Hiring a company to do any job can be a nerve-wracking experience. There’s always the risk of receiving substandard work, insufficient guarantees, or being charged far more than the related labor and materials are worth. These and countless other concerns are incredibly important to consider when hiring contractors for commercial projects. In the commercial arena, the risk of damages and liability are far higher than they are for private consumers. There are stakeholders to appease, goals to meet, and expected timelines to honor. Fortunately, you can use these eight steps to find and hire a reputable commercial contractor for any project.
1. Carefully Define the Goals of Your Project
Before searching for a company to work with, it’s important to know exactly what you want. This will help determine the range of capabilities that you need your contractor to possess. It will also help individual companies better structure their quotes. Even if you don’t know the exact materials specifications or required labor for reaching your goals, defining your goals as best you can is the right place to start.
2. Look for Commercial Contractors With the Broadest Range of Capabilities
As with everything in business, limiting and tightly controlling your supply chain can be incredibly beneficial. Outsourcing your projects to companies that can take care of more of your needs at once will give you a higher likelihood of getting things done according to the desired schedule. It can also lower your costs and limit the likelihood of materials-related problems and labor delays. Working with one company that can take care of all aspects of your project will also allow for the highest possible level of quality control.
3. Always Verify Coverage Directly With Insurance Companies
The process of hiring commercial contractors always requires a diligent and thorough review of applicable insurance policies. Many companies are now in the habit of publishing their insurance certificates right on their own web pages. If the contractor selection and hiring process is something you’ve never personally handled in a commercial capacity before, it’s important to note that viewing self-published certificates on a contractor’s website is never the correct way to verify coverage. Contacting insurance companies directly will allow you to verify that companies have the right coverage limits and the right policy types for fully protecting the interests of your employer. Moreover, establishing contact with insurance companies additionally ensures that you’ll be duly notified if any coverage should happen to lapse throughout the duration of your project. Failure to make timely payments on insurance premiums and failure to comply with policy terms are just two of several reasons why a commercial company might lose coverage after it’s been hired.
Verifying licensing requires similar efforts. Check contractor license numbers directly with the licensing bodies for the industry in which you’re hiring. This way, you can make sure that licenses are both valid and up-to-date, and that they haven’t been legally challenged in the past.
4. Consider Supplier Relationships
Solid reputations are always important to look for when hiring commercial contractors. However, you don’t just want a contractor that’s considered reputable by its clients. How supply companies treat commercial contractors is an important sign of their stability, their financial health, and their overall integrity. Companies that have been around for a while are generally true to their word Plus, those diligent in the management of their own finances tend to have strong relationships with a diverse range of top-rated supply companies. When screening prospective contractors, check to see what industry suppliers they’re qualified to work with.
5. Review Showcase Portfolios
Spend some time looking at the showcase portfolios that companies have published on their professional websites. Their cumulative work histories should display competency across a diverse range of industry areas, superior workmanship, and an equal focus on both artistry and skill. A company with an impressive showcase portfolio will be able to produce lasting, quality products and project results, as well as bodies of work that are just as aesthetically pleasing as they are enduring.
6. Check Ratings, Reviews, and References
Pay plenty of attention to what other companies are saying about commercial contractors. Many hiring parties share in-depth and insightful information about their business-to-business relationships online. Reputable contractors often belong to a number of well-known membership organizations, and they’ve consistently received top ratings from these entities. They’re able to offer multiple, high-quality references when asked, and they’re rated well on all of the most visible online platforms.
7. Check to See Whether Companies Have Operated Under Other Names
Reputable companies work hard to build recognizable brands and names. Thus, it’s always a red flag when they suddenly change them. Certain legal and financial events can be devastating to brands and brand images. Rather than attempting to rebuild these things, some businesses simply decide to start anew. Checking to see whether companies have a history of operating under other identities will help you avoid entities that have faced or are currently facing major legal challenges due to substandard workmanship, failure to comply with industry or safety standards, or all-around unethical business practices.
8. Consider the Length of Time in Business
Nearly every hiring party knows to collect and compare quotes when hiring for commercial projects. However, it’s incredibly important to never make cost the sole factor considered when making these hiring decisions. Paying the least possible amount of money at the front-end of a project can certainly seem appealing, but it often leads to paying far more further down the road. Much more important than pricing is the length of time that a commercial contractor has been in business.
Choosing a well-established company is always the best and easiest way to accurately vet a business. Contractors that enjoy longevity in their industries do so by maintaining competitive prices, striving for consistently high levels of customer satisfaction, and by aligning themselves with the right supply companies. In fact, companies with decades of experience tend to have the best and strongest supplier relationships. This makes them better able to source all types of needed materials, better able to expedite supply deliveries, and better able to pass savings on materials down to their customers. Established companies tend to have:
- Plenty of accessible reviews
- Lengthy histories of acknowledging and resolving customer concerns
- More experience in handling larger and more complex projects
- Better quality control systems
- Greater customer and employee loyalty than recent start-ups
By choosing businesses with longstanding brands, recognizable names, and solid customer bases, you can rest assured that your project will be professionally handled from start to finish.
At Beyer Mechanical, we offer reliable construction services throughout the greater San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Austin, TX, areas. We also provide commercial HVAC installation, maintenance and repairs, in-house engineering services, and more. With a service history that spans back to 1989, we’re consistently ranked among the most trusted and well-known service providers in our field. Get in touch with us today to request a quote for your next commercial project.