A few tips for Selection of Contractor for your Dream Project

by Ar. Abhishek Dutta,

Today, with the so-called economic boom hitting all corners of the country, suddenly getting quality workmen for construction has become very difficult. The previous contractors has become developers, the head mason has become local promoters, the helper has become the contractor, so one can easily guess who are working in your projects, that too at 3-times the charges compared 3 years back.

For small project owners thus, it has become extremely difficult to be able to select a good contractor. On top of that there are genuine problem regarding the contract and its implementation. One can see the article on “Construction Contract: Problems for plot-owners at New town, Kolkata”.

Here are some of the basic tips one may follow to make better selection of contractor

1. When possible, choose a contractor through personal recommendations. Try to get referrals from friends or neighbors who have had similar work done.

2. If you don’t have people who can refer, visit the locality where your building is going to come up. In the neighborhood, any new building that you like go and get the name of the contractor who have done it.

3. After you’ve put together a short list, call and pre-qualify several contractors. From each contractor, request names and phone numbers of a few satisfied customers.

4. Call those references and ask to see the contractor’s work. Don’t be shy. Most people who’ve recently built new buildings are proud to show off and, if they like the contractor, they’ll go out of their way to help him or her secure another job.

5. From at least three contractor candidates, request a formal bid based on exactly the same plans and specifications. Take professional help of your architect in preparing the detailed specification.

6. When specifying materials, ask your architect to avoid the term ‘or equal’ unless it is clear that substitutions can’t be made without your approval. If you agree to a separate budget for items you haven’t selected yet, such as plumbing fixtures or floor coverings, be sure the budget figure is high enough to cover their costs. Do your homework; go to a home improvement center to price the fixtures and finishes you want.

7. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bid. If one bid is seriously lower than the others, be suspicious of inexperience or desperation (the latter isn’t necessarily a problem). Generally speaking, if a bid looks too good to be true, it probably is.

8. Do not consider the final amount only. Evaluate the payment schedule too. As payment schedule often reflects the true intention of the contractor. Take help of your consultant, if needed. The contractor must be given continual incentives and it protects you from the possibility of a contractor disappearing after you’ve made early payments. Remember: money is your only leverage for getting things done.

9. Before the final selection, ask your architect or project management consultant to meet the candidate, and judge his/her technical understanding and seriousness to respect the drawings during construction. For these feedback if needed pay additional fees to your consultant but don’t jump this step.

10. Chemistry with your contractor is critical–this person may be in your midst for several months, and there may be times when you have to haggle about difficult issues. Ask whether your job will be the only one on their plate or whether they’ll be managing multiple projects at the same time. Find out whether the contractor will be on site to supervise your job or hand it off to a foreman.

11. Don’t forget to specify who will be responsible for demolition, cleanup, and trash collection. Be sure your plans are thought through completely. It’s fair for a contractor to charge you for changes and modifications that are not in the plans, particularly those changes that will require more work or more expensive materials. Charges for changes and extras can send your budget though the roof.

12. Get multiple phone numbers of your contractor and make sure under no circumstances the main contact person go out of your reach.

13. Have written agreement on the exit conditions and exit negotiation policy. Have time-wise penalty and award, so that the time component is the essence of contract

14. Don’t sign a completion statement or make the final payment until the job has passed final inspection. Be aware that materials suppliers or subcontractors who are owed money by your contractor can place a lien against your property. You can protect yourself from this by adding a release-of-lien clause to your contract or asking for proof of payment by your contractor. Another somewhat expensive option is to issue a portion of your payments to an escrow account to be held until the work is completed.

15. Whatever small time it may be have a risk liability period after the completion of the project, and keep a small amount withheld to get required service after completion on time.

This list is actually very difficult to be made comprehensive. The trustworthiness of the person must be judged to be absolutely sure. You also need to be little flexible and understand actual problems of your contractor. Don’t try to exploit a contractor with good intention too.

Don’t forget to give your comment, feedback or suggestion. Best wishes.


.More article from the author :    1. Online Plan sanction procedure at new town under NKDA


About the author:  The author is one of the leading architects working in New Town, Kolkata. He is one of the Founder Partners of   ArcOn Design Consultants, an award winning architectural Firm of the City. AD, has also been awarded National Award by NIASA, Council of Architecture,INDIA


14 thoughts on “A few tips for Selection of Contractor for your Dream Project

  1. Thank you Ar. Abhishek Dutta.
    Can you please tell what points to be considered for making a new contract ?


  2. Thank you for liking the article, but intention was only educating clients on possible situations. You may contact any good enlisted architect for your need.
    You may find contacts of the author in the ArcOn Design’s website


  3. Thank you Mr. Dutta,
    Very useful information for Plot owners at NKDA/HIDCO Area. After struggling for so many years a piece of land is given in HIDCO area to plot owners. It is not possible to fight every minute with the suppliers, consultant, contractor, syndicate, etc and at the same time to arrange the inflated demands as mentioned.

    I think NKDA and HIDCO shall come forward to protect the interest of the honest plot holders and shall ensure that the township is built as per the plan within the stipulated time and cost, maintaining the quality of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website.

    Studying this info So i’m happy to exhibit that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot unquestionably will make certain to don?t omit this web site and provides it a look regularly.


  5. Dear Dr. Ghosh,
    I am really sorry to reply you after so long (this may no longer be relevant to you any more as well), but recently the syndicate issue has came to forefront of the political discussions all over the country.
    But what I feel as a significant move towards creating a economic solution of these problem depend on the political will. But the good news is, as we slowly move towards a cashless economy e.g. Paytm, credit cards, online etc. these malpractices will surely get a threat as they are heavily depended on cash transactions.
    Moreover the syndicates are also slowly becoming mature to understand the market forces and a bit of rationale can now be observed with them too.
    Yet we are far from solving the issue altogether as this has a larger connection with the socio-economic structure of our democratic and bureaucratic systems.
    But Still, we can sure hope for better days ….


  6. As a Plot owner were confused earlier. This article is Very Informative, The analysis tells about the true picture of WBHIDCO Area, New Town as we read about it in newspapers and also the detailed observation and understanding of the author clarified a lot of doubt of mine. Thank you Ar. Abhishek Dutta


  7. What will be the building G+4
    construction cost per sq ft with standard materials including all other charges at New Town, Kolkata? Suppose plan already passed.


  8. Dear Mr. Baidya,
    It is perhaps unwise to predict cost of a building without knowing the structural design, soil condition, Plan, Architectural design optimisation, detailed specification of it. However, If one just need an idea, it should be somewhere between 1450/- to 1650/- per sft of actual construction area with standard specification with Local make lift without DMC Pile.
    Please feel free to contact me on my direct no. for any further clarification.
    Abhishek Dutta


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