Did you know one of the most critical decisions for your church construction project occurs before you lay the foundation? That’s right—choosing your contractor is a crucial decision that can have long-term implications for the welfare of your church.
Unfortunately, many pastors overlook this step and consider options to cut corners to save cash, like utilizing low-cost subcontractors. Hiring a professional, credentialed, contractor is a worthwhile investment that protects you and your congregation from harm and yields functional, beautiful facilities.
When you begin searching for a candidate to complete your project, follow these five steps to ensure you hire a reliable builder.
How to Choose a Contractor for Your Church Construction Project
1. Choose a Qualified Builder
You shouldn’t use just any contractor for your construction project. Instead, you should hire a professional contractor with extensive experience working with churches.
The scope of your project will likely determine the level of help you need. For example, a large renovation or ground up construction project will require a significant amount of planning, coordination, and supervision.
When you hire an expert design-builder to manage your project, you can be confident they won’t overlook any important aspects of the building process. Your design-builder will sketch your building, oversee deadlines, hire subcontractors, obtain permits, and supervise your church facility’s construction from start to finish.
2. Check References
Once you find some contractors you might be interested in hiring, you’ll need to review their references to ensure they are qualified to complete the job.
The Associated General Contractors of America recommends hiring a contractor that meets the following qualifications:
- Minimum of five years of experience
- Proper licensing and state credentials
- Positive information from the Better Business Bureau
It’s also wise to hire a contractor that has completed past projects similar to yours. Previous work can usually be viewed on the contractor’s website. If not, ask the contractor if they have a portfolio you can look through.
You should also ask the contractor for at least three references from past clients. Call these people to ask questions about their church construction project. Was the building completed on time? Did the project stay within budget? Was the contractor communicative? Were they happy with the final result?
3. Confirm Insurance
Before choosing a contractor, verify their company carries insurance, including:
- General liability covers your contractor in the case of injuries or damages to your property.
- Worker’s compensation offers benefits and protections for workers injured on the job site.
- Bonding capacity
It’s crucial to ensure that your builder is insured so you will not be held responsible for paying for injuries or damaged property caused by the contractor’s negligence.
4. Secure a Written Contract
Once you’ve settled on a contractor a contract will be forthcoming.
Your contract package will outline the details of the project, include a copy of the architectural plans or drawings, contain a complete list of building specifications, and the actual contract. The contract should include the following items:
- Description of work to be completed
- Work schedule
- Payment schedule
- Statement of permits
- Statement of insurance and bonds
- Warranty information
- Arbitration or mediation clause
5. Review the Contract
Before you sign a contract for any project, it is wise to hire a lawyer to review the terms in the document so you can be confident you know precisely what you’re signing. This knowledge can protect you from costly consequences during construction and after your building is completed.
Church Builder Checklist
When choosing a contractor, it’s essential to ask questions that will help you hire the right team for the job.
Here’s a list of questions you can use as a starting point during interviews with potential contractors. Feel free to add, edit, or subtract questions from this list based on your specific needs.
- How long has your company been in business?
- Do you have a specialty? If so, what is it?
- What was your most recent project?
- Will you provide proof of insurance if you’re hired?
- How closely can you follow the project timeline?
- What information do you need from me to complete the project?
- How does the design process work?
- What is the timeline for design and permitting?
- Do you anticipate additional costs? If so, what are they?
- How are fees calculated?
Partner with Churches by Daniels for Reliable Church Construction
Perhaps the most critical step of choosing a contractor for your project is hiring a company you can trust to do the job right.
At Churches by Daniels, we specialize in helping pastors fulfill their ministry vision with beautiful, functional church facilities. We have utilized our design-build process and valuable experience to complete timely, budget-friendly construction projects for decades. Learn more about how our church construction services can simplify your church building process and deliver superior project results.