Construction and renovation is an industry with a lot of moving parts, especially when it comes to the commercial aspect. No matter the project size, there are a lot of necessary steps a contractor must perform—from permitting to design and execution—to ensure the project will be completed correctly.
When considering a contractor, you must ask yourself whether they are the right pick for the job. Many specialize in different areas of the industry, including our team at CIC, which specializes in interior finishes.
You may now be asking yourself, “What exactly makes a Commercial Contractor different from the others?” A Commercial Contractor is one that has extensive experience in the commercial sector. These contractors may be employees of a construction company, or an individual G.C. that oversees the project site, materials, equipment, and workers to ensure everything is being done properly from start to finish.
The responsibilities of a commercial contractor cover a majority of your renovation or construction project. Roles and responsibilities include overseeing the entire project, acquiring the proper materials and renting the necessary equipment, communicating with vendors, owners, and project managers, code compliance and zoning regulations, and most importantly—keeping the project on track within budget and timeline constraints. A successful specialty builder will ensure all of these responsibilities will be handled. Specializing in interior finishes, we at CIC work directly with our clients throughout the entire project to ensure all aspects meet our lofty standards from materials to craftsmanship and beyond.
For these reasons, it is imperative that you take the time to find a contractor with extensive experience pertaining to your specific project’s needs and goals.
Our in-house designers work closely with the client to ensure the functionality and aesthetic of the project meet their needs and expectations. In addition, your commercial contractor is the main contact for vendors, staff, designers, and architects; and making sure all moving parts are on track to meet the necessary deadlines.
A commercial specialty builder is not one to be confused with a residential contractor, as there are different requirements when it comes to managing these two kinds of projects. Commercial contractors have a wider scope in terms of job description, as they are managing many different subparts including materials, budgeting, and timeframe while also having to meet codes and regulations that many residential contractors don’t have to worry about.
From renovating offices to medical facilities and even condominium buildings, a commercial contractor will have experience in completing projects of different sizes and magnitudes of detail. More often than not, projects like these will require specific permitting and regulations to abide by. Licensing and experience are crucial here.
Communication on all fronts can be vital to a commercial contractor as they are in charge of purchasing and obtaining the materials needed for projects, and dictating how they should best be utilized. Any problems encountered are also the contractor’s responsibility as they will need to figure out the best course of action in order to remain on track.
It is also the contractor’s responsibility that ensure the project’s execution is done with durability and longevity in mind. Many contractors will ignore or skirt best practices, eventually costing the client more money in the long run—when they inevitably need to hire another contractor to fix the problems caused by the original.
Research is imperative when hiring a contractor. Consider their list of services, experience in similar projects, client reviews, and pricing. All of these will help in the search for the right contractor by providing a baseline of expectations.
As part of your research, ensure that your contractor of choice is licensed and always ask for proof of insurance. Hiring a license contractor means that contractor is legally allowed to work in your projects jurisdiction. Having this license, the contractor will know all legalities of the project including state permits, zone regulations, and correct project management. Always ensure you hire a licensed contractor, as those who are not licensed will not be experienced and cannot be held liable for problems at that project site. To save yourself money and a headache, asking for proof of insurance will take care of liability costs with workers on-site. This insurance will save costs when talking about worker’s compensation and liability of injury. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of insurance.
As with any relationship, it is important to establish chemistry and trust with your contractor. Part of this is your contractor’s bedside manner—including their attitude, professionalism, and most importantly, communication abilities.
It is imperative to know you can trust whoever you hire to oversee the job. Ways to test for a good fit is to ask difficult questions. The way your contractor responds to these questions can be a tell-tale for how they will handle potentially challenging situations in the future. This will also help determine whether you both will be on the same page when it comes to the vision for your project.
Becoming comfortable with your contractor should be one of your top priorities, so ensure that you’re taking note of your interactions with them. If you’re not comfortable around them, it’s a safe bet they’re not the contractor for you.
Finally, make sure you go through all the necessary steps in terms of filling out legal documents—and always read the fine print!
Hiring a commercial contractor can be a tall task, but there are several established steps that can help ensure you’re hiring the right one. Always review your contractor’s credentials and experience for your project. Saving money may not be worthwhile if your contractor doesn’t have the necessary background.
Being a specialty builder with a focus in interior finishes, our team at CIC is knowledgeable in commercial projects from the design stage all the way through execution. With over 37 years of experience from small office renovations to massive undertakings like the American Airlines Arena, we specialize in all size projects. Call us today to schedule a consultation at 305.636.3700!
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