Civil engineering is now more advanced and complex than it has ever been. Civil firms have begun broadening their scopes of work in to many other sub-fields that demand high standards of precision. One company might do a multitude of scopes like electrical wiring, concrete construction, road work, and even traffic management. With the technological advances in the civil construction industry, there are now many more ways to build new ideas. However, all contractors are not created equal. Below I have listed a few things to consider when looking to contract a civil engineering firm for your project.
Compare Their Capabilities to Your Requirements
When starting a new civil construction project the last thing you need is too many contractors on one site. This is why it is a good idea to match your requirements with a company that can offer the most scopes of work for your project. Furthermore, civil contractors have been known to outsource work to a third-party if they are unable to meet scheduling or if the scope of work isn’t something they do. Try your best to deter this from happening. Be sure to explain when discussing project plans that you want the company you hire to do the work themselves. If they cannot, you need to find out now. Not later when it is crunch time and a crew shows up on site that you have never seen before. It causes confusion and is more difficult to manage effectively. Not to mention the increased chance for accidents to happen.
3 C’s of a Successful Project: Consistent Communication and Coordination
This ties in to the first tip above. When managing a project related to civil work, dealing with too many contractors will only make things more difficult than they already are. It will be much more challenging to create consistent communication and coordination with the team which will lead to problems. For a complex project to finish on time and without incident the civil company you choose must have a strong track record of performing the 3 C’s of a successful project. This leads me to my third and last tip.
Résumé and References
Any major player in the civil engineering and construction industry will have a strong resume of past completed projects along with solid references readily available. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. When I was co-owner of a commercial concrete contracting company we wanted everyone to read our résumé because we had performed some award-winning projects for well-known companies. Call three to four references and find out what they have to say about the firm. Some of the most blunt and straightforward people work in the construction industry. They will have no problem telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Use these three basic tips when looking for civil contractors for your next project. By doing so, you will be preparing yourself for success right from the start. Good luck and I wish you an organized and safe project.