What’s the ROI on “the Right” Construction Company?

Over the years, we’ve offered a lot of advice on how to choose the right construction company. We’ve talked about professionalism, good client-construction company chemistry and having a pleasant experience. But the other day, a prospective client commented that these were more or less “feel good” benefits and it seemed like a better deal to just go with the lowest offer from a reputable construction company. His reasoning was that as long as the company was reputable, you’d get a good job no matter what.

The fact is, “reputable” doesn’t mean a construction company necessarily has the right manpower, skills, or experience to deliver your specific type of job on time, on budget, and to your expectations.

Let me give you a quick example: A construction company recently won a bid for a restaurant space. They hadn’t ever done a restaurant and there quite a few things had to be resized, reordered and redone. They finally got things right, but it forced the restaurant owners to delay their opening for several months – and pay rent even though they weren’t yet open. Cash flow isn’t just a “feel good” benefit. With a better-fit construction company, the restaurant owner could have started seeing money come in months earlier if he’d chosen a better-fit construction company.

You see these same kinds of experience shortfalls in home remodeling. For instance, a construction company that is very experienced at doing kitchen and bathroom remodels doesn’t necessarily have the expertise to do a great job on a “pop top” addition project.

Here’s our best advice: Once you determine that a construction company is reputable (professional, financially stable, etc.), make sure they have done projects similar to the one you’re considering. That way, when you talk with former clients, you can make apples-to-apples comparisons between what these clients experienced and the ROI you’re likely to see on your own project.

Remember, ROI isn’t just about that initial bid. It’s about finding a company who can deliver all the “feel good” advantages of professionalism and quality craftsmanship plus the dollars-and-cents rewards of delivering a great job on time and on budget.

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