What You Need to Know About Construction Contractors

10:10 Jun 2023
Houston General Contractors

Selecting Houston construction contractors for your new custom home construction or home remodeling project involves a great deal of planning and research.

Their skills, services and prices vary considerably making your hiring chooses complicated and difficult.

So how do you approach this process to get the best construction contractor for your needs?

It begins with understanding your needs.

Do you have design plans or do you need to develop the required construction documents as part of the process?

Do you have a clear picture of what you want in a finished product?

Have you an idea of your acceptable investment budget range for your project?

Do you have some idea of the level of quality of your finish work for your completed project?

These are just some of the important questions you are required to be prepared to answer while preparing to select your working partner.

Doing a thorough due diligence is a must when selecting a short list of construction contractors working towards your final selection.

The hiring of this professional service provider will either result in a positive experience or something far less.

The success of any home construction project is the result of an open and honest relationship between owner and Houston construction contractor.

The following is a brief discussion of some of the relevant subjects that differentiate the quality standards of Houston construction contractors.

Learn About What to Know About Houston Construction Contractors Responsibilities and Tasks

Houston General Contractors

Compare Detailed Proposals

When comparing construction contractors, it is essential to request and analyze their detailed proposal for the project performance.

The greater the amount of detailed information provided the easier it is to understand what is included in a proposal and what is not.

A typical proposal consists of multiple elements that make up a project proposal.

These sections include a scope of work, schedule of spending allowances, inclusions & exclusions, general project schedule, insurance certificates and a schedule of values.

  • Scope of Work

The most important section of the proposal is the scope of work. The scope of work should allow the owner to comprehend the priority tasks, in the required steps and the relevant sequences of those project task.

The amount of detail associated with the scope of work often reflects the quality of effort the construction contractor is placing on communicating the details of the job.

Secondly, the greater the transparency of the scope of work is to the owner, the greater the value the document serves comparing to other scope of works.

  • Schedule Of Product Spending Allowances

Allowance schedules are required when you request your Houston construction contractors to provide you with a contract price when the actual product selections have not been completed.

Most construction contractors should provide a list of discretionary product values that are comparable with the needs of the owner.

As the owners select and purchase the materials associated with the list, the differences are credited back or charged against the contract amount.

  • Proposal Inclusions & Exclusions

Every proposal has both inclusions and exclusions of contract terms. These may be preexisting conditions or possible negotiated terms of conditions.

These are common elements found in a formal proposal.

  • General Project Schedules

Projects have many schedules in the formulation of an execution plan.

Schedules are used in both pre-construction and construction phases to develop financial documents, schedule of values and construction delivery.

  • Insurance Certificates

Insurance is a part of any construction project. General liability, vehicle insurance, work compensation and builder’s risk.

Construction contractors are responsible for the subcontractor’s insurance as well.

  • Schedule of Values

Every proposal comes with a schedule of values. It can be as simple as a lump sum amount or a detailed list of progress payments.

The schedule of values is often a form of progress payments presented in the proposal.

Establish an Understanding of Quality Standards

Quality standards are a moving target for most owners. It is difficult and very inconsistent for them to clearly define and communicate quality standards for materials and labor.

Select the wrong material and the labor can be interrupted as the problem when the work does not develop properly and vice versa.

It is only when the proper material is selected that fits to the scheduled finish does the quality of an item radiate craftsmanship.

So, it becomes the responsibility of the general contractor to not only set the expectations for the level of craftsmanship expected but to demonstrate the capabilities through mockups and sample pieces.

Develop a Performance Based Payment Schedule

The payment schedule is an important aspect of the contract terms of a project. The payment should be tied to a performance schedule.

This is often referred to as a draw schedule which is based upon completed construction progress milestones.

The payment schedule is important for several reasons to an owner. You do not want your general contractor over drawing funds or under drawing funds.

With overdraw funds the general contractor may ease up at the end of the project, as they could begin to chase other project money.

If you allow them to under draw funds, they might not be able to finish the project with negative cash flow.

Licensing and Certifications

When you are hiring a construction contractor, you want to select one that is seasoned and has years of experience.

The licensing and certification process represents just the type of verification in training that will serve you best.

Many regulating authorities base their certification and licensing on the years of on the job training and experience that the applicant may have.

In Texas, general contractors are not required to be licensed, but they should have educational certifications from continued education.

Houston construction contractors with tenure are far more likely to plan more effectively for contingency and on how to avoid predictable problem areas of a project.

Building Permits

The requirements of building permits have long been understood to be a public benefit of verification of building code compliance.

This serves the public interest in the form of safety for not only who is purchasing the subject dwelling but also the next occupant.

One of the distinctive advantages of building permits is when the owner gets ready to sell a home that has had permitted work completed, the buyer is much more likely to offer a better price then if the work was done without a permit.

The process of obtaining a building permit can frustrate even the most experienced building contractors.

But it is still much more efficient to use a professional to submit the construction documents for permitting.

Construction Schedules

Construction schedules serve to provide a uniform communication method to express a complicated logistical plan to both contractors and owners.

The schedule sequential defines the ordering of materials with the progression of the labor task.

The construction schedule plays several roles in a developing a project. They are used to determine to duration during preparing the schedule of values.

They are also helpful in planning critical path and planning procurement of long lead items.

This provides efficiency to the execution of construction performance.

Mismatched Architect and General Contractors

The owner hires specialized personal service professionals to represent them during major construction projects.

The most two common professionals are architects and construction contractors. These two professionals are often placed at odds by the circumstances created by their professional agendas.

Architects are hired to prepare design documents to construct homes that represent high income owners’ dreams and lifestyles.

Houston construction contractors are hired by the same owners to build homes from these design documents in the most competitive and cost-effective means available.

This scenario creates a natural conflict of interest between the two professional representative of the owners.

This situation can be exacerbated by the owner using this natural conflict to cause further conflict between them.

This does not need to be intentional, this often is unintentional., when the owner is seeking fault or responsibility for cost overruns on a project.

It best suits the owner’s best interest to select a general contractor and architect that are well suited to collaborate together to serve the owner’s needs.

Owners Cooperating with Your General Contractor

The owner and building contractor are a professional service relationship that depends heavily upon trust and honesty.

It is key that the owner / general contractor relationship maintains open communication and collaboration.

This makes for a solid foundation that allows both parties to handle emotional charged issues that can develop during the design and construction process.

The quality standards for general contractors near me are a wide variety of service-based behaviors and practices that make a professional general contractor.

Your perception of these behaviors and practices determines if a specific general contractor is right for you.


A large part of selecting and hire a Houston construction contractor is understanding their responsibilities and professional task.

This process begins with understanding on how to compare the different types of building contractors.

Once you have these documents it becomes much easier to compare apples to apples.

But it does not end at this point, you need to be aware of the potential issues during your project to defuse or redirect your efforts to avoid the possible problems.

Being armed with this knowledge can go a long way in avoiding problems and making the time you interact with your building contractor much more effective.

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