Choosing A Design-Build Contractor

26 June of 2014

If you want to start from the ground and go up in building your next business building, you are probably considering a design-build contractor. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a design-build contractor is a company who does both the designing of the building and the construction of it. This method has its pros and cons, but can prove to be less of a hassle when the designer and builder are used to working with each other.

Once you decide that the design-build contractor is the way you want to go, you will have to start scouting out the different options in your area. The best design-builders are the ones that you find out about from friends, family, and coworkers, rather than the ones you find online. Look for contractors who have a plethora of great reviews to back up their quality claims. The more people seem to express their love for the company, the better the chance that you won’t get screwed by a builder who can’t rise up to their claims.

Once you have narrowed down your options, you will want to sit down and talk with your final contractors to get a feel for what they are like. Because building a commercial building is a rather large investment, you want to make sure that you are choosing the design-build contractor that is best for you and your company. Since you are having both the designing and building done in one place, you will have to ask questions regarding both aspects of the construction of your business’s building.

When it comes to the design portion of the contract, make sure you choose someone who has the same taste as what you are looking for in your commercial building . Some companies may claim that they specialize in a number of different design types, but this could just be a way to try and secure more business. Check out any houses they designed or ask to see a portfolio book at the very least to make sure they are qualified to handle your project.

As far as the actual construction, you want to ask the same general questions you would ask of any general contractor. Clarify the cost per square foot and how much of the work is done by their own employees versus hired subs. Also ask about what other projects they’ve done in the past and see if they have an experience in the area you’re interested in.

If at all possible, see if you can secure the names of a few of the design-builder’s previous clients. The best way to get a feel for a contractor is by calling, or better yet visiting, clients that have already worked with them. Inquire about how easy/hard they were to work with, their pricing, how well they stuck to the timeline, and the overall quality and satisfaction of the work. The more people you talk to and the more work you observe, the better you will feel about your decision in the end.

As mentioned before, building your own commercial building is a very large investment. Before you begin to write checks, you want to be sure that the design-build contractor you choose is the right one for you, as they will be working with you through every step of the building’s construction. By conducting in-depth research and asking the right questions, you will surely find the contractor that’s best for you and your company.

Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere commercial construction companies in Mid-Missouri.

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