When leading a commercial construction project, you want to make sure you’re working with the best general contractor. This will help ensure the project is completed up to standard, on time, and within budget, with minimal headaches for you and your team. However, choosing the best commercial contractor isn’t as easy as picking a name from the Google search results. Here are the most common questions to ask when deciding who will be your commercial construction contractor.
1. Do you have proof of license and insurance?
Proper licensure and insurance is vitally important, no matter the size of your project. Without these documents, your property and organization are at a significant financial risk. Take a minute to ensure the name on the license is the same as on the contract and that the license number is also listed. Also double check that the insurance is enough to cover the scope of your project.
2. How do you communicate with others on the project?
Throughout the designing and building process, there will be a lot of questions to ask and changes made to the plans. Knowing how your building contractors plan to handle these communications is the key to a successful and efficient project. The contractor needs to communicate with you about issues, changes, or desires for the project. Additionally, they need to communicate with architects, government officials, and their team.
3. What is your contract delivery method?
The contract delivery method is essentially how the contractor estimates the cost of the project and how you are expected to pay. There are three ways this can happen.
Lump sum (or fixed price) – The contractor provides a final and full payment amount without disclosing the breakdown for each individual cost. If the contractor completes the project under budget, he keeps the remaining balance.
Cost plus – This sum will include the cost of the contractor’s work plus overhead and profit. In this arrangement, the owner of the property assumes all risks. The contractor has no motivation to stay within budget. He actually makes more if he goes over budget.
Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMAX) – The contractor will present a figure within the top range and allow the owner to see the breakdown of costs. He ensures the project will not go over this budget, and if it does, he pays for it himself. If the project ends under budget, the savings are split between the contractor and owner.
4. What are the biggest challenges with this project?
Experienced commercial builders will have a long list of problems that could arise, in mind before starting a project. When they come to your site, they should be able to use this knowledge to tell you what challenges they anticipate with your project. This not only lets you know that they are knowledgeable about their trade, but it also shows you where to expect issues during the building process.
5. What does the schedule look like?
Florida construction services can vary greatly in final completion dates for many reasons. You’ll want to ask your contractor about not only when the expected completion date is, but also about key milestones along the way. Another important scheduling item to consider is how the plan gets updated when one task doesn’t go according to the expected timeline. Will other items be rushed to maintain the final deadline? Or will the deadline simply be pushed back to accommodate?
6. What happens if we disagree?
Over the course of your commercial construction in Florida, there are bound to be times when you don’t agree with the contractor. Having a clear plan for handling these disagreements helps avoid delays and additional costs. You may work to develop a flow chart for coming to a conclusion, or appointing an unbiased third-party to mediate discussions.
The Commercial General Contractor Florida Business Owners Trust
MH Williams is a commercial general contractor in Melbourne, Florida. We have made a reputation for being the best in the area thanks to our wide range of commercial construction projects. From hotels to office buildings, car dealerships to hospitals, to retail shopping centers and apartment buildings, we can do it all. Contact us today to learn more.