Construction projects are usually complex, time-consuming, and expensive. By choosing an inexperienced general contractor, you are not only wasting money but time and effort as well.
Consider this simple case of how an experienced general contractor can save you money while making no compromise on quality:
“Store A sells the construction material that you need for $$ and is of high quality and Store B sells the same material that you need for $ but is of moderate quality.
An inexperienced contractor would go for Store B. However, an experienced contractor, with his connections and negotiating skills can get material from Store A at a discounted rate thereby ensuring quality and affordability.”
To reap the benefits of hiring an experienced contractor, it is important to be able to identify an expert contractor from an inexperienced contractor.
So what are the telltale signs of an inexperienced general contractor? Let’s find out.
An incomplete or irrelevant portfolio
Getting good reviews or references from friends or family members doesn’t negate the necessity of perofrming portfolio assessments.
The prime question to find an answer for is “Does the contractor have a relevant experience or a complete portfolio with happy clients?” a contractor with vast experience in commercial projects could turn out to be a tad vague when it comes to standards related to a residential project.
Yes, contractors with little or no experience can offer you the lowest bid and can even turn out to be creative and dedicated. But, at the end of the day, you do not want to take the risk, especially, when you consider the amount of time and money that goes into the project.
The contractor doesn’t meet time
If you are dealing with a contractor who fails to keep appointments or regularly shows up late, you are most likely to face constantly shifting deadlines throughout the project. Consider these signs as a warning and cross such people off your list as early as possible.
A contractor without proper registrations or licenses
This is not new, but an easily overlooked point. The complex and variants of contractor licenses and registrations from state to stand and city to city makes it tedious to keep tabs on your contractor credentials. However, bear in mind this is a critical standard that needs to be verified prior to putting pen on paper.
Imagine hiring a contractor with no liability insurance, in such a case, if the respective workers end up damaging your neighbor’s property or cause an accident where a third party is involved, the compensation automatically falls under your remit.
Clear cut communications and timely project updates are some of the minimum requirements to a perfectly planned construction. If you don’t see these commitments being met, you can be sure that the general contractor is inexperienced or is costing you big in terms of budget and time.
An experienced contractor is always upfront with project planning and updates/frequencies. An expert will be able to forecast the whole project in terms of budget and timelines with intermediate gates or project phases before the onset of the project.
Do you have a contractor from your shortlist who keeps insisting you to make a quick decision? Consider this as a warning.
It is also unprofessional to demand a lump sum of money upfront, any contractor that demands this deserves to be blacklisted.
Contractors asking too many questions is also a telltale sign of inexperience. These so-called experts with too many questions are not capable of coming up with solutions or ideas to keep the project on track and moving.
Sticking to your instinct and gut feeling can pay off at times, for instance after your first couple of meeting, as yourself whether this person blends in with your wavelength or would you be comfortable with spending some time with this person home alone if the answer to this is no, it is better to keep searching.
Choosing the right general contractor depends on many factors ranging from the project type to the qualification. Make peace with the fact that the task is tedious, but keep in mind that it is always worth the time and money.