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Commercial Building Contractors in Vancouver

Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Building Contractors in Vancouver

June 5, 2021

Building a new structure from the ground up is an enormous task, no matter the size of the build. However, commercial buildings present some unique challenges, and having an experienced commercial building contractor in Vancouver on your team is essential to the success of your project.

Your commercial building contractor assumes all accountability for ensuring that your project is completed on time and on budget. They will be responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising the project from start to finish, including negotiating trade contracts, sourcing materials, and securing the appropriate permits and licenses.

Once you have selected a commercial building contractor you feel confident with, the building process can begin. Commercial building in Vancouver progresses through several stages, beginning with development and planning and ending with a final inspection.

Development and Planning

The choice of location for your commercial build is the most important decision you will make – design details can be changed, location cannot. When working with your commercial building contractor in Vancouver to choose the perfect location, it is vital to:

  • Evaluate pedestrian access and proximity to other commercial and residential spaces
  • Confirm building and zoning regulations
  • Ensure nearby infrastructure is adequate to meet your future needs
  • Verify nearby utilities can handle the needs of your building
  • Have a soil engineer verify your potential site
  • Conduct an environmental survey
  • Have a land survey completed

Once you have the results, you can begin working with your commercial building contractor on a preliminary budget for your project.

Also Read: 5 Steps to Choosing A Commercial Building Contractor in Vancouver


This is where architects and designers join the project. Together with your commercial builder, they will help:

  • Price the building and design products
  • Layout the space and function of the building
  • Choose the optimal building orientation to include desired amenities while working within site parameters like site access and existing utilities
  • Establish a timeline
  • Break down costs for each remaining phase
  • Complete a construction document package with all pertinent details and code-compliant designs

Construction bidding on the project can now begin.

Design Phase

Based on preliminary designs, the final full set of drawings can now be completed, with full specs, timelines, and cost, which will be used throughout the construction phase. This stage requires input from several professionals, including:

  • Structural engineers to sign off on the structural design
  • Mechanical engineers to plan and design the ventilation and plumbing
  • Electrical engineers to create an electrical design and layout
  • Civil engineers for drainage, parking, and connection to neighbouring infrastructure

Once the designs have been stamped, the process can move on to the next stage.


The pre-construction phase can be very time-consuming. During this phase, your commercial building contractor in Vancouver will:

  • Obtain a building permit, which requires the stamped drawings. The permit office may comment on the drawings before issuing a permit, in which case changes may have to be made
  • Take out the required insurance, including builders risk insurance, liability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance
  • Open contractor bidding
  • Assemble the construction team
  • Procure building materials and equipment

You are now ready to break ground on your commercial building.


Once you are ready for construction to begin, completing a commercial building can take anywhere from 4 months to 8 or 9 months to complete, depending on the site and size of the building. The construction phase includes:

  • All necessary site preparation. This process consists of removing vegetation, excavation, laying utilities, arranging drainage, power, water, and sanitation. Some elements must pass an inspection before construction continues
  • Lay the foundation
  • Framing the building
  • Installation of the roof, siding, and HVAC
  • Interior finishes
  • Exterior finishes
  • Landscaping

Post-Construction Phase

Now your building is standing, it’s time to make sure everything is precisely the way you want it. The final commercial building phase is a walkthrough with your commercial contactor to ensure no deficiencies need to be addressed before the final inspection. If everything looks good, a Substantial Completion Certificate will be provided, and once a building passes its last inspection, a Completion Certificate will be issued.

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