Hiring a construction company can be daunting. You’re putting your trust, your investment, and your bank account in the hands of someone you don’t really know. Selecting the wrong construction company can lead to a multitude of complications which you are not prepared for, including time delays, subpar work, lawsuits, and more. If you’re an out of area investor, bringing on a third-party company to handle your renovation needs can be even harder as you’re unfamiliar with any word of mouth regarding the industry and you’re not likely to be in the area to supervise the project after the fact.
How do you know when you’re choosing the right company for the job? A company which you can trust with your investment? Here are five tips to help you narrow down your choices and select the right company for the job for your Detroit investment.
This may sound silly and quite obvious, but asking locals is one of the biggest steps you can take when searching for the right construction company. You don’t have to necessarily be in the area and hang out at the local hardware store to ask for a local’s opinion. Facebook groups, investor association forums, and other internet discussion groups are a great way to discuss local businesses with people who have had hands-on experience with them.
Ask for References
A few clicks on a keyboard will provide you with the top rated companies in the area according to Google or other rating sites. Calling or emailing these companies and asking for references of past and present clients is another good way to decide if the company is the right fit for you and your project. Make sure to ask for direct contact information for these clients. Don’t settle for pre-drafted letters of recommendations, as you won’t be able to get the answers to your questions.
Check for Licenses
Another obvious tip, but quite important. Google is your friend when you are an out of state investor! Get the contact information for any permitting or licensing bureaus in the Detroit area and verify directly that the companies you are looking at are actually licensed to perform their services in the area of your project.
Discuss your Requirements
Once you have compiled a list of local companies, interview each one personally. If you’re unable to do an in-person interviews, try setting up a Skype interview. Phone interviews are also conducive, just make sure you pay close attention to any pauses or delays in the responses they give. Discuss your requirements with each company and make note of their responses so that you can revisit the conversations later to compare companies.
Keep a Budget in Mind
While discussing your project requirements and goals with each company, make sure to verbalize your budget. There is nothing worse than starting a project and finding out halfway through that costs are going to increase. Ask for a detailed, broken-down quote. Knowing their estimated costs for each portion of the project will give you a great comparison tool when evaluating it against your other contenders.
While hiring the wrong construction company can be a nightmare, hiring the right one can make your project go off without a hitch. For out-of-area investors, having a reliable, experienced company at the helm of any investment project can create a priceless peace of mind.