4 green flags in a commercial construction contractor

We’ve all heard the horror stories. The contractors who get halfway through a project, only to ask for more money. Or the ones who do a poor job on the project, meaning you have to pay another contractor to come through and redo their job. Getting a bad commercial construction contractor is a huge fear–and rightfully so–for many businesses.

So how can you get a contractor who not only gets the job done, but does a high quality job efficiently? Here’s some unexpected green flags to look out for.

A commercial construction contractor who communicates well

Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. While this advice is referring to marriages, it can also be true about your relationship with a contractor. When looking for a commercial contractor, you should inquire and get quotes from a couple different options.

Pay attention to how they communicate with you. Do they respond to emails quickly? Do they pick up the phone–and explain different hard-to-understand concepts–during business hours? Do you genuinely feel like you can trust them?

Communication is key. Find a contractor who communicates well.

The price is right

When looking at quotes from multiple contractors, you may be tempted to go with the lowest one. This is not a smart idea. Usually, there’s a reason that quote is much lower than the other contractors–either it’s too small of an estimate and they’ll ask for more money later or they won’t provide as high quality of work. In fact, over 80% of construction jobs are over budget and over time.

In some nightmare situations, it can be both.

While the initial quote might be higher, choosing one which fits the industry average signifies that it’s probably an accurate quote for the work that needs to be done and that you won’t have to hire someone else to redo the project after.

Great track record

Speaking of having to hire someone to fix others’ projects, try to inquire with local business friends who had to hire a second contractor to redo the first one’s work. Who did they hire? How did that experience go?

Often, the commercial contractor who’s called in to fix others’ work is the one you should go with in the first place. For example, Carlton Building Services has redone projects done by other contractors, but none of our past clients have had to redo our work!

Good project management skills

Along with focusing on the final product that contractors great, make sure they have the right skillset to efficiently manage projects. Good project management skills are integral for a contractor.

We’ve all heard the stories of construction projects that have gone months over schedule. That one hospital facility or grocery store was supposed to be done in May, but now it’s winter and it’s still under construction.

In these situations, the contractor probably isn’t great at coordinating the many moving teams which are needed to work on a project. A good project manager will have all the teams lined up to work on the project and be in constant communication with them.

When searching for a contractor, don’t be afraid to ask candidates about their project management skills. You can also ask for client references and ask how long the project was estimated to take and how long it actually took.

Have you hired a commercial contractor before? If so, leave any additional green flags in the comments.

Carlton Building Services in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services specializes in repairs, maintenance, renovations, remodelings and build-outs for a variety of clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake areas. We have years of experience handling projects in the retail, office, and healthcare space and would love to work with you on your next project!

To learn more about our services, check out past project highlights or contact Carlton Building Services to see how we can help with your next project.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.