How to Choose a Commercial Contractor

If you're looking to hire a commercial contractor, it's essential to do your research. Depending on the needs of your project, contractors handle everything from designing the building and securing permits to performing the actual construction, and that includes many steps in between. This level of involvement means the success of your project is largely dependent on your contractor.

Because the contractor plays such an important role, you want to ensure you make the right choice. Here are the top tips for how to choose a contractor.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you start your search, it's important to have a clear vision of what you're hoping to accomplish so you can communicate your ideas to potential contractors. Factors such as your budget, desired schedule and build priorities are essential to define upfront.

When you're reviewing bids from different contractors, having a clear set of goals will make it easier for you to determine which contractor can help you meet them.

2. Do Your Research

Working with an experienced, reputable contractor is crucial, and you'll want to be sure of their qualifications and experience before moving forward.

Look for a contractor with a diverse portfolio of successful projects, and make sure they have experience with projects like yours in particular.

Any reputable contractor should also be willing to provide you with a list of references from other businesses they've worked with. In addition to checking with references directly, you can also check online reviews, the Better Business Bureau, and local or national construction associations.

3. Consider Compatibility

Choosing a contractor is like choosing a new business partner. You will be spending a lot of time with them and working closely together, so you want to make sure you're compatible with the company. Ask questions about their mission statement, company values, background and expectations to get a sense of how well your ideals align.

The right contractor will be able to ease your mind, communicate effectively and leave you confident that they can complete the project to your desired specifications.

4. Start Early

The entire build process is time-consuming, so the more time you allow to find the right contractor, the better. From design to decision-making to breaking ground, projects often take longer to complete than people expect.

Take the time you need to talk to multiple contractors and review their bids, and be clear about any time constraints on the project so everyone is on the same page.

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