Hiring a Contractor Checklist

 In General Contractor

Hiring a contractor checklist - Headwaters ConstructionHiring a Sacramento Contractor Checklist

One of the biggest decisions that you will have to make when you want to renovate your commercial premises or construct new ones has to do with hiring a commercial renovation contractor for the project. The decision to hire a contractor should come after you’ve narrowed down the scope of work. The task of selecting the most suitable contractor is a lot easier when you know what to look for. Headwaters Construction Inc. suggests following our Hiring a Contractor Checklist below.

Get Multiple Estimates

Contact multiple commercial contractors and ask at least three to give you written estimates. As you evaluate those estimates, be sure to compare apples to apples. For example, you may not get a clear picture of the competitiveness of different contractors if one is proposing to use tilt-up construction while the others are proposing different construction methods. Similarly, the materials used and the proposed timelines should be scrutinized before you make a decision.

Opt for Local Contractors If Possible

Commercial construction experts recommend that wherever possible, select a contractor from your locality. Local contractors come with several advantages. For example, such professionals have an intimate knowledge of the local building codes. Secondly, they are also easier to reach in case a problem arises during or after the project has been completed. However, ensure that those local contractors you shortlist are licensed in the expertise you need.

Review Their Previous Work

You are better off picking a contractor who has experience in executing the kind of project that you have in mind. For example, Headwaters Construction Inc. has decades of experience in undertaking tilt-up construction and other general contracting in Sacramento.

If you can, visit some of the completed and ongoing projects of the commercial builder you want to hire so that you get a firsthand experience of what the contractor can deliver. If this isn’t possible, ask people in your social circles for recommendations of contractors that delivered satisfactory work.

Don’t Rush

Headwaters Construction Inc. recommends that you take your time when selecting your general contractor in Sacramento.

Tureks Plumbing, a home-remodeling company in Appleton, recommends that you read the bid documents carefully and be sure to understand the fine print before you make any decisions. Don’t succumb to pressure from a contractor to sign any documents at short notice. Otherwise, you may end up regretting when you unknowingly agree to contract terms that aren’t in line with your wishes or interests.

Scrutinize Their Insurance and Bonding

You should never hire a commercial builder if you haven’t examined their insurance and bonding documents. This scrutiny is important because those documents protect you from liability should anything go wrong during the execution of the commercial renovation or construction project. If you can, contact their insurer and confirm that the policy is still valid and that its coverage is what you have been told.

Put Everything in Writing

Experienced commercial and residential property owners know that it is a big risk to award a contract to construct or renovate a property when detailed project documents haven’t been drafted and signed. Don’t make the mistake of relying on verbal agreements. The contract documents should stipulate the following;

  • The scope of work and the agreed cost of each item on the scope of work.
  • The agreed project start and end dates, together with any applicable penalties.
  • The payment schedule. For example, you may have agreed to pay one-quarter of the project fee upfront and then stagger the remaining payment until the work has been completed.
  • Any guarantees agreed upon.
  • Signatures of both parties to the contract.

If you make any changes to the contract, put those changes in writing, and let the commercial builder sign those change orders.

Maintain a Project File

The project documents, such as the contract, invoices, specifications and receipts, can quickly pile up. Get a folder and keep all these documents in that folder so that you can access them easily. Your notes and observations should also go into this file.

Plan for Delays

Circumstances beyond your control may throw the project timelines out of whack. For example, unexpected inclement weather may prevent general contractors from progressing according to schedule. Anticipate delays and see how to adjust in order to accommodate them.

Don’t Pay in Advance

Avoid paying the entire contract cost in advance. Instead, spread out the payments with about one-third being deposited just before the project starts. It is also better to pay by check to a company rather than an individual.

The time and effort that you invest in identifying the best commercial builder for the job will pay off massively since you will not have any avoidable issues during the project and the outcome will meet or even surpass your expectations. If you are looking for a commercial general contractor that delivers what they promise, contact Headwaters Construction Inc. today!

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