6 Important Things to Consider Before Hiring a Commercial Contractor
Whether you are hiring an employee to fill a position, or a general contractor for a commercial construction project, you want to make sure your hiring the best candidate for the job. And to help ensure your commercial project is completed on time and within budget, here are 6 important things you should consider before hiring a commercial contractor for your construction project.
Just because your state requires contractors be licensed doesn’t mean they have one or that it is valid. So, the first thing you should do before hiring a commercial contractor is to verify they have a valid license. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can expose your company to several liability issues. To protect your company from unscrupulous contractors, ask for their license number and verify its validity with your state’s regulatory agency. Some states allow you to verify the license status online. Also, make sure that the company indicated on the license matches the name on their vehicles, business cards, letterheads, etc.
Experience is often the difference between success and failure. There are a lot of general contractors in the field, but not all of them may have the experience needed to successfully complete your job. Whether you’re renovating a theme park or a restaurant, or constructing a new hotel or other commercial facility, its important that the general contractor you hire has a proven track record for completing construction projects like yours.
Getting an accurate cost estimate for your commercial construction project is important to ensure it is inline with your budget. But equally important is understanding the delivery method the general contractor is using to itemize the cost of your project. For instance, you might prefer that the contractor give you a hard bid with a guaranteed price to avoid any downside risk on your side. On the other hand, you may be comfortable taking a certain degree of risk with a cost-plus bid for a lower price with the expectation that change orders or unexpected issues could impact the overall cost of your construction project.
It can be frustrating and expensive when your commercial construction project is delayed. Especially, when you have marketing material, dignitaries and other media events planned to coincide with your opening. And while having an itemized schedule for completing certain tasks is important, before hiring a general contractor you should find out how often their construction projects are completed on schedule. Also, ask the contractor how you will be compensated for project delays.
Single Point of Contact
Your general contractor will likely manage a crew of employees working with a variety of sub-contractors, including cement mixers, electricians, plumbers and other specialists to build out your commercial project. To make it easier and more efficient to manage your commercial project, the general contractor should assign a single point of contact. This individual will be responsible for providing status updates, arranging site visits, answering any questions and resolving any issues that arise during the project. It’s a good idea to meet your single point of contact before your hire the commercial contractor.
Now that you have done your due diligence there is only one thing left to do before hiring a general contractor: Ask them for references of completed commercial construction projects. When contacting references be sure to ask them about the contractor’s ability to complete the project on time, within budget, and overall experience. Also, ask the reference if they would hire the contractor again. And why or why not. This will give you some insight on what to expect with your project.