Working Well with Contractors: 10 Questions That Prevent Issues and Ensure Satisfaction
Within the construction industry, most projects require a team approach. Consequently, you’ll likely work alongside other contractors both on- and off-site. Working well with these people is essential if you want to prevent issues and ensure satisfaction on every project. Therefore, it’s wise to ask questions and understand your colleagues before you get to work. Here are some helpful questions to ask before you begin collaborating with any contractor:
1. Are You Licensed?
Before working with another contractor, you should ensure they have a license. If they don’t and the client finds out, the company may have to answer to misdemeanor charges and pay a hefty fine. Then, you’ll be short-staffed and stuck with finding a new team.
2. How Much Experience Do You Have?
You should also inquire as to their level of expertise. How much experience does the team have? Ask the site manager how many years they’ve been in the business. If they’re relatively new, they may have yet to develop a business structure and set of processes that guarantee customer satisfaction.
3. Do You Have an Industry Expert?
While experience is essential, having an industry expert on-site will ensure the process is efficient and that all team members complete their tasks confidently. Both seasoned and new construction teams can benefit from some supervision and expert guidance.
4. What Is Your Safety Rating?
Keep workers and passersby safe by inquiring about your fellow contractor’s safety record. They should be willing and able to provide this information. Obviously, if they don’t have a safety record or have a poor rating, they may have a history of injuries. In this case, it’s best to choose a different contractor or subcontractor.
5. Do You Have Insurance?
Making sure your fellow contractor has insurance is also essential to ensuring satisfaction and preventing issues. Insurance will protect the property owner and construction company from financial loss if an injury occurs.
6. What Do the Design Plans Look Like?
A huge venture like a construction project requires a team effort. Therefore, everyone should understand and provide input on the design plans. Having everyone on board will quickly expose any flaws or potential constraints and ensure that the construction process will be smooth moving forward.
7. What’s the Budget and Timeline?
Additionally, you must know what the budget and project timeline look like. Ask the contractor for this information before joining a project. If the client or contractor has created an unrealistic budget or timeline, you’ll likely butt heads and struggle to collaborate from the get-go.
8. Do You Anticipate Any Constraints?
As you work together to complete the project, continually ask your fellow contractor if they anticipate any constraints. They obviously can’t foresee every bump in the road. However, if they expect a delay, they should readily share that information so you can problem-solve as a team.
9. How Will We Communicate?
When it comes to pleasing clients and working efficiently, communication is key. Ask the contractors which communication method they prefer and use it often. Choosing one that works for all of you will also ensure all parties see pertinent notifications and can respond in a timely manner.
10. Do You Use Collaboration Technology?
Excess paperwork, missing documents and multiple group chats and email chains tend to slow teams down. Streamline your communication, save time on the job site and work more efficiently by using collaboration software. Keeping all information online and in one place will also simplify collaboration between parties and ensure everyone’s always on the same page.
Building a Solid Foundation
Working well with contractors requires you to build from the ground up, just as you would with any project. Before you can ensure customer satisfaction, you must establish a strong foundation and a solid connection with everyone on your team. Asking questions from the very beginning and getting everyone on the same page will become the cornerstone of your project and create a framework that will support success.