By: Jim D.
How to Choose a General Contractor for Commercial Projects
If you’re a business owner who’s ready to embark on a new construction project, congratulations! Whether you own a veterinary practice that’s outgrown the current space or you own a popular coffee shop that’s ready for a second location, you may have questions about how to get started.
A commercial construction project can be daunting, which is why having the right team on board is critical. Otherwise, you’re at risk for costly mistakes that could delay your project or blow out your budget. You may have heard that you’ll need a general contractor, but what does that role encompass, exactly? A general contractor handles all aspects of a construction project including:
- Overseeing the project from start to finish
- Hiring subcontractors as needed
- Handles all scheduling
- Coordinates all suppliers
How do you go about finding a reputable general contractor? Once you select a contractor, you’re entering a relationship (bigger projects can span months). So, it’s critical that you trust your general contractor. The more information you can gather, the more likely that you’ll find a great fit. There are many sources for recommendations, including:
- Fellow business owners
- Executive roundtable groups
Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, here are a few attributes to check off the list:
- Proper licensing
- Great communication
- Stellar references (ask to speak to past clients)
- Successful past projects (ask for examples)
- Documented processes
Beware of promises that sound too good to be true.
Once you’ve found the right general contractor for your commercial project, it’s time to get the ball rolling. Expect a good contractor to have a backlog, however. As much as you may be eager to move “full steam ahead,” projects require a collaborative step by step process. Many of those steps happen long before ground is broken.
With a little patience and a little homework, you’ll find that perfect match.