1. Understand and prioritize your requirements
The first and most important thing you need to do is to understand and prioritize your own needs. This does not mean that you have to have everything figured out, but knowing the desired result and communicating that to the excavation contractor is imperative. Only then will you and the contractor be able to negotiate what is needed and if they have the right equipment and skill to execute your project. During the initial discussion ask all necessary questions, including their previous work experience to build trust and reliability between you, the contractor and the entire team. Remember that you are investing your money into the project, therefore you have the right to ask and get satisfactory answers to all your questions.
2. Look at their previous work experience
In today’s market, there are many excavation contractors to choose from. Searching “excavation contractors near me” online should never be the only step in selecting a contractor. Many homeowners and even commercial contractors have ended up worse off than when they started by not doing their due diligence in vetting a contractor. Since you are the one paying for the project, you get the right to ask them about their previous experience such as how long have they been working in this field, what are some of their previous projects, and most importantly, ask them for references you can call or email. The contractor should not mind or hesitate to answer your questions. If they do, move on to the next. When calling the references have a list of questions you want to know. Some examples would be
How was the overall experience with the excavation contractor?
What, if anything, didn’t go well?
Did they accomplish all they contracted to do in the time they said they would complete it?
How were they to communicate, did they listen and understand your concerns?
3. Look at reviews and feedback
These days, when you search for excavation services near me on a search engine, the engines provide you with many options and related websites. This is a great way to opt for a quick look into the contractor and start with the contractor whose website catches your eye in the content they provide. On the websites are often reviews and feedback you can read to understand the quality of their work and the services they provide. Of course, on the website, the reviews will always be positive. There are many other websites to obtain reviews such as google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. In the case you find negative feedback make sure you see how the contractor handled the criticism as there are always two sides to the story. However, if the contractor has many negative reviews or lower ratings this could be the sign you were looking for to move on.
4. Keep the budget in mind
You may have heard the saying, ‘I have champagne tastes, but a beer budget’. No matter what your budget you should be able to find a contractor to work within your budget, even if this means doing your project in stages. So, before you hire an excavation contractor, make sure to discuss the budget of the project and set out clear parameters for what to do if issues arise that would bust the budget. Some examples of that would be, the scope of the project changing due to unforeseen circumstances such as unmarked pipes. Make sure the contractor knows how you want to proceed and what the cost would be associated with the change. When finding a contractor to work within your budget keep in mind that a really low estimate compared to other contractors' estimates will require more investigation work on your part. Be cautious of ‘too good to be true’ prices.
5. Practical money management
Another great way to find the best excavation contractor is to look at their practical money management. For instance, if you find out that your selected contractor pays money they owe to the subcontractors and vendors timely, it is indeed a great sign. It signifies the integrity and stability of the contractor. This is also extremely important in the case that the excavation contractor uses subcontractors on your project. In this case, if the subcontractors are not paid they may have the legal right to issue a mechanics lien against the owner of the property on which the improvements are being done.
In short, these are 5 vital and useful steps for selecting the right excavation contractor for your residential or commercial project requirement. Once you understand the steps, apply them when selecting an excavation contractor and hopefully, you will avoid the many frustrations and problems that can spring up in your project.