Three Things to Look for When Choosing a General Contractor

Commercial projects that require a general contractor will be a major investment for you, your company, or your organization. They are complex processes, with many moving pieces and parts that are interconnected. The role of a general commercial contractor is to manage commercial construction projects by coordinating the labor, materials, paperwork, and equipment that is used to complete projects.

General Contracting Experience for Commercial Projects: How to Choose

When hiring a general contractor, be sure to do your research. Most clients get multiple bids, and the differences in the amounts can be eye-opening. Consider these areas:

  • Length of Time in Business. General contractors who have built a business and nurtured it throughout the years show that they’re capable of completing projects and delivering results to their clients—every time, for every project. A business that has roots in your area likely has a large slate of satisfied clients and completed projects. You should also be prepared to ask about their background and related experience in the construction industry, in project and construction management, and in architecture. Owners, managers and other employees should be members of professional organizations, such as the Construction Management Association of America.
  • Previously Completed Projects. Never choose a general commercial contractor without first visiting the site of previous projects and talking to the client or clients who worked with them.
    You should ask them questions such as:

    • How accurate did you feel the bid was, as compared to other bids that you received?
    • Was the entire process explained to you? How did they tell you they would deal with unexpected or costly issues?
    • Did they provide you with a list of suppliers?
    • Did they develop the budget with you and did they adhere to the budget? If not, how was that explained to you and how was it resolved?
    • Did they complete the project on time? If not, what was the reason? How late was the project finished?
    • Was someone assigned to your project who kept in contact with you daily?
  • Business Items and Commitment to Safety. Ask for their license number and be sure you understand the terms of their general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance. Some general contractors offer design-build services with architects or architectural firms, which is convenient for clients who would like to deal with a single-source contracting company. You should also ask how the company provides a safe working environment for their workers, their clients, and the general public. Some general contracting firms design a job-specific safety plan for each program and schedule site inspections that are overseen by a safety professional.

Without a general contractor to manage your next commercial construction project, all work may come to a standstill and cost you a great deal of time and money, as well as introduce unwanted safety issues.

MBM Contracting, Inc., Pittsburgh’s most experienced general commercial contracting firm, provides 25-plus years of experience, knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to complete each project on time and within budget. Call or contact us today to learn more.