Getting Ready to get Ready (and be ready)
So you’re ready to construct a brand new building or remodel…great! So, now what?
We get multiple calls a day at Marawood of people who are ready to build but not sure where to start. The process of getting ready to get ready can feel daunting and overwhelming, we get it!
As a 40-year-veteran to the commercial contracting world we want to help you get ready.
• Ready to do research on builders and know what to look for
• Ready to have your initial meeting or follow-up meetings with your short list of builders
• And of course, ready to ask questions (the RIGHT questions) so you feel confident when selecting your contractor
So let’s get to it!
Establish your Needs vs. Wants
A well-defined plan sets the tone for success
As the client you should be clear about your needs vs. wants in terms of
- Goals: today, tomorrow, and the future
- The why: WHY are you ready to construct now
- Is it for marketing purposes to beautify your facility to attract new clients or employees?
- Is it to make your space feel more inviting or accessible?
- Are you building to expand your business?
- Are you building to flip the business?
- The schedule and completion date
- The budget
- What amount am I comfortable spending?
- Am I looking for a return on my investment?
- How involved do you personally want to be in the building process?
Research Possible Builders
Come into the first meeting being able to compare apples, to oranges, to tacos
As you go into your first meeting you should have done your research by checking out the builder’s website and social media. When you meet with a builder you need to get a feel for how they do business, because everyone is different.
- Do you know their history?
- Do you know what types of projects they specialize in?
- Do you know what percent of the work they will self-perform vs. subcontract out?
- Who will handle the design? Is the design work done in-house or does it get subcontracted?
- Testimonials! What do past clients say about their work??
- Word of mouth reputation?
- Passion for what they do- is it a job or a career to them?
Cheapest isn’t Always Best
Let’s talk about Quality and ROI
Remember, just like with many other aspects of life you get what you pay for and commercial construction is no different. Quality is hard for people to quantify, but by asking these questions you know you’re getting what you’re paying for (hopefully).
- Is your builder having conversations with you about how you will be using the space now-10 years from now?
- Is your builder talking to you about your short term and long term goals for the space?
- Is your builder using phrases like return on investment and process efficiency, if so, is that important to you?
- Is the project going to add value to your business or investment?
- Is your builder financially stable?
- Is your builder qualified to be doing your work in terms of
Having the correct insurance and properly bonded
The importance of referrals
Don’t ignore the good, the bad, and the ugly
Pay attention to what those around you share about contractors because everyone gets their reputation for a reason. But remember, there are always two sides to every story.
- Ask for a list of past clients to receive references from before you make your final selection
- Ask honest questions-what did you like about working with your builder and what did you not like about working with your builder?
- How was their communication through the building process?
- Were there any surprises along the way?
- Did the builder stick to the projected timeline and price, etc. -if not, why?
Communication is Key
Let’s rephrase, GOOD communication is key
As with any relationship good communication is key and being comfortable with the people who you will be working on your project is important.
- What level of communication are you expecting from your builder?
- Will you have a key contact person and who is it?
- What happens when you, as the customer, wants to change something?
- Have you been provided with a sample contract, and if so, how detailed was it?
Okay, that was A TON of information! Before we continue on take a deep breath, and maybe another deep breath for good measure.
If your own experience and reading this blog wasn’t enough to convince you, selecting a commercial contractor can seem overwhelming! Sometimes it’s easy to hit the “easy button” and go with a certain contractor because they are the first option that popped up on Google, but chances are if you do your research and ask the right questions you might find a better fit for your needs.
If you’d like to learn more about Marawood Construction Services and how we help our clients check out our projects tab on our website to read customer testimonials.