1. Research Research Research
Do your homework and look for a contractor who has a decent track record with credible references. You can check credentials and history through construction forums, local building inspectors, as well as your local Business Bureau. Any reputable contractor will be licensed, registered, and will have insurance. Reach out to your network and ask for any referrals.
2. Be an expert translator
The quotes you'll get from a few different contractors could vary significantly in price. So how do you filter through the paperwork and decide on the right provider? Read each proposal thoroughly to ensure that the contractor understands the scope of the project. Watch out for cost reduction in materials, or in resources. There are creative ways to cut corners, but ensure that the cost savings will not jeopardize the integrity of the work.
Photo:Octaform Customer, Speas Hatchery, Casper, WY
3. Get it in writing
Every project should have a written contract that describes the project details, start/end date, and total price of the work. Getting a written commitment (email, contract, etc) will protect you if the project goes sideways.
4. Pay smart
Most contractors will ask for a 25% to 30% down payment which is a reasonable amount; so any amount higher than that should be a red flag. To ensure the work is done in your terms, expect to make payments as soon as each major phase is completed. Expect to pay an average of about 3 payments per project with at least 10% to be paid when the work is completed.
5. Know your bottom line
Choose a contractor who is a good communicator and is clear about the project objectives. Are you comfortable with their personality in general? What is their work ethic like? Knowing the answers to these questions can save you from potential disappointments and frustrations.
Download the Partner Guide and compare the differences between Steel, Wood, CMU and Octaform.
Our full-page ad in Modern Contractor this month features The Town of Taber, Alberta's Bioreactor built with Octaform's finished forming system.
Pick up a copy at Con Expo next month.