Choosing the right general contractor may ultimately be the most important thing you can do to achieve a quality outcome for your design-build project. Considering these 10 factors will help you find the right contractor for your needs.

  1. Range of Services- One of the first things you should consider is whether or not a contractor can provide everything you need in-house, or if they will use subcontractors. A design-build team keeps both architectural services and construction services under one roof to provide more efficient results.
  2. Bid Details – Did your potential general contractor offer a fixed bid or a “time and materials” bid? One bid type may be better than the other, depending on the nature of your project.
  3. Warranties and Guarantees – Does your contractor offer warranties for materials and workmanship? Do they have a satisfaction guarantee? Make sure you understand the full stipulations of these important elements.
  4. Knowledge and Resourcefulness – Does your contractor seem like he really knows what he’s talking about? Does he have a plan if unexpected setbacks were to arise during the design-build process? Answering these questions can help you avoid hiring someone who could be out of their depth.
  5. Oversight/Management – Who will make sure that the construction team follows the approved plans and guidelines? Utilizing a contractor that also offers architectural services can keep the work on-target.
  6. Cleanliness – Does the design-build team keep a clean site? A sloppy work area could spell equally sloppy results for your project.
  7. Sticking to the Plan – Does the general contractor have a history of delivering work that is on budget and on time? You can’t afford a slacker in these crucial areas.
  8. Problem Resolution – Ask former clients how the contractor worked to resolve any unexpected issues that might have come up. Did he collaborate to achieve an appropriate solution, or was he defensive and combative?
  9. Budget – Does your contractor have methods in place to keep the project on budget? Do they avoid practices that result in cost overruns?

10. Quality Workmanship – At the end of the day, quality workmanship is an essential outcome for any design-build project. Ask former clients if they were happy with the contractor’s work, or visit former worksites for yourself to see how they stand the test of time.