There’s a lot to think about when vetting commercial general contractors. After all, hiring the wrong contractor can turn the entire project into an expensive nightmare. How do you make the best choice? These dos and don’ts will help.
Do Your Research
When considering commercial construction companies near Pittsburgh, PA, find out how long they’ve been in business. Learn what types of projects they specialize in and explore their professional qualifications. Ask around to find out if anyone else has worked with them as a general contractor. Check with the Better Business Bureau and spend some time online reading reviews. The more you can research on your own, the better. Then, when you interview commercial general contractors, you can see if your research matches what they are trying to tell you.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask a Contractor Questions
Always ask the general commercial contractor questions. Inquire about their business, their completed projects and their professional qualifications. Request references and ask about matters like licensing, bonding and insurance. Think about the way that your questions are answered. It provides valuable insight into what working with the contractor will be like.
Do get several quotes
When looking for commercial general contractors, make sure to talk to a few that meet your qualifications. If you feel their business and communication style match your own, proceed with an RFP. Make sure to receive all RFPs in writing. The more detail the better. After all, this document will determine how your job is handled. The RFP should also include timelines of how the job will be complete. Getting multiple estimates allows you to be confident that the price you are being quoted is competitive and accurate. It’s standard practice, so no reputable contractor in Pennsylvania will be offended to learn that you’ve requested estimates from other commercial construction companies.
Don’t Make Price the Determining Factor
This seems appropriate to place it after the RFP information. Everyone loves a deal, but the price should never be the determining factor when awarding a contract for a construction project. An unusually low bid raises concerns about inexperience, poor-quality construction or shady business practices.
Do Understand the Importance of Bonding and Insurance
Why does virtually every article about choosing a contractor advise you to select one that is bonded and insured? It’s because these are vital considerations that shield you from unexpected expenses and liability issues. Bonding protects you if the contractor fails to complete your project in two ways: (1) with the contract; or (2) neglects to meet their financial responsibilities for your job. A properly insured general contractor carries both liability coverage in case the construction causes damage to your property and worker’s compensation insurance in case of workplace injuries. You could be liable if a contractor doesn’t have the necessary insurance. Even though the state of Pennsylvania does not require insurance for commercial contractors, some do carry it.
Don’t Assume That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage
Never assume that commercial general contractors have proper bonding and insurance. Verify that they do. As a responsible commercial general contractor, CBF Contracting is fully bonded and insured, but the requirements for contractors vary widely. For example, Pennsylvania doesn’t require a contractor to carry commercial insurance. We choose to protect our clients on every job we do.
Do Weigh Qualifications
As you narrow down your list of prospects, it’s important to consider their respective qualifications. Your best bet will likely be an established, reputable general contractor with experience completing projects like yours.
Don’t Ignore Your Instincts
When searching for a commercial general contractor in Pennsylvania, even the best qualifications can still be the wrong contractor for you. Personality clashes or mismatched communication styles can lead to frustration and make completing a project a miserable experience. You’ll be working closely with your contractor, so opt for a qualified commercial general contractor that you feel you can work with effectively. Take this into consideration when you have a face to face meeting.
Since 1978, CBF Contracting has been a premier PA general commercial construction contractor serving clients in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. We’re committed to providing superior commercial construction services. To explore our qualifications or request a quote for your next project, contact us today at 814-745-3000 or fill out our online form.