The Contractor Evaluation: think outside the numbers

contractor evaluation

Joe Lawn Vice-President, Business Development Dayhill Group

When it comes to finding the right contractor for your commercial construction project, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every project is unique producing a different set of drivers to reach your end result. Properly vetting your commercial contractor through a contractor evaluation is a practice that must happen early in the process. While it may be tempting to choose the lowest bidder, this practice often leads to troubled or outright failed projects.  Bid numbers aside, a contractor should be measured by key performance indicators that will afford you an in-depth look into their ability to deliver the project successfully.

Collect the Appropriate Information for your Next Contractor Evaluation

Brief Company History
Largest Projects Completed in the Last 3 to 5 Years
Work in Progress (WIP)
Key Employees
Estimating Information
Typical Work
Method Used to Monitor Cost
Major Equipment Owned by the Company
Business Volume in the Last 3 Years
Information on Safety Program
Financial Statement
Last 3 years if available, and a current interim statement
General Contractor’s License
Plans for Future Growth


The information you garner from this simple exercise can give you some perspective on the quality and history for the end game of the most qualified Contractor for your project.

So, what are the next steps? 

  • Define the status of the information available or presented by the Contractor.
  • Understand what drives the results of your evaluation.
  • Seek and maintain high quality project management, labor, and field supervision personnel throughout the project. {ongoing evaluation from your monitoring group}

Finding the right contractor for your project goes well beyond the bid process. A carefully vetted contractor will check off a lot more of your boxes than simply the bottom line number.  They will be the right one for the job at hand, regardless of price, which will save you so much more than if you simply ran with the lowest bidder.