10 important considerations to choose a general contractor so that your investment will be in good hands

How do you know who is a general contractor?

If you have decided to work with a general contractor instead of a few contractors here are 10 things that you must consider to be able to choose a general contractor who will take just as due care and caution as you will.

  1. It must have a history

    Nowadays there are more and more people who call themselves general contractors though they have a few sub-contractors only but no real experience in the profession.

    Doing a general execution without experience almost guarantees a failure.

    The company must possess production and organisation experiences since organising the work process badly can cause major delays during the course of realising the investment which can cause you loss of income. The general contractor not only has to be good at mounting but must be able to manage the given projects and investments which means organising the tasks, the processes and check them and if necessary intervene.

    It is not enough to have experience but this experience has to be specific. Since a construction of a site meant for keeping animals produces essentially different problems from that of a machine assembly workshop.

    To sum up, it has to be 10 years of professional experience and more than 1000 m2 industry-specific execution behind its back.

  2. It must have an own production department

    When constructing a hall it is not the mounting that takes a lot of time but the work that precedes it (planning, production, preparation of the area). But for the investor every wasted day that lengthens the execution is money thrown out of the window.

    That is why if the general contractor has an own production department it can save valuable days. Since you don’t need to communicate with one more sub-contractor about the submission and the details of the order which can meet a lot of exchange of e-mails, phone calls and faxes which will be billed out to you (or maybe they are secretly built in the price).

    Furthermore, if there are any changes you don’t need to modify the contract with the sub-contractor (which would unnecessarily lengthen the job) but the general contractor can handle that immediately.

    So a production department of the contractor saves money for you!

  3. Own employees

    An own production department is not enough it is good only if your own mechanical experts work there. A lot of companies do not hire full-time employees but hire people temporarily when there is work or rent employees from other companies. Why this isn’t the best solution?

    Because the ever-changing team cannot work together effectively, they do not know the depths of the setting of the machines, if there is a mistake during production then it is cumbersome to correct it and takes a lot of time which again would lengthen the planned time of the investment.

    The company who can and want to hire own employees are definitely more reliable since it is not only advantageous because they know the machines can work effectively and fast and cooperatively.

    But for an outsider it means that the company has enough jobs continuously, which enables it to pay its employees, which means that a lot of people trust the company. In the case of such company the investor can feel that it is in safe hands.

  4. Trained planning team with experience in this industry

    When we talk about general execution then planning belongs there, too.

    Of course it is not vital that the company should employ own designing architects – though it is not a disadvantage if any of its employees has a designing certificate and experience.

    It is sufficient if it is in continuous contact with a planning studio, who are not just professionally trained but have done more industry-specific plans proving their competence.

    This way you are protected as well since the general contractor is the link between the investor and the experts leading the construction. If the designing team in the background knows the special need of the industry then it ensures that they will not point fingers at each other later.

    You would not like to hear by standing at the finished construction listening to the problems that: “But you did not say that!”

    To avoid this it is vital to have an excellent designing team design the plans of the building.

  5. Permanent subcontractors

    A general contractor works the following way in Hungary, it has own employees and there are different work phases which are done by sub-contractors of the company. It is the general contractor’s job and responsibility to synchronize the work of its own employees and the subcontractors’ the best way possible.

    There is no problem if a company employs subcontractors. But a general contractor is really good if its subcontractors for a work phase are the same.

    If a company works with permanent subcontractors is advantageous from several aspects.

    On the one hand, it means that it doesn’t cheat its subcontractors and pays them in time, settle with them so it is also worth for the subcontractor working with the general contractor.  

    Why is it an advantage for the investor?

    Because a satisfied subcontractor won’t do poor job since it is also its interest that the job will be perfect. Since it wants to work with the general contractor in the long-run, so it tries to keep the deadlines and work precisely.

    On the other hand, the presence of permanent subcontractors means a good thing for the investor as the team is accustomed and work smoothly together, there are no misunderstandings since they have known each other’s customs and expectations.

    Thus the investor wins again since the chance of a work phase not finishing on time is close to zero, there is little chance of faulty work, no delay because of repair, no complaint, anxiety.

    It is real profit since there is no production loss stemming from the delay of the investment.

  6.  Precondition exemption

    A real general contractor undertakes all phases of the work. Those who use preconditions are also contractors but they are not general contractors.

    Avoid those companies who call themselves general contractors still they come up with preconditions such as they only start work on an even, cleared ground (max. 10% tilt), need another 1-2 metres avaible besides the work area, the ground mustn’t be muddy etc.

    A real general contractor solves EVERYTHING for you. You just have to show the area where the building will be erected and from then on everything is the general contractor’s responsibility.

  7.  Financial stability

    Please check how stable the company financially is and make your accountant to check the previous year’s balance and also whether it is the black list or not, or at least ask around the sub-contractors.

    It is unbelievable how often people run into companies who exist today but tomorrow won’t.

    It is unpleasant not just because you won’t have anyone to do the repair works if needed since this a better of lesser evil if the building is finished.

    But unfortunately it happens that the money runs out in the middle of the construction, it cannot pay its employees who in turn stop working and the work is interrupted. This is a serious problem if you started the work with some form of subsidy. Since the condition of the payment of subsidies is the certificate of accomplishment. Nobody will be interested whether it is your fault or not and should be glad if you don’t need to pay back multiple times the subsidies you have already received.

    Be circumspect since even your enterprise can go bankrupt if you choose a bad general contractor.

  8.  Own machine pool

    The general contractor should have its own machine pool if it is possible for all work phases which are not done by sub-contractors but for delivery it is essential.

    Why is it important when you can hire the machines as well?

    It is true but most of the people take better care of their own stuff than others’. The own machine pool received better maintenance thus it is less likely that they can go wrong while using them so they enable fast work and you can plan with them precisely.

    On the other hand, if the contractor has its own pool then it can organise them better so they don’t need to work for the machine to arrive because at the moment somebody else is using it.

    What is more, those general contractors who solve delivery with their own vehicles usually can offer a better price for the job.

    Consdiering all these it is a better to choose a general contractor who has own machine pool.

  9.  Professional trainings

    There are farseeing general contractors who do not only work with own employees and do not ignore the professional training of their colleagues. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to return to school.

    A professional development can be if a beginner colleague is put together with a more experienced one or at an exhibition we make them listen to the professional conferences or if we send them to professional meetings.

    A professional training is also important to acquire new techniques but more importantly to learn a more precise and faster acquisition of the techniques already used. Thus guring the execution the chance to commit a mistake is little so the lifespan of the building can be much longer.

  10.  Guarantees

    Of course general contractors guarantee those which are obliged by law but a really outstanding general contractor does more than that.

    It is a minimum that it guarantees all that is obliged by law and it is basic that it vouches for the deadlines written in the contract.

    But only a few can guarantee more than these.

    If you choose a general contractor from those few you can expect that just to defend their reputation they will do everything not to disappoint you and to keep the promised guarantees.


By considering all these you will be able to choose the general contractor that suits you the most.


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Choose an experienced contractor!

If it is important to you that your building will be well usable and cost-effective in the long-run or if you are only looking for part tasks of the construction please turn to us with confidence. Besides our main activity of contractor we provide steel structure production, trapezoid sheet production and sandwich panel distribution and delivery, as well.

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Cellspan Building element producer and distributor Ltd.

4233 Balkány, Kállói street 95.
Phone/fax: +36-42/400-509
E-mail: level@cellspan.hu
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