How to Find the Best General Contractor Near You

Table of Contents

How to Find the Best General Contractor Near You

You have a building or renovation project that will require the skill of several trades and the oversight of a general contractor. How do you find the best general contractor near you? You might start with an online search for the ‘best general contractor near me’, but you’ll likely discover a lengthy list of potential vendors. How do you know which deserves your trust and your business? 

While it can take time to explore local contractors, it is worth your effort to find the right team for your job. Here, we’ll take a closer look at this role and the steps you can take to find the best general contractor near you. 


The Role of a General Contractor

As a reminder of why it’s worth the effort to find the best general contractor in your area, let’s look at the role they play in a project. A general contractor can be compared to the quarterback on a football team or the conductor of an orchestra. They have an overall view of your project, its requirements and timelines, and keep everyone moving together, toward the same goal. 

A good general contractor effectively manages sub-trades, bringing extensive industry knowledge to the table, while offering you a single point of contact for the job. An exceptional general contractor will foresee construction hurdles, timeline issues, and other challenges.  

It’s important to find the best general contractor near you, as they will act as a reliable buffer between you and the many trades required for a build or renovation project. They not only handle ongoing communication but also manage budget, technical and logistical issues, as they arise. 

Given this vital role within your project, it’s critical to find a general contractor you trust to have a clear, high-level understanding of the work ahead, to stay on top of issues as they arise, to keep within budget, and to communicate well throughout. 

The Risks of Getting it Wrong

You’ve likely heard stories of negative experiences with general contractors. If they fail to communicate or effectively lead the sub-trades on a given project, they can quickly run into trouble. Inexperienced contractors can be in over their heads in a matter of days. 

Sometimes the stories are worse than incompetence. If you hire the wrong person for the job, they could turn out to be shady or unreliable. The worst stories are those of contractors who abandon a project mid-way through, taking deposit money with them. 

Of course, the risk of hiring an incompetent or shady contractor is higher if you work with an individual, rather than a reputable firm. When you are ready to find the best general contractor near you, it’s important to lower as many risks as possible. A reliable team has likely built a culture of communication, performance, and integrity. 

When you go to look for the best general contractor near you, it’s important to understand the stakes of getting it right. So, where do you start?  

Start with Your Network

The most effective way to find the best general contractor near you is often to ask around. Do you have friends or family who recently completed a build or renovation project? Were they happy with their contractor, the build process, and the end product? Word-of-mouth is often a reliable source for contracting leads.

Once you have a name or two, be sure to do further research on your own. In other words, while a personal recommendation is a great start, you’ll still need to do your due diligence. Check with your local business bureau to make sure they are in good standing; once you’ve met with them in person, ask to speak to other clients and references.  

Broaden Your Circle

If your immediate circle — friends, family, neighbors — don’t have personal recommendations, it’s likely time to cast a wider net. To find the best general contractor near you, you will likely need to ask the advice of those in your community, city, or town. 

For some, this will mean asking people in person; for others, it will mean asking them online. If you’ve noticed a building project in your neighborhood that seems to have gone well, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to the business owner and ask their opinion. Most build clients are happy to share their experience—positive or negative—with people who ask. 

Alternatively, you can look online for community or business groups within your area. If you post, explaining that you’re looking for the best general contractor near you, you are almost certain to hear about local contractors who come highly recommended. From here, you can do further research.    

Of course, you can always run a Google search to find local listings for the best general contractor near you. Experiment with search terms such as “construction”, “builder”, “general contractor”, and the name of your town, city, or community. You can further narrow your search to those with the top-rated reviews. 

Get Creative

How else might you find local recommendations for a general contractor? You may have to do more vetting, but there are still dozens of ways to find more names. As a starting point, ask your local business association or Better Business Bureau if they have lists of recommended vendors.  

While the best referrals are often personal recommendations, you can find a list of potential vendors through something as broad as an online search, or as specific as a recommendation from your architect or real estate broker. When the referrals are not from direct clients, you’ll likely need to do a thorough job of vetting, to find the best general contractor near you.  

Ask Good Questions

Whether you are following up on a personal recommendation or investigating a lead you found online, it’s important to ask potential contractors the right questions. How much experience do they have? Do they work as part of a larger firm with in-house trades? Are they certified by safety boards and properly insured? Do they have a strong track record of keeping their projects on time and budget?  

Ask to speak to former clients. Ask about projects similar to yours. Ask about challenges they’ve encountered and how they’ve managed them. As you work to find the best general contractor near you, don’t be afraid to arrive at a meeting with a list of questions. And before you sign an agreement, do further research to make sure they are in good standing professionally and with safety organizations. 

A building or renovation project is a significant undertaking. You need your general contractor to be capable, trustworthy, and ready for the job. Ask around for the best referrals you can find, do your research, and trust your instincts. When it comes time for your project to begin, you’ll be happy you put in the hard work to find the right team.   

At J.B. Donaldson, we are a premium design-build contractor with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of industries. With extensive in-house expertise, we collaborate with our clients, helping you navigate every aspect of your project, from pre-construction to delivery and post-mortem reviews. 

We value quality, consistency, and predictability – allowing you to count on schedules, costs, and project integrity. Our commitment to excellence allows us to provide creative designs, practical solutions, and innovative ideas while keeping your goals and objectives as top priorities.

Contact us to learn more if you need commercial development services: (248) 344 9045,, or visit our website at

37610 Hills Tech Dr., Farmington Hills, MI 48331, US

Picture of J.B. Donaldson
J.B. Donaldson

A Premium Commercial Development & Construction Company.
37610 Hills Tech Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48331

Subscribe for Updates

Latest Post