Choosing the right construction company is a crucial step for any construction project. A good company ensures that you get your desired results within the set deadline. Also, the right firm saves you the construction costs because you don’t have to deal with mistakes along the way.
That’s why; you should take your time in the hiring process to ensure you get the best. Here are seven tips to guide you when picking the right Charleston construction company.
1. Check the Services Offered
Some construction companies in South Carolina handle a wide array of projects, from roofing to flooring. Others only specialize in a single service. For instance, you may find a firm that is good at roofing but is not very good at painting.
If you need a company that will oversee all the construction elements, you will need to consider the services they offer first.
The primary services offered by a general contractor include the following:
2. Hire a Local, Licensed Firm If Possible
A local firm promises availability. If your building project is in Charleston, then a construction firm based in Charleston would be the best. This is because the firm will be readily available for your queries and concerns.
Plus, a local firm understands the specific needs of the residents, so you won’t have a hard time working with them.
Ensure that you have the physical address of the firm. Also, confirm that the firm is registered and licensed to offer building services in Charleston.
Be suspicious of construction companies South Carolina that go from door to door and never show any proof of their physical location or license.
3. Check Reviews from Past Clients
Reviews and referrals can save you lots of time and money when looking for the ideal general contractor for your project.
The reviews help you to understand the firm better based on the experiences of past clients. Too many negative remarks on a particular firm can be a warning sign that the company never delivers.
If possible, you should contact some of the past clients to learn more about the service they got from the contractor.
Some platforms such as Google and Yelp also provide helpful reviews about local Charleston construction firms. Be sure to use them to gain confidence in the construction firm you choose.
4. Check the Safety Records
The construction job is quite risky. All firms working in the construction industry should have safety protocols that protect their clients and their staff.
Beware of contractors who hesitate to reveal their insurance and bonding certifications or don’t seem to care about the safety of their work.
Here are a few questions to ask the construction firm in regards to safety:
- Do you have liability insurance cover?
- Are you bonded?
- Can I see your safety records?
- What guidelines do you use to prevent accidents in construction sites?
- What protocols do you apply after an accidental injury at work?
The best Charleston construction company will show you the Certificate of Insurance (COI) and answer your questions confidently. If in doubt, reach out to the insurer directly to confirm if the insurance of the construction firm is still valid.
5. Consider the Experience
Whether it’s painting, roofing, siding, or an entire building renovation, you will want to ensure you are working with the best.
As such, you may need to consider the number of years the construction firm has been in operation. We highly recommend that clients choose construction firms that have existed for a more extended period – more than five years.
The costs may be relatively higher, but excellent results are guaranteed because many years in the construction industry translate to better skills and expertise.
6. Consider the Payment Options
Create and budget and discuss it with the general contractor. The contractor will assess the project and probably, offer their budget too. Before the construction starts, you should have an open discussion with the contractor regarding the ideal budget and the payment options.
You will probably get multiple pricing quotes because each company prices its services differently. Compare the quotes and choose the best for your needs while still considering the other aspects such as the terms and payments, experience, and quality expectations.
However, do not accept cash payment, irrespective of the pricing. Consider using a cheque for the smaller projects, and arrange for better financing for the huge projects.
Also, do not pay a huge down payment. A contractor who asks for a huge down payment in cash is probably a scam. If possible, make your payment agreement in writing.
7. Don’t Rush the Process.
It’s normal to be excited about the outcome of a project to the extent of rushing the hiring process.
You need to find a good company that you can rely on for an extended period, so you don’t have to rush the hiring process.
That’s why we emphasize getting multiple quotes from different construction companies in Charleston.
Only hire when you are comfortable about:
- The transparency of the firm
- The expertise
- The reliability
- The pricing
8. Get Everything in Writing
The hiring process ends with a contract, which should only be made in writing. Ideally, the contract summarizes all the details of the project as per your agreements.
Vital things to include in the contract include:
- The name of the construction firm and the clients, signed by both parties
- Terms of payments ( cost of the project and payment dates)
- The predetermined completion of the project
- A short description of the type of construction job
If your project is vast and will take an extended period, a lawyer should be present when signing the contract.
Note: the contractor cannot change any contract clause without your knowledge.
Keep off a contractor who does not want to sign an agreement for the project.
Find the Best Construction Firm for Your Project
Hopefully, the above guide will help you secure the best construction firm in Charleston for your project. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you experience any struggles in the hiring process.
O.L. Thompson Construction Co., Inc is a construction firm based in Charleston. We have been in the construction industry for more than 70 years, so we have the expertise needed to deliver excellent construction results.
In addition, we provide employment opportunities. If you are looking for construction jobs in North Charleston SC, contact us today or apply online to join our team.