Choosing A General Contractor for Commercial Construction Projects
When choosing a commercial contractor, most people get several quotes. There is often an inclination to choose the one that provided the lowest cost quote. However, there is more involved when choosing the right contractor for your commercial construction project.
Get an Estimate
Sometimes a cheap quote seems appealing, however, choosing your contractor based on price alone can be risky. It may be that in order to keep the price low, the estimate has excluded some things that lead to problems once the construction process commences. This can then push prices above what the competitors quoted anyway. You may find that the project quality and schedule fall below expectations as a result. Carefully review the estimate and make sure everything is included.
Most contractors will tell you that they have great practices, high quality and can meet the schedule. However, the best way to determine this in a transparent way is to ask for references. Talk to other business owners or architects and engineers that have worked with the contractor. References are a great way to ensure that you are choosing the right contractor to meet your needs.
Ask About Safety
Safe work practices is critical. There may be times when the contractors staff are working amongst your own staff, and safety for all of these people is paramount. Safety incidents can cause bad publicity for both the contractor and yourself. Ask your contractor about their safe work practices and what they do on a day to day basis to ensure that the employees are safe.
Set a Schedule
Always ensure that your contractor provides you with a detailed schedule so that you both know the important milestones that need to be achieved. It is important to ensure that your contractor understands your business’ critical dates.
Look for Experience
Not all general contractors have equal experience in the industry. Ensure that your construction company has experience doing the type of work that you require. Understand what types of experience they have, as well as their staff. Make sure you bring your contractor on early in the planning process so that they can assist in the development stage, this will help ensure that the engineers and architects consider any construction issues in the design plans, which will save you time and money down the road.
Check Online Presence
Check out companies’ websites, which can help you establish the specialties of each contractor. They also often list their completed projects, so you can see first hand some of the jobs they have completed.
Build a Relationship
It is critical that you have a contractor whom you can develop a strong relationship with. The project will be more successful if there is open communication and trust between you and your contractor. At the initial meeting, ask questions to determine if it will be a good fit for both you and the commercial contractor.