A good contractor is never leaving you guessing. If ever you ask certain question, they answer direct to the point. We’ve heard a lot of horror stories even with known personality apparently getting “scammed” by sadly, professionals. Knowing how to determine the right contractor is a must for a typical Filipinos especially those without any background in the construction. Read this guide to determine how to find the right contractor.
1. Check the contractor’s credentials.
Do due diligence and ask around. Good thing about these days is you can check if the contractor is truly licensed via Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB) Portal. See to it that their registration is updated yearly as mandated by the law.
To check if the contractor is registered with PCAB, click down below:
“According to R.A. 4566 as amended by P.D. No. 1746 states that no contractor (including sub-contractor and specialty contractor) shall engage in the business of contracting without first having secured a PCAB license to conduct business. It is an offence to engage in contracting business without a license first being obtained.”
On the other hand, you may ask:
“But, what about those people I know with whom I knew is “experienced” enough to construct but is not licensed?”
Well, If you truly trust the person and it’s okay for you to hand out your hard-earned cash to someone unlicensed, then it is up to you. But, be very ready to take the risk and own it should something unfortunate happens (we hope everything to be fine, though). Good luck!
2. Inquire for Previous Project Portfolio and Check their Reputation
Always, always inquire for previous project portfolio and if you can reach out to the previous client, do so. That way, you can check their reputation and experience. This will help you understand their quality of work and experience.
On the other hand, there are young and budding builders. Scout for them as they tend to charge lesser so they can build up their portfolio. Please do not close your doors for startups. They basically have all the qualities stated in here except for previous projects.
3. Check How They Communicate
Are they responsive? Do they answer you clearly? Are they easy to communicate with? Check these things before you engage into one. You will be working with your contractor so find the one is easy to communicate with.
Anyhow, please do not bombard your contractor with questions and calls and be civil enough. Understand that they are also people who takes care of a business they have worked hard to put up. If you have several concerns, it is best to ask this all in a proper meeting so it will be jotted down on the Minutes of the Meeting which is a proper document. (Tip: Have the minutes of the meeting signed by both parties.)
4. Evaluate Thoroughly Their Proposals
See to it that all the things you want to be done is there and nothing is left out. Everything is clearly written. For example, if you want to construct a stand-alone garage, see to it that excavation, structural rebars, concrete, painting, electrical conduits, and wirings, testing and commissioning, to tapping in existing line are there up to the hauling of construction debris and garbage. It would be difficult to throw away construction debris so take that problem away from you and give that out to your contractor.
Should there be words that are not familiar with you, ask them about it. This is important so you can compare the proposals with different contractors. You may need a technical person to help you with this. Inquire with a third party licensed professional.
5. Get Everything into Contract
Now that you are confident with that certain builder, put the things that you have agreed in a contract and have it signed by a lawyer. That way, both parties are protected. If the contractor used a different material other than what is in agreed, then that contract is breached which is subjected to deductive (or additive). On the other hand, if you, as the client could not pay according to the agreed billing timetable, then you breached the contract and the contractor may file charges against you. This is important to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings later.
In addition, you will know that you have gotten a good contractor if these four key points are transparently put into contract.
- What is the exact construction job and breakdown
From the excavation to the disposal of the extra excavated earth, the construction of the temporary facility that will house the delivered materials to housekeeping and security. It should be properly reflected in the bill of quantity and contract. You may need help with technical persons on this one so seek advise and hire third party professional if you have enough spare cash.
- What are the materials and its specifications to be used
Materials grade and specifications should be clearly specified. Normally, Architects provide architectural specifications for architectural plan so this should in included in the contract as well. Look at structural plans and you should see the grades for reinforcing bars to be used in each structural member. If you could not locate it in the structural plan, ask your contractor and they should be able to point it out. These things should be reflected in the plans and contract.
- How much would it take to do that job
Now, this is main reason why a contract is needed. Normally, contractor breaks this down into labor cost, materials cost, and equipment cost. Every work in the construction contract should reflect it corresponding cost. Ask your contractor to simplify it should you have words that are not clear with you.
This guide will help you in lowering down your house construction cost.
- How long would it take to complete it
This is the pros on having a reputable contractor because there is a way for you to determine if the project is ahead or delayed based on the project timetable. In construction, there is what we call project s-curve. It is a graph showing the project’s planned timeline versus the actual progress. S-curves is a curvy line that looks like an “s” (hence, s-curve), and the corresponding weekly actual progress. Ideally, the weekly progress line should follow the planned timeline, if it goes below it, then you have a delayed progress, if it goes above it, then you have a positive progress. This pocket size planner may help you track down your construction progress, it is good as a gift too!
Since you are building your abode that will house for you most of your life, be sure to build it properly. You need to get a reputable contractor or house builder to do so. Now that you know the things about choosing the right builders for your house, we hope that you get the true worth of your money. Know that you are in good hands if ever you get the right contractor.