Experience with Projects Similar to Yours

The onus for knowing what kinds of projects fall into a particular construction firm’s wheelhouse sits squarely on your shoulders as the client. Any company worth its salt will (or should) have a healthy sampling of their portfolio on full display on their website (note: they should also have a website). When researching potential companies for your project, this should be one of the first things you look at in order to get an idea of whether or not the firm in question will be a good fit.

Finding companies with a strong track record of successfully completed projects that are at least categorically similar to yours is paramount for any commercial construction project. Avoid any company that claims that they can do the work required for your project if they do not have the proof in their portfolio.

 

Pay No Attention to The Company’s References (or Its Lack Thereof)

Requesting a company’s references from past clients should be a staple of every RFP (Request For Proposal) that is submitted by a project owner (that’s you). But the buck doesn’t stop at the request. Once you have those references there is one thing that is imperative if you are to avoid hiring the wrong contractor – actually using them. Too many clients are happy with just receiving a list of references and leaving it at that. Follow-up falls by the wayside.

That is, however, exactly what you should do with that list of references – follow up with them. It’s important to contact the parties who have been referenced and ask the right questions in order to learn about the “intangibles” of the construction firm you’re considering, things like their conduct and the level of professionalism displayed throughout the entire project lifecycle, their attention to safety protocols, and their ability to solve unexpected problems and to keep those solutions on or under budget. Were the project managers and directors available when the reference needed to discuss something with them? Did they communicate well with the reference during project execution? Was the work completed on time and on budget? These are the kinds of specific, pointed questions that should be asked of the references you decide to contact and the answers to them will be a boon to you and your staff in making a hiring decision.

There is a right and a wrong way to do just about everything in business and choosing a reputable and capable commercial construction company like Catalyst is no exception. We have the experience and industry leadership to make your next construction project an enjoyable and successful venture. Want proof? Start by clicking here and let’s get the conversation started.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Williams
As Catalyst's Director of pre-constuction, Eric brings over 20 years of experience as a Chief Estimator in the construction industry. Eric is a savvy operations professional skilled in Value Engineering, Project and Renovation Estimation.