How to Choose a Commercial Contractor for Your Project
If you’re looking to hire a commercial general contractor, it’s important to take the time to do some research. Don’t just go with the company that proposes the lowest bid. While it may be tempting to save money off the bat, you could end up paying for your decision – literally and figuratively. An inexperienced contractor may make critical mistakes, communicate ineffectively, or put your time frame and/or budget in jeopardy.
Remember – you’ll also be spending a lot of time working with your commercial contractor. Wouldn’t it be nice to work with a company you’re compatible with? Here are our tips to help you find the perfect fit.
Define Your Goals Before Hiring a Commercial Contractor
The first step in hiring a commercial contractor is to define your project goals. What are the overall priorities and goals of your build or renovation? What’s your budget? Desired schedule? Having a well-defined plan will help set the tone for success.
At this stage, it’s also vital to determine what services you expect your contractor to provide. Depending on the scope of the project, a commercial contractor will oversee several stages of construction, such as design, permitting, supply purchases, building codes, and zoning regulations. Different contractors may have different levels of experience in all of these areas.
When reviewing bids, you’ll want to make sure to choose a contractor that’s not only willing to provide all of the components you’re asking of them, but also has the necessary education, training, licensing, etc. to complete the work properly.
Things to Look for in a Commercial Contractor
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential contractors to candidates with the necessary qualifications for your project, it’s time to take a closer look at each company. There are three key areas to evaluate: compatibility, references, and experience.
● Compatibility. It’s important to remember that the commercial contractor you choose will become your new business partner. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time working together until the project is completed, so it’s best to choose a company you’re compatible with. To get a better idea if you’ll work well together, ask a lot of questions about the contractor’s background, mission, values, company culture, payment expectations, and proposed timelines.
The ideal commercial contractor will be able to communicate effectively and ease your mind. You should leave the interview feeling confident they can complete the project on time and within budget.
● References. Any reputable commercial contractor should be willing to provide you with a list of companies or business owners they’ve worked with in the past. These references are incredibly valuable, so make sure to check them.
● Whether the project was completed on time and within budget.
● If the contractor communicated clearly throughout the project.
● If the contractor provided consistent supervision on the work site.
● Whether or not they would recommend the commercial contractor.
You can get additional information about commercial contractors in your area from the Better Business Bureau, local and national construction associations, and online customer reviews.
● Experience. Finally, you can’t get a good feel for a commercial contractor’s worth without assessing their experience. While credentials may help you determine which contractors are qualified to handle the scope of your project, it is experience that demonstrates their capability of completing the job on time and within budget.
Many contractors would agree it takes years in the field to learn how to effectively manage a large construction project. For that reason, you should look for a commercial contractor with a diverse portfolio of successful projects.
We Deliver Quality, Cost-Efficient Buildings – And We Do It On Time!
Since 1978, the team at R.J. Ryan has served the complete commercial construction needs of businesses in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Twin Cities metro area, as well as greater Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our philosophy is simple: our building systems utilize time-tested materials and methods wrapped around the latest energy efficient systems. We build what you need and want, leaving out the costly extras that only inflate your cost.
When you partner with R.J. Ryan, you get a quality building at a fair price. For more information about our services, give us a call at 651-681-0200 or connect with us online.