As a previous GM of Operations for a facility management company and having over 20 years of construction experience I’ve had a lot of vendors that worked for me and part of my vetting process was making sure the vendor/contractor had all the required documentation. For those business owners who don’t have the luxury to hire a facility management firm or know how to find a qualified contractor here are some tips to help you with finding a reputable company.
- Bids: Always get at least 3 bids for any project and never pick the lowest bid. By picking the lowest bid the vendor/contractor might be inexperienced or low balled on their bid which may cost you more than the other bids because they will ask for more money. Remember, add-ons are a reality in construction, and unscrupulous contractors use them for leverage.
- Verify Licenses: Make sure the vendor is licensed, bonded, insured, in good standing with the state they are licensed in and of course a valid state ID to verify.
- References: Ask for references for previous work. When you contact the client ask:
- Were there extra costs or overruns?
- Did the vendor communicate well?
- Was the vendor fair and honest?
- How was the quality of work?
- Was the project completed on time?
Remember there are always unknowns in construction which may result in cost overruns but if you have a good contractor they will communicate with you and keep you up to date on any cost overruns or problems. These are just a few tips to make your projects run smoothly and to help you pick the right vendor/contractor. If in doubt go to this site to verify the vendor/contractor. Finally keep in mind of the Good, Fast & Cheep diagram when selecting the right vendor and you’ll have a good start in your vetting process.