Choosing a general contractor is not easy. You don’t exactly pull up your Yelp app and make a decision on which company will build your multi-million dollar project because their friends gave them a five-star review. You’re faced with an important decision, one that comes with significant consequence if you do not perform your due diligence. When it comes to Central Alberta, this consideration is compounded by a highly competitive field of contractors to choose from, especially within the commercial sector. Thankfully, there are set criteria where which you can assess your options, and make a smart, calculated, and strategic decision as to who you will secure to manage your build.
1. Visible Accreditations and Qualifications
The first thing that you can look for when qualifying a general contractor is their verifiable qualifications. Certification with a globally recognized contractor prequalification and management company is essential. In Central Alberta, find out if a candidate you’re considering for your commercial build has been certified by PICS Auditing Ltd. If so, you’ll know that your contractor has committed to safety and sustainability. In addition, ensure that a general contractor is listed with the local Chamber of Commerce in the city/town where they list their address. Membership with the Red Deer Construction Association (RDCA) is also imperative, and automatically qualifies a contractor for membership within the Alberta Construction Association (ACA) and the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). Assessing the above accreditations and qualifications are your first step in gaining confidence in a general contractor for your commercial construction project.
2. Strength of Local Area Portfolio
The proof is in the proverbial pudding when it comes to finding a local commercial contractor. There will always be bigger firms, with bigger offices, and a bigger team, but that’s not what really counts. Quality over quantity means everything in the world of general contracting in this province. When you are building within a tight-knit community (a moniker applied to all cities and towns within Central Alberta) you want to find a contractor who is in-tune to the local population, municipalities, and all governing bodies that can impact your build. This becomes evident with a review of a local contractor’s portfolio of recent and successful community builds. If your candidate is not forthcoming about their Central Alberta commercial construction projects, your hunt continues.
3. Satisfied Client Testimonials and References
After taking a good look at recently completed commercial projects, you’ll want to hear what satisfied clients have to say, not just about the end product, but the path taken to get there. A general contractor in this ever-growing province is only as good as their most recently completed commercial project. Has a publicly visible testimonial been made to validate the success of the commercial build? If not, will the candidate provide a verifiable testimonial (from the satisfied client) upon request? If not, something may be amiss.
4. Willingness to Standby an Estimate
A lot goes into general contracting for a commercial build, aside from the obvious materials and labor. An accurate assessment must factor in everything from project document assessment and site surveying to the provision of on-site utilities, cash flow management, and all else in between. A sound general contractor will have developed a process by which they can scale their operations to the size of a commercial project, no matter how big or small. Only then can a fixed-price bid or accurate cost-plus-pricing/estimate be delivered and adhered to. Those contractors that cannot commit to this likely do not have scalable operations, which can be a cause for alarm early in your qualifying process.
5. Team of Specialty Contractors
The term “jack of all trades” is a positive thing when it comes to a general contracting company. However, when it comes to the individuals within it, this should not necessarily be the case. You want the Construction Project Management (CPMA) team which comprises your chosen building contractor service to be made up of specialists within their field. This includes an expert engineer, a design consultant, an area superintendent, a professional estimator, a project document controller, a site manager, and an office administrator. In addition, any subcontractors brought in to complete a component of your commercial build will be recognized as professionals in said specialized field. Get a comprehensive breakdown of each key role player when assessing general contracting candidates.
Ready to take the next step in selecting a general contractor for your Central Alberta build? Review our commercial construction services page and then follow up by contacting us here with any questions that you may have. We look forward to working with you.