7 Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Commercial Construction Contractor



A commercial contractor is someone you hire to complete major projects, so it is important to hire the best one for the job. They need to know the ins and outs of construction of businesses, schools, churches, and other large buildings. Every detail, big or small, falls to their expertise, which makes choosing the right commercial contractor a huge job for yourself.

Commercial contractors are responsible for the design of a site, pulling the proper permits, purchasing supplies (which you are going to pay for, so you need it done right!), ensuring that all appropriate building codes are adhered to, and following zoning regulations. It’s a big job, but someone’s got to do it.

Each of these aspects of your commercial site is crucial to your final product. How can you know that you have chosen someone who will handle them all with integrity, knowledge, and experience?

Sure, Google and Yelp and all of those other sites can help you narrow down your choices, but when it comes to making the big decision, there’s a lot involved that can’t be determined through an online third party.

When it’s time to choose your commercial contractor, here are 7 things to look for so you know you have put your trust in the hands of someone who will create exactly what you are looking for and get it done right.

7 Things to Look For Before You Hire a Commercial Contractor

1. Reputation – Check with people you know who have used commercial contractors in your area and get their thoughts on their experiences with each one. While one or two negative outcomes are inevitable for just about anyone, if you have more bad feedback than good on a contractor, you may want to steer away from that particular person or company.

In this same vein, this is where Google and Yelp come in handy. When you have a few names in mind but you are weighing the pros and cons of each, check their online reputation, too.

Again, take each negative review with a grain of salt, since it’s easy to have personal differences that can get blown out of proportion. It’s also more common for people to take the time to leave a scalding review than a glowing one. However, if you do check and see that there are multiple good reviews, you can let that add to your “pro” column for a certain contractor.

2. The bid – You are more than welcome to have multiple contractors review your project and give you a bid, or an estimate, to complete it. This is basically a proposal that shows you exactly what your project will entail and how much the contractor will charge to complete it.

Your bid should include labor, supplies, permit fees, and everything that is needed to do the job right. There shouldn’t be any big surprises in costs down the road.

Once you have all of the bids, compare them. Each bid should have relatively similar costs. If there is anything on one that is not on another, you’ll need to decide if it’s necessary or not. If a contractor’s bid is excessively different than the competition’s, they may lack the integrity you are looking for if it’s too high, or the experience and knowledge if it’s too low. You want somewhere in the middle.

You need to think about the financing that you are going to attempt to get to cover your project. Commercial construction lenders will look at the project and the estimate and decide whether it’s reasonable before they decide to finance you.

3. Their license status – Many handymen want to offer to help you with your project, and while it may be tempting to hire someone cheaper for different parts of the construction, it’s safer to find a contractor who can subcontract out licensed workers. That way one skilled person has an eye on each part of the job, and you know you are getting licensed workers who have insurance to cover any problems that may arise.

4. Overall experience – A commercial construction contractor has a multitude of pots in the fire at any given time. They need enough experience to be able to juggle all of the jobs, their subcontractors and know how each piece fits with the whole puzzle that is your construction site.

5. General rapport – There’s a lot to be said for following your gut instinct. If you get a vibe from a contractor that tells you there’s something fishy going on or that you may not be able to trust them, go with that instinct and keep looking elsewhere.

6. Timeframe – Hiring a good contractor may mean that you need to start looking early. The best contractors are often booked well in advance because they are so good. But if you find a good contractor who can’t work on your schedule, you’ll need to either adjust your own deadlines or keep searching for one who can meet them.

7. Their terms – From how they communicate to how they expect payment, you need to know the terms of your contract should you choose to hire a specific contractor. Some commercial construction contractors are clear about each step they take, while others prefer to do first and ask later.

Payment is another big make-or-break. Find out how much they expect upfront, and then how the rest of the payments are to be made. Most contractors will start with a lump sum percentage of the whole estimate before the job is started, with partial payments due along the way or the remaining fee due upon completion. Find a payment term that you agree with or keep looking for another contractor.

Don’t Mess Around – Hire the Best Commercial Construction Contractor

While you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg that you shouldn’t have to, you also don’t want to sacrifice value for cost with something as important as your commercial building. Take the time to do your research on multiple contractors and find the one that fits the majority of your needs the best. Start early before all the good ones are booked!

Comments

  1. Very good & Informative Article. Thank you for posting.

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