A commercial remodeling project is a significant undertaking. Commercial buildings are made up of numerous components, from the structural framework of the building itself to the roof, plumbing, insulation and electrical wiring. Each of these areas needs to be addressed by specialist subcontractors who are qualified in their respective areas while ensuring that the relevant building code requirements and zoning regulations are met. This is a major job with a lot of moving parts, so many building owners choose to work with a qualified contractor who can carry out the work efficiently and effectively on their behalf.
There are several compelling reasons to work with a professional contractor to manage commercial remodeling projects rather than trying to tackle this complex task on your own.
First, working with a professional contractor can take the liability off the property owner and increases the chances of the project being completed within the desired time frame and budget.
In addition, local contractors possess the experience and knowledge required to obtain any required permits and navigate the complications that might arise in this process. They also carry bonds and insurance that can help cover the costs when various problems arise.
Here is a look at how to choose the right contractor for your upcoming commercial remodeling project.
Ask for Recommendations
The first step you should take is asking other business owners, friends and family for recommendations. If you know anyone who has had work done recently on a commercial building, find out whether they were happy with their contractor. Even a negative review can be helpful in narrowing down the field. The most valuable recommendations will come from those who own facilities that are similar to your own.
Carry Out Online Research
If you are unable to secure any recommendations via word of mouth, you may wish to conduct some research online. Many websites have reviews and recommendations of various contractors and their services. The internet is also a useful tool for checking the credentials and qualifications of the contractors you are considering. Although there will always be outliers, look for common themes that are raised across multiple reviews when forming an opinion of contractors online.
Check Their Qualifications and Safety Record
Just as you would not consider hiring an employee without first checking their references, it is never a good idea to hire a contractor blindly without first looking into their track record. Talk to previous clients of the contractors you are considering to find out whether they do quality work, and look out for any red flags, such as vagueness or neutral language on the part of the reference.
It is also important to check the safety records of the contractors you are considering working with as early in the process as possible. This will give you a good indication of their ability to choose and manage effective subcontractors as well as any liability you will be taking on by hiring them. Contractors with a poor safety record may be prone to cutting corners in other aspects of their business as well and should be avoided.
Ensure They Have Proper Licensing
Although most jurisdictions do require contractors to be licensed, insured and bonded, there is some variation in this area. Even contractors that have the required minimum coverage may not have adequate coverage to address the risk that is involved in your particular project.
Therefore, you should double check the qualifications of the contractors you are considering. You can check their licensing through government agency websites and verify their insurance coverage with the insurance agency itself. In some states, there is no state licensing system for general contractors, but local licensing requirements may apply in certain cases.
Meet With Prospective Contractors
When you have narrowed down the field to a couple of potential contractors, request a consultation with each one to gauge how well you will be able to work together. The most successful contractor relationships are those in which both parties are able to communicate openly and effectively. Therefore, it is important to take some time to meet with contractors to see whether you feel good about working with them and whether they listen attentively to your needs and concerns. A good contractor will listen patiently and take instructions from you.
Be wary of those who are difficult to communicate with, cancel and reschedule your consultation multiple times, or rush you through your appointment.
Although working with the most experienced and reliable contractor should be a priority, the reality is that price will also play a role in your decision. When comparing the bids presented by the contractors you are considering, keep in mind that a bid is a lot more than just an estimated cost. It should contain a comprehensive outline of the steps the contractor intends to take to complete your remodeling project. In many cases, the lowest bid does not take the full scope of the work required into account. Going with this option may result in significant cost overruns.
However, it is also important to keep in mind that not every cost can be determined beforehand. Good contractors will be skilled at providing accurate estimates, but if the estimates are not capped, you could see much higher costs once construction gets underway. There is no industry standard governing how bids are presented, so you need to look at the big picture when making your comparisons rather than simply looking at the prices with no context. Identify what is included in each proposal and what is not included to make a fair comparison.
Schedule a Consultation With the Professional Commercial Remodeling Contractors
If you are looking for an experienced and professional commercial remodeling contractor in the Northern Virginia and D.C. metro area, reach out to Dirt Connections. We are an area leader in offering effective and dependable remodeling services to commercial and residential clients alike. We have expertise in handling a broad range of projects, from small parking garages to large apartment complexes. Get in touch today to learn more about our commercial remodeling services.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!