Our Top Tips for Finding Commercial Contractors

A commercial contractor is a professional tasked with managing commercial construction projects. Some commercial contractors focus on handling every aspect of a project, while others develop specialties and focus solely on them. Hiring a reputable commercial builder will be critical to completing the growth plans you have for your business. So, what steps should you take to find that contractor? The tips detailed in this article will help you find the builder who suits your project best.

Seek Referrals From Other Business Owners

For many business owners, the toughest part of finding a commercial builder is simply putting together a list of candidates to consider. If this is your first time embarking on a commercial construction project, you may have no idea where to look for good candidates. This is the time when your connections will come in very handy.

Speak to your fellow business owners and ask them about commercial building projects they worked on in the past. More specifically, you should ask which commercial contractors they hired to complete those projects. Unless you’re speaking to a business owner in the same industry, odds are they’ll have no issue sharing that information with you.

At this point, you’re just compiling a list of commercial contractors to consider for your building project. You don’t have to commit to hiring anyone. That would be especially prudent if the business owner you’re speaking to hasn’t worked with that contractor for a long time.

Getting referrals for specialty contractors like a commercial lawn care contractor from other business owners may be easier. Specialty contractors tend to work more often, so obtaining referrals for them should be easier. You should still note the contact details of those contractors because they could help you in some way.

Check Review Sites for Commercial Contractors

Hopefully, speaking to other business owners has already given you a long list of contractor candidates. If that’s not the case, you can search for a commercial builder online. The internet is a terrific resource for finding qualified professionals, so use it to your advantage.

The key is looking for commercial contractors in the right places. For your search, you want to focus on review sites. We know that review sites don’t always provide the most accurate details about particular companies, but you can still use them for your search.

While reading reviews for a commercial contractor, you want to look beyond the star ratings. Instead, you should focus more on the details mentioned in the reviews. You can glean essential information from those reviews, such as the way a contractor communicates or how quickly they obtain materials. Those details paint a clearer picture of what you can expect from a commercial contractor.

You can also use social media to find reviews about commercial generator services and other specialty contractors. Like review sites, you want to focus more on the details in social media posts than the ratings. Posts included in social media groups can also yield valuable insight about professionals like contractors.

Examine Websites for Commercial Contractors

Going through the previous two steps should give you plenty of contractor candidates to consider. Of course, you cannot go through the full evaluation process with each one because that would take too much time. You must start refining your list, and you can do that by examining the websites of your candidates.

You should be able to find the websites quickly as long as you have accurate details. During your evaluation, you should look at the services provided by a particular contractor. Do they offer the commercial plumbing services you’re looking for, or is their selection more limited than you expected? Those are some of the questions you can answer by browsing websites for commercial contractors.

Getting to see a commercial builder’s online portfolio is another benefit of examining their website. An online portfolio showcases a builder’s best hits, but it remains a useful resource for evaluating the quality of their work. The online portfolio can give you an idea of what projects a contractor typically handles. You can use that to determine their potential fit for your building project.

Schedule Interviews With Your Contractor Candidates

At this point, you’ve learned just about everything you can about your contractor candidates by speaking to people and conducting research online. You now need to speak to the contractors themselves. Call the candidates you’ve listed and start requesting interviews.

You can also learn some important things while scheduling interviews with your candidates. First off, you can learn about the availability of a commercial builder after trying to schedule an interview. If they can’t fit you in at a reasonable time, take that as a sign that they’re currently swamped with work. It’s a good thing that plenty of clients trust them, but you may also have to wait a while to hire them.

That initial phone call can also offer insight into how a contractor communicates. Expecting a contractor to offer comprehensive details about their commercial pressure washing or air conditioning repair services may be a bit much. Even so, they should be able to provide some helpful details. It’s not a good sign if the contractor is struggling to offer basic details about the work they do.

Verify the Commercial Contractor’s Credentials

We’re now moving to the interview stage of finding a commercial builder. The interview is the most critical part of the search, so we’ll touch on the various points you must cover during that conversation. To start, you should confirm if the contractor has the necessary license and insurance to operate in your area.

Licensing and insurance requirements vary from state to state. Do some research beforehand to confirm if the contractor has the required credentials during the interview. Note that licensing and insurance requirements depend on a contractor’s specific line of work. Check if the license and insurance information is appropriate for a professional offering commercial glass or general contracting services.

The dangers of hiring a commercial contractor without the appropriate license (e.g., a general contracting services license) and insurance cannot be ignored. You may be ordered to make the payouts if an accident occurs during construction. There’s also no guarantee you’re getting quality work from a contractor without credentials.

A contractor may provide excuses for why they don’t have a license currently. No matter how plausible those excuses seem, you cannot risk hiring an unlicensed and uninsured contractor. Only hire professionals with the appropriate credentials to protect yourself and your business.

Ask About Their Full Range of Services

Once you’ve confirmed that the commercial builder has the necessary credentials, you can discuss their services. You should already have a good idea about the services a contractor provides from conducting research. The interview simply gives you an opportunity to get into the finer details of their service offerings.

Ask about the specific assignments they handle as a general contractor. Do they have workers who can handle every aspect of your construction project, or do they partner with subcontractors like commercial roofers? A commercial contractor working with subcontractors is not a bad thing. However, you should seek more information about their subcontractors to confirm that they also provide quality services.

Specialty contractors typically handle projects by themselves. If you’re looking to hire a commercial HVAC company, you should confirm that they can independently manage your project. Check if they know how to install your desired HVAC units on your property. It would also help if they could handle regular maintenance and complete repairs so you won’t have to look for another contractor.

The conversations about the contractor’s services should also touch on the tools and materials they use. After all, the quality of service a contractor provides is determined by those factors. Learn about the tools and materials they use on building projects to determine if they only use the best options available.

Get to Know Their Working Process

During the interview, you should also take the time to learn more about the commercial contractor’s working process. There is no one right way for contractors to handle their projects. They can utilize different approaches and still come up with the same stellar results. As a prospective employer, it’s your job to determine if the commercial builder’s approach works for you.

Begin broaching this topic by asking about the contractor’s management style. Some contractors may prefer more independence while working, so they may check in with you occasionally throughout the day. Others want their clients to be more involved, so they may request more input before taking action. Both approaches work, but you should determine which one you prefer.

You should also learn more about a contractor’s communication style before hiring them. Communication can be a sore spot for some contractors, which could also be a problem for you. It may be time to consider a different candidate if the contractor has clear trouble maintaining an open line of communication.

Solicit Bids From Your Contractor Candidates

The thorough interviews should let you know which contractors are worth hiring. Now that you have a good grasp of what certain contractors bring to the table, you can proceed with soliciting bids. The bids can serve as the tiebreakers during your decision-making process. Commercial contractors should have no issue providing free quotes for your project.

You also play a role in getting good bids from the contractors. Provide a detailed accounting of the services you need so the contractors can offer more accurate estimates. Clarify what you need if you’re seeking water damage restoration services to address your property’s issues. Make sure the commercial contractor understands your expectations so they can provide a fair estimate.

Asking your candidates to write their bids down is also highly recommended. The written bids are more helpful for making comparisons. The details in the bids should also tell you how the contractors value the different aspects of their service offerings. Thanks to those additional details, you can evaluate the bids better.

Choose Your Commercial Contractor

With the bids now in your possession, you can choose the commercial builder you wish to hire. Still, evaluating the submitted bids is easier said than done. It’s not as simple as choosing the lowest bid.

When evaluating the bids from your contractor candidates, you should focus more on the value propositions they present. The lowest bid may also be the least comprehensive of the ones you received. You may end up needing to hire another contractor in the near future because the services rendered by your builder were sorely lacking. A bid that falls in the middle of the pack may be the best one from a value standpoint because it meets all your needs.

Remember that negotiating also remains an option at this point. Go back to a contractor you want to hire and ask them if they can make a better offer than your candidates. You can even incentivize them to make a better offer by promising to hire them. Keep communicating with your contractor candidates until you receive the best offer available.

Finalize Your Agreement With Your Chosen Contractor

All that’s left to do is complete your agreement with your commercial builder. Similar to the bids, you should get the details of your contract in writing. Draw up a contract that outlines the contractor’s scope of work, the payment plan, and the expected timelines for the project. The contract should also detail warranties and the process for handling change orders.

Business owners often pour significant resources into their commercial building projects. Given how much money is at stake, you must ensure the contract has enough protections in place. You can hire an attorney to look over the contract before signing it. Once you’re happy with the contract, you can present it to your contractor to finalize the agreement.

The success of your commercial building project hinges on who you hire to be your contractor. Follow the steps detailed above to ensure you choose the best commercial builder for your project. You can also stop by our website to learn more about the hiring process for commercial contractors.

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