Hiring a commercial contractor requires a few simple steps in before deciding on who to hire for the next office building project. First, materials must be considered and the scope of the project and what are the concerns foreseen in the project. Simply asking around, business acquaintances, and friends and family have at one time all been involved in building an office building or know someone that has. Word of mouth sometimes is the best resource to trust. Asking around the trade of building is also a great way to find a commercial contractor.
Lumber yards and hardware stores provide good sources of who to call as well as building inspectors and commercial real estate agents. All of these resources seem to pay off in finding someone you can trust to build your office building.
What you probably have not considered is the multiple types of buildings that need to be considered. If a contractor builds for a medical field, then the different types within that field vary in radical ways. For example, a private practicing doctor will have an office building built around the central part of his practice, the waiting room and the desk. Here the flow goes from the waiting room, to the front desk, to a private room without much equipment, and then back to the front desk for payment. It’s all about ease of traffic flow. On the other hand a dentist, also in the medical field, needs a front desk, but an open office area, with room for a lot of equipment, x-ray and such, room for many assistance to move around and the cost involves plumbing and a lot of specialized construction.
In a financial service, a design service or a real estate office, the office must be visual oriented where a government office building would be built frugally and tend to the function of an office and less to the design aspect of aesthetics. Again, a reputable commercial contractor needs to be cognizant of these differences.
If a commercial contractor has built in the industrial industry, his focus is more on the business itself and how it functions and less on traffic and work patterns like the private practices of the medical offices.
There are four main areas to consider when hiring a commercial or industrial contractor.
1. Communication is a must. The commercial contractor must communicate on many levels effectively. He must communicate with the client, the designer, the engineer as well as the architect. He must also be able to take command of his employees and communicate to the sub contractors so that the plans stay on target and that they adhere to the schedule. This can translate into being over or under budget if he does not have a good communicative relationship with the sub contractors.
2. Experience. This area of experience tells us that the contractor knows the flow, the stages and the schedule of the build out. He knows what contracts needed and what permits are needed to be within the city and county governments. Most importantly, he knows what schedule he must be on and how every stage fits together to make it all work out and end on the desired deadline. He must be knowledgeable in deadlines and schedules.
3. Reputation- A contractor will either have a strong positive reputation or a negative one and it won’t take long to learn which one they possess. The business world will all know or have heard of some of the good ones and especially some of the not so good ones. Knowing the importance of talking to many people with experience in building offices is priceless.
4. Management. Once again, if the contractor has had issues with past employees, payments, schedules, ethics, and time commitments. This will cause less problems throughout the entire process.
A commercial contractor needs to have many skills and wear many hats, however finding out ahead of time these simple steps will help insure a successful building project.