Choosing a contractor for your building development, especially if you’re looking for commercial construction, can and should be an in-depth process. Your contractor will likely be responsible for a multi-million dollar project, so you need to be absolutely sure that you can trust the partner you choose to get the job done right.

Chances are that before selecting a contractor, you will get bids from multiple firms to ensure budget compatibility and technical fit. But once the bids come in, how do you decide which is right for your needs? Here are 5 core criteria you should consider when choosing the right contractor for your next project.

1) Transparent Qualifications

Above all, your contractor-to-be should be able to show clear evidence they are qualified for the project. Being a member of the local chamber of commerce is one part, as is accreditation by the local or statewide licensing agency.

Ideally, your future partner should also be registered with the Better Business Bureau, which showcases a history of quality and above-board service. The more transparent commercial contractors are in disclosing their qualifications, the more trustworthy they will be.

2) Budget Fit

Qualifications should weed out any candidates who simply are not worth engaging with. But of course, the budget also has to match your needs. When submitting an RFP, you will likely receive a wide range of bids that can cover the entirety and perhaps even go beyond your realistic price range.

Which should you choose? There is no blanket answer to that question. Cheap does not necessarily mean bad work, though the correlation is more likely. In the end, choosing a contractor with a realistic price estimate that you can afford is the most important part, regardless of whether that bid is on the high or low end of the range.

3) Relevant Portfolio

Once you have narrowed down your options to only contractors who are both qualified and affordable, it’s time to look into their philosophical fit. Have they worked on projects in the past that are comparable to yours, or do they have examples of work done within your area? If so, ask for examples to examine their past work and decide whether it matches your needs.

Finding a contractor that has worked on similar projects in the past communicates experience in your type of projects. Meanwhile, a contractor familiar with your local area will be more effective in managing permits and any other type of documentation needed to complete the project.

4) Quality References

Next, you will want to talk to past clients of your future partner. The end results may be beautiful, but what was the process like in getting there? Were the contractors accurate in their time and budget estimations, and how was communication between client and builder?

All these questions can be answered by clients like you, which is why you should ask for references from your future contractor. Alternatively, reviews of past work can give you at least a glimpse into past work and projects.

5) Estimated Timeline

Finally, you should make sure that the contractor’s proposed project timeline matches up with yours. Generally, this is at least somewhat negotiable and also depends on budget, which is why it should be your last major point of consideration. If your desired timeline is vastly different from the proposed completion date, you may need to go back to the drawing board.

Of course, a number of intangible factors may also play into selecting a commercial contractor. A rich company history suggests past success, while personal interactions can go a long way toward determining the philosophical fit and future working relationship with your partner. If you’re ready to make that personal connection with a potential future contractor, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us today to get the process started.

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