No matter how big or small your upcoming project is, the general contractor you hire to handle the job is crucial to its success.
When you work with an experienced, professional general contractor, you will enjoy a high-quality finished project that is completed on time and according to your specifications. However, if you hire a less experienced contractor, you could potentially suffer from needless delays, subpar work, and even legal issues.
Clearly, it pays to find the right general contractor for your new or remodel project. Listed below are six tips that will help you choose the best team for the job.
1. Ensure Proper Licensing and Insurance
Your general contractor should have a license to work in your specific area. Proper licensing helps to verify a contractor’s credibility in the industry. It also assures you that they are familiar with the specific building codes and other construction requirements for your local area.
In effect, when you take the time to ensure you are hiring a licensed general contractor, you can reduce your risk of ending up with a low-quality outcome. Most importantly, ask for their license number so that you can confirm that their license is legitimate and up to date.
Just like their license, you will also want to make sure your chosen general contractor is insured and has actual proof of insurance. Injuries on the jobsite or accidental damages to a neighboring property can result in liability costs that you will have to bear if your contractor is not adequately insured.
2. Consider their Specialties
Most general contractors will specialize in certain types of projects or work with clients in specific industries. When you are searching for a general contractor to help with your next project, be sure to ask about their prior experience working with businesses like yours.
If you work in the automotive industry and are looking for help in creating a new dealership, for example, you will benefit from the expertise of a general contractor who has a strong track record of working on similar construction projects. In short, a contractor who specializes in the industry in which you operate will have a better understanding of the risks, opportunities, requirements, and innovative building techniques associated with your project.
3. Get a Detailed Bid
Before a general contractor will begin work, they will need to meet with you to discuss your goals and expected budget for your upcoming project. Then, they will work with the architects and engineers and subcontractors to attempt to provide you with a project bid, which includes a breakdown of the total estimated costs for the job.
When you review the bids you receive from qualified contractors, be sure to evaluate them carefully. The more detailed the bid is, the easier it will be to figure out how much you will end up paying for your project’s design and scope.
4. Ask for References
A general contractor worth hiring will share details and photos of past projects that are similar to yours, as well as provide you with references from other satisfied clients.
A good starting point is to look at the contractor’s website where they will typically have an online portfolio with information and images about prior projects. A high-quality general contractor will also have a list of customers for your specific industry, as well as their contact information.
When you contact a general contractor’s references, be sure to ask specific questions about their experience working them – from the project managers, to the superintendents, to the office staff. Were they treated as part of a team? Are they happy with the finished project? Would they hire them again the future?
5. Consider their Communication Style
Most commercial construction projects have a long lifecycle – in other words, you will be working closely with the general contractor that you choose for an extended period, so it is important that you feel comfortable with their executive team, project managers, and administrative staff.
However, good communication is more than just a good personality fit. Effective communication also means ease, quality, and frequency of contact. That is why it is important to consider the general contractor’s style and mode of communication and whether it will work for your business. For example, will they provide regular project updates? Will they only communicate via email or phone call, or can you also meet in-person or virtually if you prefer?
6. Look for a Local General Contractor
Typically, your best option when looking for a general contractor is to hire someone who has an office in your area. A local contractor, especially one who has been in the industry for a long time, will often be the most reliable choice. After all, if they weren’t known for providing high-quality work to the other business in your community, they likely wouldn’t still be in business.
General contractors who are based in your surrounding area will also be more familiar with the specific local building codes and will work with you to ensure you have all the proper permits prior to starting construction. This can potentially save you time and money and can make the entire timeline for your project run more smoothly.
Find a Great Commercial Contractor Today
At first, the process of finding a general contractor for your next new or remodel project might seem a bit overwhelming. But, if you keep these six tips in mind during your search, you will find a company that has the experience to help you complete to your exact specifications while also treating you as part of the team.
If you are looking for a professional contractor in Houston, Arlington, New Braunfels – or anywhere in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, or Oklahoma, we are here to help. Wier Commercial Construction is a full-service general contractor with expertise in a variety of industries, including automotive, hospitality/retail, medical, industrial, and aviation.
We pride ourselves on our high-quality work, and we always put our customers first. Contact us to learn more or to request a bid for your next project.