The contractor you select for a commercial renovation and remodeling job can make or break the success of your project. Finding a contractor you trust and who shares your vision will ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible.
Most contractors expect to go through a vetting process before they’re hired to oversee a job. As the client, the most important thing you can do is prepare questions to determine whether or not a renovation and remodeling company will be the right fit for your needs.
Whether this is your first time undertaking a buildout project or you’re a buildout expert, here are our suggestions on what to ask your prospective contractor during the vetting process.
#1 What is the History of Your Company?
First and foremost, get a sense of the contractor’s history. Are they a newer company? Do they have years of experience in the field? Use this question as a chance to get to know the company’s ethos, key team members, and experience level.
#2 Have You Completed Similar Projects?
It’s absolutely crucial to establish whether or not a contractor has experience completing buildout projects in your industry. Because commercial renovations and remodels require different skills and qualifications than residential projects, your contractor needs to have relevant experience with commercial jobs. Plus, buildout requirements vary depending on the commercial sector (e.g. medical facilities, retail establishments, office spaces) so make sure your contractor has dealt with your industry before proceeding.
#3 What Do You Hire Sub-Contractors For?
Most contracting companies hire subcontractors to complete a portion of the work. This could be an electrician, plumber, or other specialist who comes in to lend expertise for certain tasks. While hiring a subcontractor is perfectly normal, it’s important to be on the same page from the beginning about what work subcontractors will be completing during your renovation project.
#4 Are You Licensed and Insured?
Make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and ensured. This will protect you from the potential consequences of poor workmanship and unsafe working conditions. High-quality professional contracting companies should have no issue showing you their license and insurance card prior to signing a contract.
#5 Do You Have a Claim Record and a Job Safety Record?
A claim record and job safety record will both shed light on a contractor’s diligence regarding safety and accountability. A claim record should detail any past claims that clients filed against a contracting company. While some of these claims will be irrelevant or unfounded, you’ll still gain insight into how the company handled disputes or if they have an outsized record of dissatisfied clients.
Similarly, a job safety record will detail any injuries or issues that arose on past job sites. A bad safety record is a sign that the contractor doesn’t respect workers and may not prioritize attention to detail.
#6 What Is Your Payment Schedule?
Establish early-on when payments will be due and how you’ll be billed. Avoid paying up-front, and instead offer an initial deposit followed by progress-based payments and a final payment once the work is complete. Make sure you understand how a contractor will calculate pricing during the project.
#7 Do You Have a Quality Guarantee?
Sometimes even the most carefully constructed buildout will develop problems shortly after completion. Ask your contractor to clarify their quality assurance and customer satisfaction policies to see what, if any, remediation will be available once a project is completed.
#8 What is Your Availability?
Last but certainly not least, establish a rough timeline for the project. Contractors tend to juggle multiple commitments at once, so it’s helpful to temper your expectations from the start. If a speedy project is a must-have, ensure your contractor has the bandwidth to prioritize your project and work within your timeline.
Partnering with Buildout Pros
Here at Buildout Pros, we offer commercial buildouts for businesses of all sizes. Our top priority is customer satisfaction, which is why we’re dedicated to ensuring your buildout exceeds your expectations. With end-to-end accountability, we’re committed to offering our clients high-quality workmanship from a contractor they trust. Our client portal makes it easy for customers to see real-time project updates, and communicate with our team during the build. Ready to see the Buildout Pros difference? Contact us today for your initial quote.
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