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How To Choose The Right Utility Contractor For Your Project

North American construction projects face frequent delays and cancellations these days, reflected in a sharp drop in the region’s score on the project momentum index.

Supply-chain and workforce struggles continue to dominate as reasons for the momentum issues. But choosing a well-run construction company reduces the odds they’ll be severely delayed. When you start your search for a utility contractor for your project, set high expectations going in to reduce your risk of delays and issues.

Let’s take a look at what you should be considering as you review bids and make a choice.

Check Their Safety Record

Nothing bogs down utility projects like an accident so start by taking a look at their contractor safety records. Keep in mind as well the Heinrich model of safety, which points to the fact that for every serious accident reflected in their record, there are many more minor injuries and near misses.

Make bidding companies aware of your safety expectations before you request bids. Ask to see their contractor safety handbook when they submit their bids.

Look at Bid Details

When you start to compare bids, make sure you look at more than the bottom line number on the bid. Contractors working to get the lowest bid can be prone to leave out items or be overly vague with estimates for materials.

Make sure the bid accounts for the full scope of the job and provides caps on estimated portions. Look for any obvious holes in what’s included and any vagueness that could add up to extra project costs. A competent contractor should be able to give you a good overall picture of the project in the bid and the projected costs for each stage of the project.

Confirm Their Licensing

Just because a contractor is licensed in one location doesn’t mean they can or should be working with you in others. Double-check that the contractor holds the proper licensing for the jurisdiction where the work takes place. That license helps mitigate your risk and might be required for any insurance you get.

Check through any government agencies that issue licenses for the type of work. These could be at the state level, but might also be through local jurisdictions. A local license means they’re familiar with the regional rules and any out-of-the-ordinary factors for utility safety.

Demand Good Communications

After the work starts, you want to have them continue to talk to you. Decide early on how often you should be updated on the project’s progress and how you expect to hear from them.

The utility contractor should also be keeping you updated on any issues in the field and sharing safety data with you. Expect them to also have good communication with their workers. They should have the information they need to make good safety decisions in the field.

Find the Right Utility Contractor for Your Project
Setting high expectations from the start can help you narrow the field as you look for a great utility contractor. A solid safety record and good communications can help avoid numerous issues as your project progresses. Pay attention to the details as well to ensure they are properly licensed and their bid covers all aspects of the needed work.

Talk to us before you start your next project in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Florida. We’re licensed in all those states and can help with every aspect of your development and construction management.