How to choose a Building ContractorHow to choose a Building Contractor

Choosing the right contractor for your new build[VR1] ing or renovation project is a crucial decision and requires careful consideration. The challenge is to find a reliable construction company that can get the job done in the allotted time, at an acceptable cost, and with minimal effort. Before you select or hire a contractor, there are a few things to consider. When interviewing companies, make sure the construction team understands your requirements, project scope, and architectural design specifications, and is doing the job properly and on budget. The followings 3 Steps can guide you on choosing a right Building Contractor:


FACTOR-5 DELIVERY: All delays are expensive. So, make sure that a contractor can provide you with a schedule with start and end dates. REPUTATION: One's most precious asset is their reputation; as it shows their honesty and reliability. Check their reviews online. Don’t hesitate to ask for references.

COMMUNICATION: Your construction process requires a lot of decision making, therefore, choose a contractor who is open to communicating and answering any questions or concerns you may have.

QUALITY: Talk to previous customers and look at some of their past projects. Examining completed projects is the best way to assess the quality of their work.

SERVICE: Make sure the chosen contractor is willing to listen, understand your needs, and deliver what was promised.


Procedure What is the process followed? Check if they provide complete end to end construction services from Building approvals, Architectural Design, Structural Design, Site execution, Interior design/execution and Professional Project Management. The contractor will have to take care of all the necessary steps involved in constructing your Dream Home and ensure a hassle-free experience for you.

Do they have it all? Check if they are outsourcing any work, as most contractors outsource architectural work. If so, you could be spending time with the architect to formulate the perfect building on a blueprint that will be used by the contractor to build your dream home. There are many chances that the contractor will not be able to understand your vision or requirement, which could cause delays.

It is always good to choose a company that has an in-house team of experienced architects and engineers which will ensure that construction is completed as per your requirement Check if they will Perform Soil Test: Soil testing is one of the first things to be done after buying a plot of land. If the structure is not designed according to the soil test results, it develops cracks in the future and could cause the building to collapse in due course of time.

Moisture Content Test - to determine the moisture and water content in the soil.

Specific Gravity Test - Find the degree of saturation of the soil and void ratio.

Dry Density Test - classify the soil between loose, medium and dense.

Atterberg Limits Test - to measure the critical water content of the soil.

Compaction Test - determines the compaction characteristics of soil. These are some of the frequently used soil tests which are and should be performed before construction to avoid damages and sinking of building in the future.

Project Schedule: Upon finalizing the Architectural designs and structural details, the contractor will provide you with a detailed project schedule. It will contain the total work that needs to be done during construction, broken down into stages, with specific dates within the timeline. This will give you a clear picture on when your home will be ready and what can be expected at any particular period of time.

Ask for Warranties Contractors provide warranties for their services to assure that their work is performed in accordance with certain standards stated in the contract. Any breach of a contractual condition will entitle the innocent party to terminate the contract. Breach of a warranty will, as a rule, only give rise to a claim for damages by the innocent party. While selecting a contractor make sure they provide you with minimum 10 years structural warranty and 1 year seepage rectification from the time of completion. This will give you peace of mind.


Pricing Complete Breakdown of the estimate: Ask the contractor to provide you with a complete breakdown of the estimate so you can cross check the pricing with the latest costing for basic building materials that contribute to the budget.

Materials such as Cement, Brick Sand and aggregate (Jalli), Steel, Wood, Pipe, Tiles, Electrical, Line pipe and Sanitary ware if chosen carefully, can help you lower your cost and will also enable you to change the materials that maybe of cheap quality. Many contractors will opt in for low quality materials to reduce cost which can be avoided if all the materials are checked and pre-approved.

Note that the cost will be divided between civil materials (Foundations, slabs, columns, beams, stairs, brickwork, plastering per square feet of floor area) and finishing materials (Flooring, Tiles, Granite/Marble, Plumbing, Electrical, Doors, Windows, Painting, Steel Construction per square foot of floor area). On top of all that, interior design costs can add up to about 20% of the project cost these days. Elevation, Inverter wiring, landscaping, solar rooftop, and borewell are some of the other extra items that will add to the project cost.

Material Flexibility: Based on your budget and what is currently available in the market the contractor should be flexible to use materials that would significantly reduce the construction cost of the house. Things such as using fly ash instead of red bricks, buying materials from the local vendors, rental of machinery can have a significant impact on your budget. Payment Method: Many contractors will negotiate, or require, a down payment or upfront deposit to start work.

This upfront payment serves to cover the costs of materials and initial labour. When it comes to smaller projects, it’s common for a contractor to request higher upfront percentages than they might on larger projects. This upfront percentage will often cover all of the materials and a bit of the labour. Expect to pay 10 - 50 percent upfront to get the project off the ground. Based on the size of the project you can opt in between 25 to 33 % which is a reasonable expectation for a medium project.

Agreement: Make sure your agreement with your contractor is more ironclad than a handshake to protect you and your home from shoddy work. The following points can help you with what to look for in an agreement:

Clarity - The agreement needs to clearly state your expectations with the general contractor and all that has been agreed to in the course of the project. Nothing should be taken for granted.

Scope of Work - A contract must set forth the job description of what the contractors have agreed to perform. This must be written very specifically to prevent any misunderstanding and confusion.

Pricing – The detailed pricing of the project needs to be in written format so there are no deviations. Also, if there are changes in materials prices, do mention who needs to either be benefited or bare the losses.

Project Timeline - To prevent any costly delays, a contract must specify the time frame by when the project is expected to be completed. This includes the start date and target completion date.

Payment - Clearly state how much, when, and how the payment will be made to the contractor. There should be sufficient and transparent payment process to have a steady work. In general, an advance is provided to the contractor to initiate the construction work and thereafter regular payments are made based on various stages of work completion.

Warranty - Do add a warranty clause describing in detail all the liability of the contractor in case of defects. Do mention the duration of the warranty.