Your organization might have guidelines on how many quotes to get from commercial contractors. But, from there, you’re essentially on your own choosing a contractor for your project. Commercial projects tend to involve a lot of investment and should help your business succeed over time. So, choosing the right commercial contractor is critical. Here is how to narrow down your list and choose the best one for your project.
Licensing, Insurance and More
To cover your legal liability, it’s important to start with the very basics. Confirm that the contractors you are considering are licensed and have enough general liability insurance to cover problems with your project. They should also be bonded and have worker’s compensation insurance. It’s also wise to work with contractors that have professional associations with other organizations, like Baeumler Approved.
Project History and References
Ask the contractor if they have ever taken on work of this nature before, and how the project went. What did they learn and what will they do differently for your project? After you get their perspective on the work, reach out to the company that hired them for the project and see if they agree. Was their experience positive, was the end result good, and how did the contractor handle disputes and problems?
Budget and Contingencies
Going even five percent over budget on major commercial projects is a large sum. While you should plan to have some budget for contingencies, you should also find out how your contractor plans to keep the project on-budget. How will they deal with material replacements, delays and other issues that could increase the cost they need to charge you? How much notice and control will you have over this?
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Timelines for Completion and Payment
Commercial contractors will expect a sizable down payment, but you shouldn’t make your final payment until the work is complete. It’s important to be fully aware of the payment schedule and make sure that it is fair. If only 50% of the work is completed, then you shouldn’t be paying more than 50% of the cost.
A timeline for completion of the project is important too. In order to minimize their impact on your business, a commercial contractor should stick as closely to the timeline of the project as possible.
Customer Experience and Responsiveness
Lastly, you should consider how well the contractor has treated you through the estimating process. Were they responsive, clear and flexible? Commercial contractors put their best foot forward. If you aren’t happy with the customer service now, you likely won’t be later.
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