3 Mistakes When Choosing a Contractor

3 Mistakes When Choosing a Contractor

Written by: Nicolas Ciobanu | September 25th 2016

A construction project, no matter the size, can turn out to be a heavy task. Whether you’re looking to rebuild your deck in the backyard, add a room to your house, or change the windows on an apartment complex, each project needs planning and hiring the right contractors to get the project done right.

I want to shed some light on three things that people generally do or don’t do that can usually complicate a construction project and make things much more difficult and costly as construction progresses.


1.  Hiring the Lowest Bid

People often hire a contractor for their construction projects based on whichever submitted the lowest bid. And very often we find that an initial bid ends up being lower than what the final cost of the project comes out to be. A reason for this could be that the project itself, once started, turns out to have some complications the contractor might have not known about initially, which is understandable and merits a change order – a change in the original scope of work which in turn can increase the cost of the project. Worst case is when a contractor submits a low bid just to win the project, with the plan to later submit a change order and add previously foreseen costs.

While projects come in all shapes and sizes, there are many cases where a project cannot avoid a change order. But to avoid the worst case scenario mentioned above, we always recommend our clients to first consider a contractor’s reputation and past work. If you are time constrained, try the free services from Skillhop.com, where a project owner can add their construction projects and connect with already verified reputable contractors so they can avoid the worst case scenario prior to beginning the work on their project.


2.  Not Taking Time to Meet the Contractor

It is very important for project owners to set up job site visits with the contractor in order to decide if he or she is someone they want to work with. Equally important is that a project owner have the contractor visit the job site to allow him to get a better sense of the project and project costs prior to submitting a bid. Remember this when signing a contract as well: signing the contract at the project site will allow the project owner 72 hours to cancel the contract which would not be the case if the contract is signed at the contractor’s office.

The team at Skillhop.com puts focus on setting up a visiting schedule for the exact reasons mentioned above. When adding a project on Skillhop.com, a project owner can add a schedule of days and time intervals when he or she is available for contractors to visit.


3.  Not Getting Involved With the Project

The pre-construction and bidding process is one thing, but once a contract is signed and work begins, the relationship between you and the contractor turns into a partnership. When selecting the contractor always remember you’re also selecting a partner to help you do the heavy lifting for your project and execute your vision. Only together you can complete the project the way you envision it. A professional contractor will never have a problem with the project owner coming by the job site at any given time. So stay involved. Ask questions. Communicate. Problem solve together. Build mock-ups. And make sure your project unfolds as you planned.


Final thought.

I want to also put emphasis on planning ahead. No matter the size of the project, spend time to plan it out. Even a small deck repair can require permits, drawings, and material planning. All this should be done ahead of time in order to save money and avoid large change orders with the project later on. You want the work to be done right the first time so that you won’t find yourself coming back again weeks or months later having to redo the work or being stuck for several weeks mid-way through construction because a permit is missing. However you plan, keep in mind the guys at Skillhop.com as they make themselves available to help project owners plan things out before, during, and after getting contractors involved.