At a minimum, as an apartment manager or a landlord, you want to gather and consider three quotes from three separate contractors. Three quotes might be ideal in smaller jobs, but for larger ones, the more quotes you gather, the higher your chances of hiring the best contractor for the task at hand. At 360Builders we would be honored to have the privilege of demonstrating to you how we stand out and why you should consider us as a top choice for your projects. As you review the proposals, keep your eye out for a few things.
On a job the one thing nobody wants is a contractor who can’t stick to their deadlines. One way to spot a contractor who has a problem completing things on time is a lack of clear deadlines. They avoid giving specific timelines as a way to help give themselves wiggle room in a contract. Failure to provide any detailed timeline in a proposal indicates the contractor isn’t confident in their ability to get tasks done on a deadline.
If the contractor lacks details in his proposal, they won’t pay close attention to the project’s finer details either. A good way to judge how close of attention the contractor pays to detail in his proposal is to see if they have included everything covered in the job, including a list of required materials and even a price list for those materials.
Construction does have a high turnover because of the number it does on a person’s body. Construction is physically demanding, and not everybody can keep doing it for years on end. Pay attention to how fast the crew rotates. A company’s ability to retain employees for the long-term speaks volumes about their work environment. Fast turnover for little reason indicates a poor work environment.
Suppose the company is quoting costs that are lower than everybody else that isn’t a good thing. The problem with these lower bids is they will be sacrificing various things throughout the process to keep the costs down. Companies can’t offer the lowest price and still be the most efficient with the highest quality. Too high of a bid isn’t a sign of high quality either. You want a bid that falls in line with other bids, so a middle of the road price.
Signs to look for in a Poor Contractor
Now that you know what things to look for in spotting a good contractor let’s take a quick look at the signs of a poor contractor. The refusal to sign a contract is the first red flag of poor contractors. The lack of a signed contract makes it harder to watch for the other warning signs, as there is nothing to compare. Avoid any contractor who refuses to sign a contract before starting the job.
Pay attention to the materials the contractor is using. Your contract will specify which materials they plan on using, so if they bring something different, they might be using cheaper products to improve their profit margin. Know what materials are supposed to be used and ask questions if things change.
Unexplained Cost Increases
This is referred to as scope creep. The reality of construction is that the end project sometimes costs more than the original bid but watch for huge price increases during the project’s duration. Ask questions and find out why the contractor is asking for more money. They should be able to adequately explain any cost increase. Still, in some cases, it’s from the contractor being unrealistic in their original bid in hopes of landing the job above others. This is why it’s important for you to not go with the lowest bid in an attempt to save money.
Failure to Secure Proper Permits
As the contractor must pull the proper permits for the job at hand, you want to make sure they know what they are doing. Pulling just one wrong permit not only sets the job back but can be a costly mistake as you will have to pay for the proper permit. Familiarize yourself with the most common required permits based on California’s Building Code, so you can weed out the inexperienced or sloppy contractors who don’t know what they are doing.
Never choose the first contractor you find when doing any kind of internet search. Instead, get a few different quotes, minimum of three, and then research each contractor carefully. The better you vet them, the higher the job’s chances of completing on time without any kind of sacrifice in terms of quality. Our team, here at 360Builders, is looking forward to hearing from you and discussing your upcoming project.