Thus far, we have covered what you—as the client—should be looking for when choosing a general contractor. While that is all fine and good, it’s easier said than done. So, how can you actually go about checking whether or not a GC is reliable, flexible, and a good fit for you and your project (as well as it being a good fit for them)? There are multiple angles you can take, but these are just a few.
If a contractor doesn’t have anything to hide, they will most likely be willing to provide you with references to past clients. While you may have reservations to this (since some companies may only give you references that were exceptionally happy with their work), this is your chance to talk one-on-one to these resources for a candid look at their potential performance on a project. If you go this route, it is almost more important to focus on the negative things they say, than the positive. If there are any common themes that come up from multiple references—on both ends of the spectrum—these are important things to make a note of when considering your options.
Many GCs will be willing to set up a face-to-face meeting with you. Choose a non-threatening setting and time. A lunch may be appropriate, but even meeting at a familiar coffee shop or local watering hole could be a viable option. Choose a time and place where each party can meet informally and just get to know each other. You don’t even necessarily have to talk business. It is important to get to this person, because this may be who you will work with for—up to—the next two years. If it is difficult to communicate, or there is not a strong relationship while talking in an informal setting, it may be difficult to interact on a professional level.
On the other hand, contractors will be evaluating you as well. It may not be in a direct way, but they have a living to make just like everyone else. If they do not see a business relationship being fruitful, or if they see a project not fitting their scope of work, then they could choose not to work with you at this time; even if you would choose them over anyone else. So before you go about seeking out GCs to perform your work, make sure you do your homework and have all the necessary documents and information available, prior to reaching out. There will be very few companies that will want to jump on board if you meet with them, and you have no idea what you want to do, nor any idea of what sort of budget to set.
To find out more information about the services offered by Cicero’s Development, and General Contractors in general, you can navigate the rest of our website. Otherwise, you can reach out to Sam Cicero, Sr. at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss an upcoming project you may have.