Construction companies encompass a wide variety of skill sets in their employees, from the one-man general contractor who plans, builds and finishes projects independently, to multi-faceted companies where employees make up entire planning, building and finish-work divisions. Some construction companies sub-contract portions of the work out to highly skilled specialists such as licensed plumbers, electricians and green building specialists. Gain a basic understanding of how contractors work before making a decision as to which type is best for working on your project.
A general contractor who runs a small construction company may be capable of carrying out a small project effortlessly. Communication is clear and easy when the same person who bids on the job, that is, gives the price estimate, is the same person who applies for the permits, does the bulk of the work and conducts the final walk through at job completion. A one man general contractor may subcontract certain portions of the job, such as surveying, framing, plumbing, electrical or finish work while he completes other parts of the project simultaneously. A smaller company does not necessarily mean that it is only capable of taking on smaller jobs. In fact, a construction company with one or two dedicated employees, and responsible sub-contractors who have experience, can do quality jobs, large or small, in a timely manner. On the flip side, a smaller construction company may have a higher upfront cost and an emergency such as a change in the scope of the work or a personal illness could set a project back unexpectedly.
A larger, multifaceted construction company can likely handle the workload of a smaller home improvement project, as well as a large scale remodel or addition with a staff of in-house employees. A large construction company may offer more competitive pricing because of the ability to order supplies in bulk, and with a staff of specially trained sub-contractors, has the benefit of calling in a plumber immediately when there is an unexpected water leak or another on-staff specialist when the need arises. However, bigger does not necessarily mean better. Large construction companies sometimes have large overheads, forcing them to take on an increased number of jobs despite a well-booked schedule. Lower prices could mean longer wait times, less efficient communication and a less personal experience than with a smaller company.
Both small and large construction companies are capable of handling various sized residential jobs and commercial jobs as well. Begin with preliminary telephone interviews and follow up by offering the construction companies that seem most qualified an opportunity to submit a bid for the chance to complete the job. Or save time and get quotes from several construction companies at once by filling out a quick form here.