Hiring a Commercial Contractor? 8 Things to Find Out

Posted on: 19 July 2021

If you need to hire a commercial contractor to remodel, add-on to, or build a new commercial space, you will want to do your due diligence to find a quality contractor to work with. When it comes to your business, you want to work with the best.

#1: Length of Time in the Business

First, you are going to want to find out how long they have been in business. You will want to look to work with a contractor who has an established track record in the local community. A construction company will only make it for years if they finish projects and do high-quality work.

#2: Project Specialization

Second, there are all kinds of commercial construction work that a contractor can take on. You will want to look for a contractor specializing in the type of projects you need. For example, building a clothing store inside is different from building an automated warehouse for frozen foods. Try to find a commercial contractor with project specialization that relates to your business niche.

#3: Quality of Project Managers and Subcontractors

When you work with a general contractor, they will have a project manager who will oversee the project. You need a strong project manager to ensure the work gets done. They may also work with a variety of subcontractors as well. Find out about the whole team you will be working with, as they all impact the quality of the build.

#4: Payment Schedule

Third, always ask up front what their payment schedule is. You should make a down payment and make progress payments as work is completed on the project. Progress payments should be tied to specific work goals. When you get a Certificate of Occupancy, you should pay your final payment. 

#5: Designer 

With a commercial project, you are going to need to work with engineers and architects. Find out if the contractor will allow you to bring in your own team of engineers and architects, or if they have their own in-house team, or if they work with a specific third party. You need to get along with the contractor and the engineers and architects on the project, as they will help bring your vision to light. Once again, you want to work with engineers and architects who have experience with your type of commercial project.

#6: Claim Record

Ask to see the contractor's claim record. You are going to want to see if they have claims and what type of claims they have against them. Be wary of a contractor sued multiple times for abandoning a job and being more forgiving of a contractor sued because of misaligned expectations.

#7: Job Safety Record

Find out if the contractor keeps track of job safety. A contractor with a poor job safety record isn't taking proper care of their employees and may cut corners on a project. A contractor with a strong job safety record is who you want to work with – if they care about their employees, they are more likely to care about the work they do as well.

#8: Supplier Location

Finally, find out where their suppliers are located. If a contractor is sourcing items locally or from within the state or region, they are going to have greater control over material deliveries, which is more likely to result in a project that is completed on time.

To learn more, contact a commercial general contractor near you.