As a property developer, you’ll be responsible for some big decisions when it comes to financing a building project. One of the most important decisions that you’ll make is finding and hiring a reliable construction company to carry out the work. But how can you make sure that you’ve picked the right construction company for the job?
Of course, asking for a quote can give you an insight into how much a construction company will charge you for their services. However, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the right choice. The least expensive may seem on the surface to save you money, but this contractor might not have enough relevant experience or insurance cover, costing you time and money in the long run.
That’s why, in this blog, we will guide you through everything you should ask when you hire a construction company for your project. Not only will this ensure you’re getting value for money, but it also offers you added peace of mind. You need to be confident that you’re getting a safe, reliable company to work with you through your construction process.
So here are Finedale Construction's top questions to ask before hiring your next construction company.
How is the construction company structured, and how are they going to manage your building project?
Meeting the team behind a construction company before you hire them is very important. You must understand how the construction company is structured. This includes their internal staff structure and how they would like to be communicated to i.e.their reporting system.
You need to see how the construction company will communicate and interact with your property development team. Setting out agreed communication terms allows you to feel your project is under control, and together you can find quick solutions to any issues. Ensuring you all understand the rules of engagement means your construction site should run smoothly, effectively, on budget and on time.
What relevant experience does the construction company have on similar projects?
Of course, hiring a relatively new construction company shouldn’t be entirely out of the equation. Remember, there’s no guarantee that established companies who have been in the industry will be any better than them. But, it’s always good to check to make sure that the team behind a new company is experienced.
Ask the employees if they’ve worked on projects like yours before to make sure that they’ve got relevant knowledge. If they haven’t, then a good company will make sure that someone in the broader team knows precisely what to do. Asking for a portfolio of the construction firm’s previous work is always advised.
Does the construction company have the necessary insurances?
Insurance is important; we all know that. Both you and the construction company will hope that nothing will go wrong during the project, but it’s always good to make sure you’re covered by insurance if something does happen. If any expensive mistakes are made, claiming against the construction company’s insurance will ensure you’re not out of pocket.
When choosing your construction company, check that they have all three forms of insurance:
Public liability insurance
Employers’ liability insurance
Contractors’ all-risk insurance
Don’t just take their word for it! The company should provide you with copies of insurance certificates and evidence that their premiums have been paid.
Will the construction company give you a written quote, including a fixed price and a summary of all the work to be carried out?
Are you unsure what to ask a construction company when they provide you with a quote?
Start by asking them if they can offer you a written quote or fee proposal for your project. Ensure their company name, company address, company contact number, company registration, and VAT numbers are displayed on their quote.
Then look at asking them about the following:
Fixed price or estimate?
More often than not, builders will provide you with an estimated cost for large-scale construction projects. These are always a good place to start and help act as a guide while planning takes place. As many of us know, construction projects can be unpredictable, which means costs can fluctuate over time.
Depending on the circumstances, a fixed price can be appropriate. After all, many projects only have a singular pot of funds. A fixed price gives confidence that the project will definitely be completed. Leaving an open-ended financial situation is not always the best solution.
When considering a fixed priced contract, the project must be planned in detail. For example, having planning and construction working drawings allows contractors to provide a more accurate cost.
It is worth noting that most fixed-priced construction contracts will have a contingency for unforeseen costs and a clause for any changes to the agreement. So if things changed - you do have some flexibility still.
The most important thing when choosing to work with any construction company, especially if it is a fixed priced contract, is you should be able to have honest and open conversations with your chosen contractor.
Scope of work
A good construction company should provide you with an idea of the scope of the work involved in detail. It’s important to make sure that you understand what’s included and the phases the company expects the project to run through.
If you’re not sure about something, look it up or ask your architects. A pre-commencement meeting should be carried out with all involved professional parties before construction begins.
Guarantees are something that most construction companies are required to give out, so if a firm offers you one, make sure it’s legitimate!
They should give you a written guarantee, and they should also confirm that it’ll be honoured by a UK-based insurance company if they cease trading.
Last but not least, do you feel like you could have a good working relationship with the construction company?
When working on any project, it is imperative that all partners can maintain a healthy working relationship. As you look to hire a construction company, you need to ensure that you can easily have constructive discussions. This will allow you to work together efficiently, even when issues arise.
A good balance of a company having a positive and friendly attitude and a proven track record of experience is the recipe for success on any building job.
Finedale Construction pride ourselves on developing good working relationships, even beyond the agreed contract. Our flexibility ensures we work with you in a way that suits your construction needs, and our team will be happy to talk you through how we can best start working together before any construction project.
Finedale Construction are here to assist you with your construction project
If you’re looking to work with a reliable and trustworthy construction company, then look no further than Finedale Construction!
We are a main contractor and property developer working primarily in the residential sector. Over many years we have completed a variety of residential developments all over the UK from our base in North Lincolnshire.
We are always interested in hearing about new large-scale development opportunities and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today to see how we can help you!