Questions you need to ask your builder, before you start.

Here are some questions you should ask of any prospective builder, to give you an idea of their ability to do the task at hand. I have put in my answers for each question, just as a reference.

  • Are you a registered company and do you have a company website?

Yes we are. Aerocretos de Mexico S. de R.L de C.V.    RFC ame120510gf1  and we can be found at http://www.aerocretosdemexico.com

  • How many people – direct employees – work for your company? This answer will give you an indication of company depth.

It varies as projects come and go, but we keep a core group that have been with us for 7 years and expand as required, right now it is about 25.

  • What are their job descriptions? This answer tells you if the contractor has adequate support staff.

Some are master Abiniles others are helpers. We also have 2 support trucks, one for our supervisor and the other for the use of our engineer, who visits all sites daily. We also have a 2 plumber electricians on staff.

  • What do they do each day? You should get a feel if the people are full or part time.

We put dedicated crews on each job and the service trucks visit each site at various times during the day delivering materials and checking the progress. Our engineer visits projects daily to review the progress and one of the other partners or perhaps both of us, will also show up and check quality independently.

  • How many jobs does your company have in progress right now? Will your job be lost among these?

We have 4 major project projects in progress and 5 smaller ones, right now. We won’t take on more till one wraps up. We have projects that are waiting till a crew comes free.

  • Do you have any other outstanding bids right now? If these turn into jobs, will your job drop to the bottom of the list?

Of course, if we waited to bid on contracts until jobs were finished we would be too late to bid. But we start new jobs in the sequence we get them.

  • Do you work from your home? This can be a sign of under-capitalization. I never had an office of my own, so ask more if this is important to you.

Yes, it is better for me, but we also have an office/storage place in Chelem and a formal meeting space in Merida.

  • How do you manage your jobs on a day-to day basis? All jobs require management. Ask for details! Who checks for quality, mistakes and progress?

There are 2 partners in the company, we are on the road at various times reviewing the projects. When mistakes are made we correct them and make sure the workers understand the issues. All the major jobs have timelines posted, along with our company standards, for all employees to see. It is not practical on smaller jobs.

  • Have you or your company ever been sued before? The truth is available in the courthouse records!

NO, never!

  • What is the worst building experience that happened to you? Listen! What is the story behind the tale?

We have had customers that were impossible to please and changed their minds on things mid project and blamed us, when the job went longer than planned. It all worked out in the end, but it was frustrating.

  • What has been your best building experience? Listen! What is it he/she likes to do? Ask why.

Actually most of our past customers are now current friends, it is fun to do projects where the customer has a vague idea of what they want and we can guide them, to get the dream job completed for them.

  • What are your business ambitions?
  • Are the words quality, customer satisfaction in the answer? If you hear, “…make a lot of money…” WATCH OUT!

To keep a good quality crew, busy year round on interesting projects. We are in the process of working on a new roof top pool and total reno in an older house. Structural engineers are involved, architects, we have various ideas. It is fun for me during the design stage and my partner are more active in the overall building phase.

  • What is the longest amount of down-time you experienced between jobs? A contractor in demand has little or no down time.

Maybe a week or so as we had to wait for permits.

  • Do you use sub-contractors? Most contractors do.

Yes, but we usually end up hiring the best of them full time.

  • What is average length of time they have worked for you? You are looking for 5 or more years here!

Most for many years.

  • Can you provide me with a list of customers I can contact and can I see samples of your work.

Absolutely, we can show you for example, various renovations, many of which required structural engineering and from the ground up homes. Structural reno’s, are actually the most challenging as it is not as easy, as building from the ground up. We have even built projects in cellular concrete, to keep the third story weight as low as possible, (boutique hotel) and are currently building a new house on pylons, for hurricane protection. As well as the 40 or so custom pools we have designed and built.

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