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How to choose the right construction company

Updated on 09/11/21

Building work is often the biggest cost a business or family face, so choosing the right construction company to do the work is essential. 

Talk to previous customers

Getting a recommendation from a friend or business acquaintance is a great way to choose a service, but you can’t always find someone you know who has had the type of work you need doing done recently. It’s also worth asking how the company dealt with any snags or problems which came up as there’s always likely to be something unexpected on a build and it’s how these issues are handled which can really make or break a project.

Look for experience in your area

Construction is a broad field, and it covers everything from building dams in the Scottish Highlands to piers on the south coast as well as factories, hospitals and family homes across the country. Look for a company which has a proven track record in your industry, geographical area or with your building type for a smoother build. As an example, if you’re restoring a listed building as a family home, your team will need different skills than if you’re creating a new-build office or factory.

Don’t shrug off red flags

All companies will try to present themselves well when tendering for new business, so if there’s something amiss at this stage, it’s telling. If a company can’t return your calls, makes obvious mistakes in the paperwork or never delivers on time at the bidding stage, it’s likely that those problems will continue and grow. Trust your instincts – if you’re not happy with the company now, working together long-term will be hard.

Look hard at the lowest bids

No one wants to pay more than they have to for a product or service, so it’s tempting to shop around for offers and go with the lowest one. However, you may find that the lowest bid is missing a few key elements – VAT, perhaps, which is at 20% – so you may not be comparing like with like. To know if you’re getting a good deal, you need to know the price for the whole job up front. Obviously, estimates can and do change – no builder can entirely predict how a job will go – but if you’re expecting a full service build, including décor and services, and you’re getting a quote for an empty shell, you’ll get an unpleasant shock down the line.

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