5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Minnesota Commercial Contractor

Remodeling is an exciting journey. Your mind is filled with ideas, hope, and nerves. Choosing the right contractor makes or breaks your remodeling dreams. The correct contractor ensures your project is completed on time, within budget, and with the highest quality craftsmanship. Asking just 5 simple questions before choosing a contractor limits the amount of financial and emotional stress faced during renovations and ensures you receive the top quality work you deserve.

Can you provide an itemized bid?

Never settle for a contractor who provides a single, total price for you project. Doing so will leave you completely unaware of individual costs including materials and labor.  During the course of planning and executing your commercial construction renovation, it’s highly likely that some aspect of your design will change. Without an itemized bid, there is no way to know if you will receive any credit.

An itemized bid is crucial because it will show individual costs for each element of the project including:

  • Demolition and waste disposal
  • Framing and carpentry
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical work
  • HVAC
  • Floor covering, carpet, tile, etc.
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Drywall and painting

By receiving an itemized bids, you can easily compare contractor’s prices and analyze project costs.

Is the bid you provide an estimate or a fixed price?

While it is understandable that some aspects of a project price will change during the renovation as plans or materials change, some contractors treat their bids as pure estimates. It is important to understand the terms of a bid that the contractor provides. In the case of an estimate, your final bill could end up being double the original price you received.

If a contractor refuses to provide offer a fixed price citing unknown conditions, you may allow him to open a wall or examine a crawl space to assist in narrowing down costs. It’s possible the contractor may choose to describe only the work he expects to do and will require a written change order or new bid for any additional work that arises.

How long has the contractor been in business?

A contractor with an established history will have a reliable network of subcontractors and suppliers that he consistently works with and are readily available. In addition, ask for local references. If possible, choose a reference from an earlier client and a recent client. The early client can attest to how the work holds up over time while the later client can provide insight as to whether the contractor’s work ethic, promptness, and reliability still holds true.

Who will be at the job site and how will it be handled?

Ask the contractor to explain in detail how site supervision is handled including his own workers and any subcontractors. In addition, ask how much time the contractor plans to spend on your project each day, if they perform the actual labor or just supervise, and if they are performing any other renovations in tandem to yours. If the contractor does not plan to be on site at all times, who will serve as supervisor when they are not? The contractor must be able to provide an accountable and trustworthy presence at all times.

What do you require to get started?

Down payments are a part of doing business. It is a sign of good faith to ensure your contractor has the necessary means to begin your project and has your assurance the project will move forward. However, as a customer, you do not want to foolishly pay a large amount of money to someone and have them disappear without ever completing the work.

If a contractor asks for more than half of the project cost in advance, it is a red flag. An established and reputable contractor, will have the necessary cash flow to begin planning your project without relying on the cash from your down payment. It is reasonable to expect some down payment, but most often a quality contractor will seek to establish a payment schedule.

If you are looking for a contractor, call us today. Our highly experienced, professionals look forward to explaining how we can not only meet all of your needs, but exceed them!