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5 Considerations When Hiring a Commercial Contractor

Much like our area’s tidal creeks and age-old oak trees, commercial construction in the Lowcountry and Coastal Georgia continues to flourish. But not all builders are created equal. Chris Tilton, President of the Dewitt Tilton, believes in helping his clients go “from dreams to keys,” and to accomplish this he points out five key components to consider when hiring a commercial contractor.

Andrew Dewitt, Dewitt Tilton Group CEO (Pictured Right) and Chris Tilton, Dewitt Tilton Group President (Pictured Left)
Andrew Dewitt, DTG CEO (Pictured Right) and Chris Tilton, DTG President (Pictured Left)
#1: Credentials and References

“Step one is to always make sure your builder is licensed, bonded and insured and has a good reputation,” began Tilton. From the initial meeting, Tilton gives his potential clients a booklet containing his subcontractors’, suppliers’, and previous clients’ contact information and references. “We want to be transparent, and our subs and clients speak to our experience and good work.”

#2: Financial Viability

You would be surprised how many builders go out of business before completing a project. Tilton warns people to do their due diligence. “Banks will vet the client but not the builder. We get calls all the time from banks about jobs that are not financially feasible.” Tilton advises you to go to public records. “If the company has nine liens and nine lawsuits, who cares how nice they are—they’re scammers."

#3: Punctuality

Time truly is money. “We say that we work on Tilton time here,” said Tilton with a laugh. Tilton time means always looking 30 days out into the future. “It is difficult to do but at least my subcontractors have a good idea about the project and what needs to be done. Mr. Plumber knows he has this to do. Mr. Brick Mason knows he has that to do. I tell my clients, ‘The quicker you can stop paying interest and start making money the better.'”

Preciball USA distribution center ribbon cutting in Pooler, Georgia
Preciball USA Ribbon Cutting in Pooler, GA
#4: Budget

Tilton admits it can be difficult to stick to a budget, but it is important your builder makes every effort to stay within reasonable limits of it. “Unexpected things can come up and owner changes can affect the budget, but you have to honor the client and their target budget.”

#5: Communication

Communication really is key. High quality, highly efficient contractors build their business on well-managed communication, and this comes in the form of business structure, personnel and technology. “I tell my clients, ‘Don’t tell me or our subs something that needs to be done. All communication goes through Kim Thomas, our Director of Operations, and we use Procore, a project management platform for construction.” Tilton noted it is also important to build a relationship between the client and the builder. “The relationship is personal, as well as professional. You have to build trust.”

Because of their reputation, The Dewitt Tilton Group continues to win awards such as 2023 Best Construction Company of the Coastal Empire and expand services into other parts of South Carolina and Georgia. “Our mission is ‘Enriching our community, one building at a time’ and I love being part of that process. If I enrich someone’s life by enhancing their business, there is no better satisfaction. From the initial meeting to seeing the smile on the client’s face during the grand opening, I love what I do.”

Livingood's Appliances and Bedding Ribbon Cutting in Pooler, Georgia
Livingood's Ribbon Cutting in Pooler, GA

If you are in the process of hiring a commercial contractor in the Coastal Georgia or Lowcountry region, give Dewitt Tilton Group a call! From trees to keys, our team lives and breathes the building and design process with a full understanding of the intricacies of industrial and commercial construction. Call us today at 912-777-3404 or visit our website at

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