Don’t Hire a Commercial Building Contractor in Vancouver Before Asking These QuestionsJuly 19, 2021
Hunting for a commercial building contractor in Vancouver is an exciting – and daunting – process. As a business owner, you are eager to get your space ready, but the process can seem a little intimidating if you haven’t dealt with commercial contractors before.
The quality of your commercial building experience will depend heavily on the commercial contractor you choose. There are other issues you’ll need to address, and the building doesn’t always go as planned, but having the right contractor on your team will make the entire process much more manageable.
So, before you hire just anyone, here are seven questions you should ask potential commercial building contractors in Vancouver.
#1 How Long Have You Worked in The Business
A commercial building is one of those things that requires years of hands-on experience to really nail (pun intended). Before hiring a contractor, ask about their experience, but don’t completely disregard newly established businesses. These builders may have many years of experience working for someone else before breaking out on their own, and they may be willing to work extra hard, as they’re still establishing their brand.
#2 What is Your Experience with Similar Projects
Whether you are building a commercial office building or completely renovating a specialized medical office, you want to hire a commercial contractor who has worked on similar projects before. Contractor experience is not only important to the quality of your build, but their experience with similar projects also offers invaluable insight into other aspects of your project, like layout and equipment, that you may not have considered yet.
#3 Do You Have a Good Team of Subcontractors
A team is only as strong as their weakest link, so you will want to know a little about the trades your commercial building contractor in Vancouver uses. A good group of subcontractors is important for two reasons. First, there is background on the quality of the workmanship they provide. Secondly, a commercial contractor who can’t keep a shortlist of trades may be difficult to work with or have other problems that scare good trades away.
#4 What is Your Payment Schedule
You should never be asked to pay 100% of a project upfront. There isn’t a specific standard used across all commercial contractors. Still, a general rule of thumb is a deposit amount, a payment at an agreed-upon midpoint, and a final payment after the project has passed inspection and received its certificate of occupancy.
#5 Do You Provide Guarantees on Your Work and Warranties on Materials
Even a toaster comes with a warranty, and your commercial build should too. Due to various potential issues, like settlement or water evaporation or expansion, minor problems can pop up with your commercial build, particularly during the first year. A good commercial contractor will offer a guarantee on labour and warranty materials, and do everything they can to ensure the quality of your space.
#6 How Many of Your Most Recent Projects Were Delivered on Time
Problems and delays happen, and very often they are unavoidable. However, a good contractor plans for the unexpected and manages to deliver their projects on time and on budget regardless. One or two projects delivered late can happen, but a track record of being late is a warning sign.
#7 What is Your Availability and How Many Projects do You Currently Have Booked
If you are looking to break ground on your project soon, there is little point in hiring a commercial contractor with a 6-month wait. Ask all potential contractors when they would be able to start and check how many other projects they have going on. It’s not uncommon for commercial builders to have multiple projects working simultaneously, but you want to know that resources aren’t being spread too thin.
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