When a contractor/customer relationship doesn’t work out, there seems to be a lot of finger pointing about who did what, and how the project went so wrong. We’ve heard horror stories from our customers about previous bad experiences they’ve had with other general contractors. It’s a sad realization that more unfortunately than not this seems to be the norm. It’s always our goal to make sure that our customers are thrilled with not only the end result, but also the entire construction process. We’ve touched on this subject before, and hope that sharing these tips will help keep you from finding yourself in a similar situation.
Important qualities to look for in a potential General Contractor include the following:
Customer and specialty contractor relationship management
Strong experience portfolio
Strong intracompany processes
Attention toward staff development
Pre-qualification questions to ask a potential General Contractor:
How do you identify and resolve issues that arise on a project?
How often will you stop by to check on the project?
Tell us about a situation where you acted preventatively for a client in order to improve the project outcome.
Will I have a dedicated team working on my project?
Can I visit one of your current jobsites to see how the site runs and is kept?
Sometimes checking references isn’t enough. Anyone who gives out a reference list is quite obviously only going to pass out contact info of clients who had a good experience with their firm. It’s important to ask detailed questions and get your own ‘gut-feeling’ about the people and the company you’re considering hiring. Take the time to do your due-diligence before signing any type of contract agreement. Knowing the right questions to ask can help you make the best and most informed decision about which firm will be the right fit for your project.
When you’re working on a residential or commercial remodel project, there are a few things we as contractors find it helpful if our customers are aware of. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about the construction process, what you will be responsible for as the owner, and what you should expect from your contractor.
1. Your budget is just that: a budget.
Budgets are a great idea, and important to have. However, keep in mind that a budget needs to be flexible. You may have a number in mind that you aren’t willing to go over but it’s important to realize that some items may be more expensive than you anticipated, while others might be less. Inevitably, even with the best planning in place, unexpected issues often arise. Be realistic about actual construction costs, and build yourself a 10-15% cushion for any surprises that may arise.
Continue reading 5 Things Your Contractor Wants You to Know →
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to design your dream home or office without having to worry about money? As that’s unfortunately not a reality for most of us, we’re here to help you out with a few tips on how to refine your office or home renovation concept to fit your budget.
In case you’re not familiar with design/build construction, let’s review the basics. The design/build approach is when a single entity (in most cases, the General Contractor) is responsible for the entirety of the construction project from the design phase through completion of construction.
Why choose design/build over a more traditional design/bid/build approach? We’ll tell you! Design/build construction allows for …
Continue reading Why Design/Build Construction Could Be Right for Your Next Project →
If it’s your first time working with a general contractor, or even if you’ve been through construction projects before, it’s important to know what questions to ask a potential contractor. These are some questions we get asked regularly, and we hope the information is helpful to you if you’re about to take on a renovation project.
What type of clients do you work with?
Most general contractors have a niche market where they focus their talents. Some contractors will only work in certain markets, while others have a wide variety. Here at Souder Brothers we specialize in commercial and high end residential projects. We have experience in many other markets as well, and with 40 years in the industry we have the know-how to help you succeed on any type of project.
Continue reading 5 Questions to Ask your Potential General Contractor →
We’ve all heard the horror stories about construction projects gone wrong. How do projects get to that point? Is it a lack of planning? Poor choice of contractor? Unrealistic expectations? It can be a combination of all of these things. Let us offer some pro tips on how you can avoid having issues during your commercial or residential construction project.
1. Determine your budget – then add at least 10%
Even with the best planning in place, unforeseen issues in construction always arise. How can you plan for something you don’t know about? Set yourself up with a construction contingency for these items. The construction process is a complex one, but by being prepared at the start of a project you can minimize the impact of unexpected items.
Continue reading 3 Tips to Keep Your Construction Project Running Smoothly, Start to Finish →
We live in an era that values expediency. Instant gratification is crucial when it comes to how we eat, how we shop, and — most importantly for our purposes — how we build.
One of the most common questions we get in the early stages of the construction project process is: “How soon can you start?”
The second most common? “What’s the turnaround time/how quickly can this be done?”
Time crunches have become the standard for our industry, with contractors under increasing pressure to get in, renovate or build, and get out.
And we’ve adapted accordingly, prioritizing our clients’ schedules and deadlines. We know that delays can be harmful, as there’s usually not much wiggle room built into a construction schedule.
That’s why it’s crucial to know what causes construction delays and how to avoid them. Here are three of the most common things that derail construction.
Continue reading How to Avoid 3 Common Construction Scheduling Delays →
Every time we turned on the news in 2017, it seemed like we were reading about another natural disaster.
Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Maria. Tornadoes, wildfires, and blizzards, all of them adding up to well over $200 billion in damage. And that’s not counting more localized catastrophes like sinkholes and earthquakes.
And now it’s 2018. The start of a new year is often a time to reflect on the old one, and to prepare for the months ahead. For property owners, this is particularly important to ensure your investment is protected to the best of your ability.
Continue reading Does Your Facility Have an Emergency Natural Disaster Plan? →
Whether you own a shopping center, office building, restaurant, or retail store, failing to invest in maintenance now will cost you in the long run.
It’s good practice to perform on-going maintenance on the big items listed below, while not neglecting small repairs either.
As a property owner, you want to do your best to ensure your investment is protected. The best practice is to get in the habit of performing ongoing maintenance on the big-ticket components listed below (though it’s a good idea to keep up with small repairs too).
As a commercial construction general contractor, it’s our job to know not only what equipment needs to be checked and how often, but the difference in construction costs to maintain equipment versus replacing it. Here are some items that need regular reviews to make sure your commercial property is running at optimal performance.
Continue reading The Crucial Checklist for Commercial Property Preventive Maintenance →