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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on February 3rd, 2020

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The Top Qualities To Look For In Construction Companies

General Contractors | Industry Knowledge

As a home or commercial property owner, you have probably gone through your fair share of construction or remodeling projects. Whether they are commercial or residential projects, you probably have a good sense of the characteristics and qualities you want out of the company you are hiring for the job.

Every construction company is different, but the best construction companies share some distinct qualities that help them stand out to the rest. The best contractors deliver a level of professionalism, efficiency, and experience that rises above the other companies.

Knowing what makes construction companies “the best” in your area makes it easier to identify the best construction company to work with on your upcoming residential or commercial construction project. These qualities can help you vet companies when trying to find the right builder or remodeling contractor.

Here at Litchfield Builders, we have established a reputation in Connecticut as a reliable, high-performing construction contractor for residential and commercial customers. From building to renovation, we’ve been one of the top names in Connecticut construction for over two decades.

But we know that the qualities that come with working with a top construction company expand beyond just us. In this article, we explore the top qualities you should look for in working with any Connecticut construction companies. 

1. Strong Communication

The ability to communicate effectively is the hallmark of a good construction company. From the first contact, your contractor should answer your inquiries quickly and dispatch a representative to your location efficiently. 

Internal communication is as valuable as external communication, which means messages delivered to one person at the company should carry over to all involved parties. If you find yourself repeating the same information, again and again, be wary.

The method of communication is important as well. The most modern contractors are available through electronic means of communication as well as in-person and over the telephone. The use of modern project management software with built-in email functionalities makes timely responses to email and text inquiries possible. 

To streamline the experience, the best contractors will often set up a single point of contact for the customer. You should never be left wondering who to talk to when an issue comes up in the project.

2. Extensive Experience

Experience makes a difference. Contractors learn on the job. The most experienced contractors have perfected their processes over time to limit errors and ensure a satisfying customer experience. There are many ways to gauge contractor experience.

While most long-time contractors will be upfront about their many years on the job, you can also gauge experience by viewing the contractor’s portfolio or by checking their references. Established contractors will have years of photos and references for nearly every type of project.

3. Licensure

Why does licensure matter?

Contractors in Connecticut are required to be licensed by the Department of Consumer Protection. The best contractors legitimize their business by following all local and state laws. 

They get permits when permits are required, are familiar with local building codes, and follow those codes to the letter. A contractor who is licensed is also required to hold insurance, to protect customers from issues that could come up on the job.

4. References and Testimonials

Glowing references are one of the most telling characteristics of a good contractor. Previously satisfied customers often develop an appreciation for their contractor and the company that successfully remodeled their kitchen, added an addition to their building, or constructed their home. 

Over time, these feelings only grow as they come to appreciate the lasting quality of workmanship that makes their home or business a comfortable place to work or live in.

When checking references, listen for that enthusiasm that assures you that the contractor you want to hire is truly a good contractor, one with integrity, a solid work ethic, and an upstanding quality of work.

5. Good Relationships with Building Inspectors

Almost all major construction projects in Connecticut require a permit of some kind. Once a contractor has established themselves in the field, they start to develop a reputation among building inspectors who recognize the quality of their work. 

The best contractors will pass inspections easily and quickly, which helps streamline the building process. Easy and fast inspections reduce labor costs. This time and money savings are always passed down to the client, who experiences a better (less turbulent) building process overall.

A construction contractor’s relationship with building inspectors can be harder to gauge unless you’re in contact with the building inspectors from your area. Many of them will talk to consumers who inquire about experiences with a specific contractor. Contact your local permitting office to contact the inspectors in your area.

6. Quality Track Record of Work

Quality of work is easy to gauge by checking references (who should be able to attest to the quality of the construction), and by looking at the contractor’s portfolio. 

Always ask to see pictures of the contractor’s work before signing a contract. Viewing their previous work can reveal many things about a contractor’s style and may help you envision what your finished project will look like.

7. Awards, Industry Affiliations, and Certifications

As a quality contractor becomes established in communities where they work, they will begin to accumulate recognition from local organizations. Awards are a sign of commitment to quality and reputation.

Often, the best contractors will have industry affiliations, like with the National Association of Home Builders or with the Home Builders Association, that reveal their commitment to their craft and their business. Often, these organizations provide (or even require) continuing education to give their contractors the ability to excel in their field. Industry affiliations and certifications reveal that a contractor is willing to uphold the standards of trade organizations.

8. Self-Performing

Look for a contractor who hires their own workers and employs in-house designers. These contractors are known as “self-performing,” which means they do the work themselves. This gives them a level of control over the quality of work that other contractors may not deliver. When you hire a self-performing contractor, you know that your contractor has the ability to set expectations and deliver on those expectations.  

Find the right contractor for your next project

Now that you know what to look for in hiring a contractor for your next commercial or residential project, it is time to find the right contractor for you. 

Litchfield Builders has been a long-standing part of the construction community in Connecticut. Our reputation proceeds us with homeowners, building inspectors, and even other contracting businesses in the surrounding area. 

To find out more about hiring the best construction companies in Connecticut, download our free guide, How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling ContractorHow to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.