9 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Engineering Consultant
Finding the right engineering consultant is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your next construction project makes the smooth transition from dream to reality. With so many firms to sort through, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure that you’re working with an experienced group of engineering consultants who will both understand the needs of your project and ultimately deliver amazing results. These nine questions are great starting points you can use to help you find the right engineers that will take your project to the next level.
1. Do you have experience working on similar projects?
Asking questions about your consultant’s past endeavors will give you better insight into their qualifications and ability to handle the specifics of your project. This question is a good one to open with, as it will allow the consultant and/or firm to show you that they’ve done their due diligence in researching the needs of your project.
2. Who is my point of contact?
In some firms, your initial contact person will be different from the person who will take charge of handling your project once the work gets started. Developing a relationship with your main point of contact before the project begins will save you from the stress of trying to track them down if any issues arise down the road.
3. Can you provide examples of past clients you’ve worked with?
Sure, you’ve probably done your homework and looked at your consultant’s online portfolio. It’s still a good idea to ask about their past clients and whether they have references available, in case there’s a recent client whose project was similar in scope to yours.
4. What happens if I need something outside of the scope of work?
Plans change – it’s the nature of the beast. Knowing the process of submitting modifications before things get potentially stressful is just another way of making sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible throughout the entire process.
5. What types of engineering degrees do employees have? Do they specialize in any specific field of engineering?
Depending on the size of the consulting firm you’re working with, there may or may not be engineers who specialize in the areas that your project requires. Before you fall in love with an engineering consulting firm, make sure that they’re certified to carry out the duties of the job.
6. Are there any clients that you work with frequently?
Repeat customers are one of the best indicators of a firm’s ability to meet and exceed client expectations at every stage of the process. It’s also a great idea to ask for these clients’ contact information, as they’ll have extensive knowledge about the firm you’re looking to work with. Reach out to these contacts and ask them about their experiences working with the consultant(s).
7. Have you won any awards in your industry?
A company that earns respect and recognition from other industry professionals is likely a company you can trust. Awards alone don’t necessarily mean you’re working with a great company, but they can be an important part of the larger picture.
8. What steps do you take to ensure quality control?
The answers to this question might vary depending on the nature of your project, but it’s good practice to look for companies that take the time to give you thought-out, in-depth answers that are specific to the scope of work and specific needs of your project.
9. Have you ever worked in my state/city/jurisdiction before?
Not only will firms that are used to working in your area have a solid understanding of any local regulations or permits they’ll need, they’ll also likely have developed great working relationships with the people in charge of handling the permitting process.
JBA Consulting Engineers has been bringing buildings to life since 1966. If you’re looking for a team of experienced, dedicated engineers for your next construction endeavor, we’d love to get to know you a little better. Give us a call at (702) 362-9200 to get started.