Whether you’re building a brand new office building, replacing the roof on a warehouse, or remodeling a retail space, you’re going to need a commercial contractor. The challenge is sorting through the array of options to find the right one.
5 Tips for Selecting a Commercial Contractor
Good commercial contractors can be difficult to find, but they certainly exist. The key is to know exactly what you’re looking for to filter your options and zero in on the right one. And as you sift through different choices, here are some factors to prioritize:
1. Good Communication
Whenever you hear horror stories about commercial contractors, it’s not usually the quality of the work that’s questioned. It typically comes down to communication issues.
If you want your project to succeed, hire a contractor known for having good communication skills. They should be clear, responsive, and proactive at every stage of the project.
2. Experience and Expertise
Every contractor has to cut their teeth somewhere, but it’s better if they learn the ropes at someone else’s expense. You want someone who has been there and done that.
“One of the main things that an individual should consider when on the lookout for a building contractor is their experience,” Manchester Roofing explains. “This is pivotal. It is highly recommended that you do not opt for a company that has merely just started up.”
Expertise is also important. If you’re looking for a contractor to replace windows, hire a company that specializes in window replacements. And if you’re looking for a contractor to repair your building’s foundation, hire a contractor that does foundations. Don’t cut corners!
Cost isn’t the most important factor, but let’s not pretend it’s a non-issue. You have a budget and the contractor must be able to provide a bid that fits comfortably into that budget.
The general rule of thumb is to get a quote from at least three different contractors. This will give you an idea of the going rate and whether your budget is realistic, given these parameters.
Any commercial contractor can build a website, design a billboard, or buy some ads that explain how great they are. The question is, do they have satisfied clients who will say the same?
Any good contractor will be able to provide a list of past clients and referrals upon request. Review these testimonials and feel free to follow up with any questions you might have regarding specific elements of the project, such as:
- Was the project completed on time and within the allotted budget?
- Did the contractor communicate well throughout the duration of the project?
- Did the contractor provide regular supervision of the worksite?
- Was there anything you wish the contractor had done differently?
- Would you use the contractor again for a future project?
The answers to these questions will give you a good feel for how the contractor works. It’ll also give you an opportunity to see if the contractor’s handiwork is still holding up months or years later.
5. Licensure and Insurance
Finally, you should always check a contractor’s license and insurance to make sure they’re qualified to do the work. They should be able to provide you with specific paperwork that you can verify with the appropriate licensing bodies.
Finding Someone You Can Trust
It all comes down to trust. Cost, experience, licensure status…these factors all matter. However, they ultimately mean nothing without trust.
When you partner with a contractor on a project of this magnitude and scale, you need the confidence that comes from trusting that the company you hire is going to do what they’ve said. If a contractor says the job is going to be complete in six weeks and within a specific cost range, you should be able to trust that the job will be finished not a day late or a penny over.
Circumstances might change between now and then, but a trustworthy contractor will communicate any issues as soon as they emerge so that small issues don’t become major problems.
As you search for the right commercial contractor for your next project, please keep each of the factors mentioned above in mind. However, when you boil it down to what truly matters, ask yourself one simple question: Do I trust this person/company to follow through? If the answer is yes, you’ve found yourself a contractor.