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How to Choose a Commercial Builder

Posted February 13th, 2009

As featured in Northwest Business Monthly, January 2009 Issue

Choosing a commercial builder may feel like an overwhelming task to any business owner or investor. After all, your future prosperity depends on a well designed building that creates the image that you need and provides for the future growth of your business and your equity. It is an investment that will bring substantial returns to you over time, and with so much at stake, the experience of your builder should be a top priority for you. Today’s permitting and environmental processes are not for the weak, and poor coordination can break a project before it gets off the ground. A professional commercial contractor who can coordinate the process thru permitting, environmental review, engineering, architecture and construction will alleviate a lot of headaches for you and create a project that transition’s smoothly from your vision to your completed structure.

Before contacting a builder, it is helpful to have a clear idea of what it is you want. Knowing what you want and being able to explain it saves time and money for all parties involved. Once you receive the cost estimate from your contractor, evaluate all aspects of the bid, including the scope of work, warranties, references, time frames and price. Be sure the bid covers everything you want. This will help avoid misunderstandings and cost overruns.

Choose a builder that has the expertise, reputation and openness that allows them to work well with the other entities involved such as the city and county. Before you spend much time with a builder make sure that they are legitimate: licensed and bonded, and insured. Check on the Department of Labor and Industries website www.contractors.Ini.wa.gov or call 1-800-647-0982. While the law provides some protection from fraudulent or incompetent contractors, it doesn’t guarantee honest transactions or perfect performance. Be informed and be cautious. After all, your financial investment is at stake. Ask for references and call those references. Look over previous projects the builder has done.

Choosing a builder that has a history in the community can provide you with a sense of security knowing that they are going to be there later if you need them.

An experienced commercial builder who has the skill to both design and build understands the challenges of unique industry parameters and meets that challenge with customized innovative designs. You can depend on these builders to give you the most cost effective building solutions combining design, engineering and construction capabilities. It is important to remember that highly experienced crews that combine the latest advances in construction technique and top quality workmanship will ensure that you have a building that will be cost effective in the future as well as during the process. Each project site has its own special requirements and if developed efficiently will save you money and time.

Attention to detail and the ability to see the whole project from beginning to end are important factors clients should consider in a builder. Choose a builder that will supply the best quality materials and workers, and has a reputation for excellence.

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