Finding a qualified commercial construction contractor to handle large projects has always been a challenge, but has become more important than ever with recent changes in the economy. Businesses are still growing and commercial construction projects are pilling up, but the budgets are tighter. There is simply no room for error in either increased costs or time that an inadequate contractor can leave you with. Most contractors are reliable, but you can make sure to avoid some of the irresponsible ones by using a few proven methods during the screening process.
Have the proper equipment? Size does matter!
Make sure the contractor you plan to hire has the machinery and equipment required for a large commercial construction job. When comparing large to small construction projects, it is entirely a different affair when it comes to having the right equipment. A small company may rent a large crane or forklift once or twice a year when it’s needed. Large companies with commercial licenses should be using this type of machinery often enough to own it and have permanent employees that are licensed to run them. Speaking of employees, the company should have a majority of their own employees and their sub-contractors should be experienced with working on the company’s terms regularly.
Not all contractor are alike
Just like you would do with any other project, you should get several bids before choosing a contractor to take on the project. Assuming an architect or engineer has drawn the plans to follow, the bids should be relatively similar in nature. If a particular bid comes in higher or lower than what seems typical, ask why. It may be that a particular contractor only uses higher-end equipment and materials, or it may be that one builder has a proven method that works well while saving time and money. Then again, it may just be blatantly obvious that one contractor plans to do a better job and the other simply doesn’t have the experience to bid it properly.
Past performance is a vital step when deciding
The contractor should be able to provide references from previous satisfied clients as well as, other projects they managed. In most cases, you can even schedule an appointment to have a guided tour at one of their previous projects. Don’t be surprised if the contractor asks if you would be willing to return the favor. It’s a winning situation all around even if the nature of your business isn’t conducive to “walk-in” customers. It’s always a good practice to encourage business relationships and there are few factors about this step that are quite simple. At a minimum, an online tour of the amazing projects the contractor has completed should be posted on their web site. If a gallery of projects, descriptions and images are not available online, it should make you wonder to some degree on how much they really invest in their own company.
The Contracting Aspect of Contracting
Your contractor should be able to do more than simply bid the job and do the work. An experienced commercial construction contractor will be aware of and willing to point out tax breaks, ways to save money, recommended materials and if applicable, advise you as to using specialty contractors in certain phases of the project. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have a second opinion to review the paperwork before signing, but a legitimate and credible contractor is going to point out these finer details of the project beforehand.
When and where should you start?
Choosing a contractor is intuitive on some level. Just like you have learned to trust your instincts with other business deals, you can trust that you’ll find a reputable contractor as you proceed through the bidding process. Take your time, listen to what each prospective contractor has to say, and trust your ability to make the right choice.
Make the right choice
CCI has 20-plus years of experience in commercial and industrial construction. We are licensed, insured and have a long list of diverse capabilities to handle any large construction project. For more information about our services or how we can assist you in the decision-making process, please feel free to contact us by completing our brief inquiry form.
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