Three Considerations When Engaging a Principal Contractor

Three Considerations When Engaging a Principal Contractor

If you are considering an upgrade or renovation to your business or facility, choosing a professional and reliable principal contractor to complete the project can be difficult.

While making the right choice requires time and effort, it is important that you find a principal contractor who suits your specific project requirements and will be able to deliver a spectacular result.

While cost and timeliness are always major considerations in a construction project, they are not the only factors to consider when hiring a principal contractor. Here, we discuss three important factors that can help ensure you choose the right contractor for the job.


Does the principal contractor have the experience to meet the scope of the project? 

The construction industry relies heavily on word of mouth and referrals, so an excellent contractor’s reputation usually precedes itself. It is a good idea to get recommendations for prospective contractors from other businesses, colleagues or even family members to get a sense of the contractor’s reliability, communication skills and quality of work.

You can also get a sense of a contractor’s experience by viewing their portfolio, and comparing the standard and scope of their previous work against your own requirements. If a contractor has a wide range of past projects which are all of a high quality, that is an excellent sign of their dedication to their craft and clients.

Due to the nature of the construction industry, many construction professionals have worked with one another in some capacity, be it in a previous role at another company or as a subcontractor. As a result, experienced principal contractors have a network of connections which can be used to make your project a success. This network makes certain facets of a project such as Contract Management a much smoother experience, which in turn leads to competitive pricing, increased punctuality and a reduced contractual risk for you as the client.


It is important to ensure that a principal contractor has a strong network of subcontractors who they work with regularly. 

In construction, high-quality subcontractors are essential to the success of a project. Subcontractors are seen as an extension of their employer and a mistake or delay made by a subcontractor is an indictment on the principal contractor. 

For a good principal contractor, price is not the only factor that goes into the selection of subcontractors; more important metrics are high-quality work, punctuality and compliance with standard safety procedures.

When embarking on a large commercial project, it is important to consider whether the contractor has adequate staffing and a contractor base diverse enough to manage what will be a complex exercise in organisation and coordination. Both project management, administrative and on-site staff are required to ensure that all the moving parts of the project are handled correctly and that the finished project is a success.


Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful construction project.

Good communication improves teamwork, avoids misunderstandings and keeps all of the involved parties working in unison. It also means that you as the client are kept informed and up-to-date with the project’s progress.

Construction projects are multifaceted undertakings with a variety of tasks which need to be done on time. The larger the project, the more complex the management requirements are, and the more important it is that you as the client are on the same page as the principal contractor.

As Ashley Cooper Construction Managing Director Luke Ashley-Cooper has stated, “Often, what separates a great construction company from a mediocre one is their ability to effectively communicate with the client. Communication is a great way to make sure that our client’s needs are met, and that the finished project is one that ticks all the client’s boxes.”

Looking for a Great Principal Contractor?

At Ashley Cooper Construction, our experienced construction team have delivered a wide range of projects across South East Queensland, spanning the commercial, hospitality and education sectors.

If you are looking for a team to handle your next construction project, get in touch with our friendly staff today and let’s discuss how we can bring your vision to life.

Master Builders Queensland Housing and Constructions Awards 2021 Regional Winner