What to Consider When Hiring a Commercial Contractor25 March
So, you’re looking into commercial contractors for your project. You probably have a few questions as you’re getting started. Where do you begin? Is there a step by step guide to this process? How do I know if I need to hire one in the first place? How do I find the right contractor for my project?
Don’t worry. We’ve put together a quick guide with all the information you’ll need to get started, and see this through to the end!
What Are Commercial Contractors?
Before diving into this, it’s important to understand who you’ll be hiring. When you break it down, you’ll be working with a general contractor who specializes in commercial construction. That means they work on building and remodeling things like schools, restaurants, offices, retail stores, etc., as opposed to residential spaces. They’ll make sure your structure adheres to building codes and handle zoning regulations, as well as obtain any necessary permits. They are also responsible for purchasing supplies, and designing the building. Your contractor will take care of everything for you while meeting the idea you have in mind for your project. Consider them your most valuable, and versatile, tool.
Will You Need to Hire One?
The short answer is yes, almost always. When it comes to the scope of your project, commercial builds will more than likely require the assistance of a contractor. While there may be instances where your project won’t require their help, the law often requires a form of contracting license. These individuals have proven their skills to obtain those licenses, and also assist with building permits and certificates of occupancy that are considered a necessity by most jurisdictions. Obtaining these permits while staying on top of regulations can be a real hassle, but these men and women have made it their career. It’s nice to have an expert on board.
Their expertise in managing the progress of construction ensures that it will be done right and efficiently, while delivering a building that you will be proud of. Their assistance allows you to focus on marketing, hiring new employees, and managing your business.
What to Look For
Now that you know who you’ll be hiring, and why you’ll need them, the next step is to find the best commercial contractors to work with. So, what should you look for?
The Basics: First, find someone who can handle the entire building process from start to finish. It takes a load off of your mind, while allowing you to focus on taking care of your business. That includes adhering to strict schedules so your project can be completed on time, as well as showing sensitivity to any budget constraints you may have. You’re not shopping for a new smart phone, you’re hiring someone to do a job for you the way you want it to be done. If the contractor you’re looking at cannot meet these three points, forget it.
A Professional: Next, you need to know their level of expertise. A quick Google search can help you out with that. Here are a list of good questions to ask when looking for a true professional.
- Will they work with you to create the design, taking into account your image, occupancy loads, potential expansions and more to visualize the full functionality of your structure?
- Do they utilize only professional architects and engineers?
- Are they going to consult you at every phase of the process for your approval?
- Have they handled diverse and unique projects?
- Can they aid in further expanding your business in other areas?
- Can they and their crews overcome obstacles such as weather, material availability, compressed timelines, complex regulatory and permitting requirements, and long lead lines for materials?
- Most importantly, what does their customer satisfaction rate look like?
If you can find the answers to these questions, you’ll know exactly how professional they are.
Good Communication: After that, keep in mind that frequent contact is the key to a successful project. A professional will contact you at each phase of the process, but should also adjust their communication methods to your needs. Maybe that means a phone call, in person meetings, or email updates. Discuss how often you want contacted with their progress, they’ll help to ensure that everything is done to your specifications by keeping you in the loop.
Time to Get Started
Now that you know exactly what you are looking for when hiring commercial contractors, it’s time to get out there and find the perfect fit for your project. Remember to start early! The whole process often takes a lot longer than most people realize, but knowing what to look for will help finding the right contractor be a lot less time consuming. Do a few phone interviews, meet the best candidates in person, and start comparing bids. Before you know it, your project will be underway!