Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or building your dream home, finding the right general contractor for the job can be a difficult decision. When selecting a general contractor, it is often in your best interest to obtain bids from several general contractors, but which general contractor should you choose?
Understandably, many people will simply select the lowest bidder without considering any other factors. After all, spending the least amount of money to get the job done is always favorable. But, as with many things in life, you often get what you pay for and construction projects are not any different.
When selecting a general contractor, there should be other factors taken into consideration other than just the lowest bid. Your goal in selecting a general contract should be to find the right combination of price and qualifications. Furthermore, it is super important to understand that all of the bidders are including the exact same scope of work. It can be challenging to ensure that all bids are “apples for apples” when comparing prices.
While it may be tempting to simply select the lowest bidder, factors you should consider include:
- What are additional value-added services provided?
- Will the lowest bidder listen to and understand your needs?
- Will corners be cut to meet the budget set forth?
- Does the contractor have the proper insurance levels or insurance at all? Will they ensure their subcontractors are also properly insured?
- Does the contractor have the requisite personnel to properly supervise and oversee your project?
- Will the lowest bidder select quality subcontractors or will they select the lowest cost subcontractors or unskilled workers who may perform inferior work?
- By selecting the lowest bidder, are you sacrificing on the quality of materials? Are costs cut by using cheaper, inferior materials?
- Will the lowest bidder pay their subcontractors and material suppliers?
- What is the contractor’s record on the ROC (Registrar of Contractor) website?
- Will the work be completed within budget?
- Will the lowest bidder make up for their low bid by issuing costly change orders?
- Will your construction schedule or timeline be met?
- What is the contractor’s warranty track record?
- Communication and consideration of customer’s time
In contrast, a reputable general contractor will:
- Use quality materials and use quality, skilled subcontractors that will perform the work to meet or exceed the workmanship standards set forth by the Registrar of Contractors
- Maintain the proper levels and types of insurance
- Back the quality of their work and correct any issues that may arise during or after project completion
- Ensure your construction needs are met and provide value-added services
- Be able to adapt if your needs change during the course of construction
- Have experience with similar projects that will allow for proper planning and to identify potential issues up front.
- Perform within the agreed upon timeline and schedule
- Have a track record of completing projects on schedule and within budget
There are many factors that go into selecting a general contractor other than just price. The goal when selecting a general contractor for any project is to find the right combination of price, quality, and qualifications for your needs. While selecting the lowest bid may save you money at the beginning, it may cost you much more in the long term.