Image showing a construction meeting.

10-Step Guide to Choosing the Best Contractor for Your Project

Whether it’s for your corporate headquarters or for your dream home, your choice of contractor can make all the difference. They may have the skills and experience. But how well do they work with their clients? Will they be able to deliver the same vision you have in your mind? Will they be their when something goes wrong?

Choosing a contractor is all about finding the perfect balance in terms of experience, price and attitude. Here are 10 steps that will help you zero in on the best contractor for your project.

  1. Have a clear vision of how you want the project to turn out.

This project is yours, so you can’t let someone else envision how this should turn out. How do you want this project to turn out? Do you prefer a Design-Build approach where you work on both the design and building with the contractor? Perhaps you have already worked out the design with an architect, but you haven’t gone through interior details and some things are subject to interpretation. Do you want a classical feel, or would you like an industrial look? Do you want a modern glossy finished doors or a stained natural wood finish? Clarify those matters to get a more accurate quote from the contractor.

Having a clear vision of how you want this to turn out will save you a lot of time in the long run. It allows you to later zero in on contractors who can share the same vision instead of imposing their own.

  1. Think about your budget.

Most of the time, property owners already have a budget in mind. However, you should leave room for adjustment. Set aside a 20% portion for the total budget for upgrades, changes, and items that you didn’t foresee. Do some research, and make some calls, so that you can set a realistic budget. The

  1. Ask for referrals.

Once you make your final decision, you’re going to have to work with this contractor over a long period of time. It’s not something you can back out from easily, especially when you start realizing that this may not be the best idea after all.

This is why it’s important to talk to people who have already experienced working with contractors in the past. Find out about their experiences so that you can set the proper expectations. Ask them for the names of contractors that they have worked with in the past and have proven to be worthy of trust.

  1. Check reviews.

Aside from the experiences of your peers and family, check reviews posted online as well. Make sure that they have considerable reviews and check for responses on any negative ones. This will help you find out about their customer service. There may be a bad review somewhere that will make you think twice about the choices you’re about to make.

  1. Look at portfolios.

Using your research and the recommendations from your peers, start checking on portfolios. Look at past projects that the names on your list have worked on in the past. There’s bound to be a few images that will reflect the kind of project you have in mind.

Check to see how diverse each contractor’s projects are. This will give you a clue on how flexible and creative they can be.

  1. Create a shortlist.

Now that you’ve seen what your different options are, it’s time to eliminate the choices that you feel do not match what you need.

Some people are wary about shortlists because they’re afraid they’ll miss out on something. Don’t worry; if you did the first few steps well, your gut feel and logic will tell you which contractors you wouldn’t want to work with. Once you have a decent shortlist, you can focus all your resources and energy into serious contractors who will most likely be able to give you the results you want.

  1. Set up meetings.

This is where the serious conversations start. Meet up with your prospective contractors and talk to them about your project. All of them will tell you that they have the experience, knowledge and capacity to work on it, but it’s up to you to read between the lines and see who will really deliver on their commitment in the end. Watch for the red-flags; if a contractor gives you a very quick quote without taking the time to study all the details of your project, they’ll hit surprises and start taking shortcuts during the project.

Talk to them about your vision and look at how they’ll respond. Will they listen to your ideas, or will they be dismissive? Some contractors will only talk about how they want the project to go without considering your thoughts. Some, however, will acknowledge your vision and will throw in a few suggestions along the way. This is the kind of collaborative work you should be looking for.

  1. Make adjustments.

After meeting up with different contractors, you’ll probably have some new elements to consider. Some contractors, for example, may tell you that some aspects of your project are unrealistic given your budget. You may also want to consider suggestions you may have been given during these meetings, especially if you feel that they would make the outcome of your project better.

  1. Do a second round of research.

Sometimes, you’ll end up with 2 or 3 choices that you feel are equally capable. When this happens, it’s time to do another round of research.

This time, dig deeper. Look at the company’s culture and find out about their processes. It’s a tough decision, especially if your final few choices are seen as the best in the field. But there will always be a few telltale signs that will show you if a certain contractor fits your needs or not.

  1. Make your final choice.

Now, it’s time to make your final choice. Using all the information you’ve gathered, you’re bound to zero in on a single contractor that you’re most comfortable with.

A handy tip if you want to make the final choice to be more subjective – you can create a point system based on the factors that matter. For example, you can grade each contractor anywhere between 1 to 5 in terms of price, experience, portfolio, etc. From there, you can easily pick the one that scores the highest.

Choosing a contractor is not just about picking the most popular one in your area. Sometimes, their vision may not fit yours. It’s also not about choosing the cheapest one, especially if the quality of their work is compromised. It’s all about finding the kind of contractor who’s going to make your vision their own and deliver a project that’s even better than what you initially imagined.


The Master Plan

The desert skyline in the north west of Saudi Arabia is set to be transformed by the construction of a giant, futuristic metropolis. Building has started on Neom, the physical manifestation of a vision that is at the cutting edge of modern technology. Life in the city promises to be a fantastic mix of sustainability and social enterprise, along with the most advanced gadgetry and conveniences. Citizens will be served by driverless cars and have entertainment at their fingertips. Artificial intelligence and automated communication systems will run a city that is built around imagination and ambition. Digital transactions will be easy and accurate, making cash unnecessary. Deliveries will drop from drones in the sky and all manner of information will be accessible to all.


A colossal area of untouched land in the north west of Saudi Arabia will be used for construction. It covers 26500 square kilometers (that’s 6 times larger than Dubai) and includes territory from within the Jordanian and Egyptian borders. The city will form an independent zone with its own regulations.
Neom will effectively be built at the crossroads of the world, in a strategic location amidst one of the planet’s most significant arteries for trade. This promises to fuel massive growth and maintain a vibrant, robust economy. It will also attract professional talent from around the globe, bringing knowledge, expertise and innovation to the city.
It’s a fantastic location, both geographically and climatologically. The terrain is varied and interesting with mountains providing shelter and the Red Sea coast ensuring a cooling sea breeze. This will give the city a comfortable Mediterranean climate, making living conditions idyllic and promoting leisure and entertainment in the outdoors. Professionals who are attracted to the economic hub of Neom will also be able to find fulfilment and happiness in their home lives, ensuring a modern, sustainable society.


Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Neom will be in its use of energy. A true smart city, it will utilize electricity for everything from transportation to entertainment and communication. Astonishingly, all of this power is set to be generated from renewable resources. This will make Neom the largest city in the world to be entirely fueled by ‘green’ energy. Enormous fields of solar panels will provide the majority of power, but wind turbines are also going to be used as well. This low-cost regenerative energy will ensure that pollution levels in the city remain incredibly low and air quality pristine. Buildings will remain clean and untainted by emissions and it will be a healthy environment for living.


Neom is set to redefine what urban entertainment really means. Shopping experiences will be interactive and convenient. All manner of sports will be accessible to all and technology will take entertainment to the next level, with virtual reality experiences and games around every corner. Additionally, the world’s largest garden will be constructed in the center of the city for all to enjoy.

The Ultimate Home and Destination

Neom will combine nature and technology on a scale that the world has never seen. The city will form a blueprint for urban development throughout the rest of the world. It’s this proposed mix of cutting edge innovation and abundant natural splendor that will really set Neom apart.

Smart Cities – A Brave New World

Innovation and technology are transforming the urban environment. The information age is upon us and whole industries, indeed economies, are adapting to reflect this. Within the construction industry, this is particularly evident through the emerging concept and reality of smart cities.

About Smart Cities

Smart cities represent an evolving idea and ideology to create a truly sustainable urban environment. They are not designed to be governed in the traditional ‘top down’ way. Instead, they bring officials and citizens together through the strategic use of technology. This is made possible through the internet.

By gathering data from electronic devices and various forms of information and communication technology, it becomes possible to manage a city more efficiently using the insights that are gained. This approach is both interactive and highly automated. It reduces running costs and helps fuel growth and development in a sustainable way. Communities are empowered and become valuable stakeholders who are able to influence the management of their city through the data they contribute. There is a strong sense of cohesion and as more data is gathered, it becomes increasingly possible to optimize the performance of the city’s infrastructure and services. This filters down into many aspects of a citizen’s everyday life. Transportation systems can be monitored and improved, emergency response times are reduced and all manner of public services can be made more user-friendly.

Neom, a brand new mega-city spanning 10,230 square miles. That’s 33 times the size of New York!

Neom: The world’s most ambitious project

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of this new vision with the proposed construction of Neom, a brand new mega-city spanning 10,230 square miles. That’s 33 times the size of New York! Neom will encompass all the core values of a state of the art smart city, with a strong focus on economic progress and taking care of its citizens. The city will be an independent zone with its own governmental framework. It promises to attract massive investment and innovation, creating a truly sustainable economic model. Just imagine a highly automated city with focus on a strong economy, built around advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy, biotech, and the best food & entertainment in the world. Thanks to solar and wind power, the city aims to be entirely zero-energy; a self-sufficient metropolis. The ambition and magnitude of Neom has captured the imagination of the world and places Saudi Arabia firmly at the forefront of the smart cities agenda.

Smart Cities and the Construction Industry

The construction industry is adapting faster than ever before as new technology is seemingly around every corner. Smart cities bring these technological advancements together and provide a clear direction for the future. At the center of it all is information and communication technology. It’s now possible for project team members to collaborate more efficiently using smart devices and mobile applications. Management strategies can be effectively implemented remotely and stakeholders are able to access data and maintain an ongoing interest more easily.

Additionally, the sustainability agenda has been gaining momentum for some time now. It’s becoming fully integrated into the processes, materials and overall management of construction projects. It’s reached the heart of the industry, fueling decision making and strategy. The concept of the smart city epitomizes this shift and provides a blueprint for the future of urban environments. The construction industry will need to continue to evolve and adapt accordingly.

The Future

Now more than ever, societies the world over are embracing a new model for growth, both economically and socially. The need for sustainable development is being recognized at the highest level and technological advancements are opening new doors and helping make this vision a reality. Sustainable urban environments such as smart cities are at the heart of this global revolution. It’s an exciting time for the construction industry and nowhere more so than in Saudi Arabia.


Image of Team of engineers working on drawings

What do you do prior to construction?

In construction, almost every project presents special requirements. However, the methodology rarely changes. We recommend the below steps to be followed prior to construction. The guideline below is taken from our training manual.

Pre-Construction Plan

Project Analysis & Studies

  • Initially we study and analyze all factors of the project segmenting it into different phases to ensure that proper understanding takes place. This enables us to do better planning and to provide more accurate time-management.

Site Investigation

  • At this stage, we arrange a site visit to the work location. Our manager and the project engineer attend a meeting and a site survey with the contract representative to clarify any points in a job explanation meeting.

Temporary Structures

  • The preparation of a temporary facilities takes place to avoid hazardous situations and ensure that the work shall be implemented accurately. This includes fencing requirements, site offices, restrooms, shoring, temporary power and lighting, and other requirements.

Equipment Requirements

  • A clear plan is set to define the required equipment relative to the application; careful specifications are selected for each job.

Manpower Requirements

  • A manpower plan is set up to ensure that all required personnel are enlisted for the project and supporting third party personnel allocated if necessary.

Time Management & Work Schedules

  • To ensure proper management and implementation of the project takes place, we utilize a computer-based project management (CPM) system. Gantt charts are utilized to display a clear time-line for every phase and task involved. This enable us to provide accurate time estimates and provides a better control on the project until completion.

Cost Estimation & Bidding

  • Utilizing the data collected with the previous six steps, we evaluate the project and estimate the complete costs involved and the time-line required.
  • A proposal is then drafted and submitted to the client in form of a formal proposal or a sealed-bid whichever applies.