Whether you’re a general contractor, architect or facility manager, finding the right vendor for your commercial construction project can difficult. There are plenty of service providers to choose from. But how do you separate the good from the unreliable? Here are a few questions you should ask before signing any contract.
What is your experience?
Your project should not be their training ground. Ask how long they’ve been in business and if they hold any certifications, licenses or belong to their industry association.
Can you provide a list of past customers or projects?
It’s one thing for a vendor to say they have been on the job for 20 years. It is a different matter as to whether or not their customers are satisfied customers. Ask for references from a minimum of five past customers. Any contractor can provide one or two names. Do your homework and call each reference to get a clear understanding the good and bad points of their experience.
Are you insured and/or bonded?
This is a no brainer. If your vendor can’t obtain or doesn’t bother to obtain insurance, run the other direction. If they don’t carry insurance, you could be liable if someone is hurt on the job. Make sure to see a copy of their insurance policy.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Why would you hire a company that doesn’t stand behind their work? Find out what type of guarantee they offer and if it is in writing. If it is, and it should be, read the fine print and ask questions.
What is your claim record?
A claim record will help you gauge how many clients were unsatisfied with the services rendered. The Better Business Bureau and appropriate industry association are good places to start. Remember: No one can please everyone all the time. But if their claim record is long, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Asking a few simple questions before hiring a construction vendor can save time, money, and frustration before, during and after your project is finished.
Have a few questions you like to ask a potential vendor? Share them with our readers in the comments below.