How to Hire a Construction Contractor for Pet Store Construction

contractor for pet store construction

If you intend to commence construction on your pet store, you need a professional contractor, specifically a commercial contractor. Building projects are complicated undertakings. You have to take into account a multitude of local and state laws, not to mention budgeting considerations.

Some people have the knowledge and experience required to supervise their pet store construction projects. Most people are not so lucky. Rather than gambling your way through this process, it is so much easier to hire a commercial contractor.

Why Hire Commercial Contractors?

Commercial contractors differ from residential contractors. They spend most of their time constructing commercial buildings. You can get by with a residential contractor if you don’t have a choice. However, commercial buildings are far more complicated than residential projects. They have different codes, budgets, and time frames. They also utilize different materials. Commercial buildings have a different set of regulations that governs them.

This is why it doesn’t make sense to leave your pet store construction project in the hands of a residential contractor. Commercial contractors will oversee every stage of your pet store construction and remodeling project. They will acquire the materials, rent any equipment you cannot afford to buy, coordinate with project managers and vendors, and prepare reports.

They will also ensure that your project adheres to the zoning codes and regulations. They have a lot of responsibilities. This is why you are encouraged to leave such work in the hands of a professional. You don’t have the time to supervise the construction and remodeling process.

Commercial contractors have the time and the experience to ensure that your pet store construction project proceeds without any hiccups.

hiring a pet store construction contractor

Hiring a Construction Contractor

You cannot afford to leave your pet store construction project in the hands of any random contractor you encounter. The wrong contractor will produce the sort of shoddy results that will saddle you with heavy repair and replacement costs. You don’t have the time to demolish and rebuild your pet store simply because your contractor made some serious mistakes along the way.

You need to know that any structure your chosen contractor builds will stand the test of time. This is why your choice of commercial contractor matters. You need to inject as much time and effort as you require to find the perfect contractor for your situation.

If you have no idea how or where to start, consider the following:

1). Plan

Do you know what you want from your pet store construction project? It isn’t enough to tell your contractor that you want a pet store. You need to paint a clear picture of the structure you want the contractor to produce.

This is why you are encouraged to hire an architect that can produce your vision on paper. A lot of people hire contractors before they even have a plan. You are perfectly free to take that route. However, the objective of your search isn’t to simply identify the best contractor on the market.

The next step is to find your contractor. The easiest method is to do a Google search. For example if you live in Sacramento, California and you need to hire a framing contractor you would do a Google search for Sacramento Framing Contractor and then look at the reviews and call a few to give you estimates on your pet store construction project.

Your objective is to find the best contractor that matches your vision. You cannot find such a contractor unless you already have your vision on paper. A plan will allow candidates to provide you with more accurate quotations.

Without a plan, they are going to make a lot of rough estimates that may fall far below the final budget. A plan saves a lot of time. It ensures that your chosen contractor knows exactly what you expect from them. This also allows you to find a contractor that is confident in their ability to fulfill your vision.

contractor checklist

2). Referrals

If you don’t know where to start looking for a competent commercial contractor, ask for recommendations. Talk to the architect that made your plans. They probably know several contractors that can accomplish your mission.

If you don’t know the architect well enough to trust their recommendations, talk to friends and family. If they have dealt with contractors in the past, ask them to point you in the direction of those individuals and companies that produced the most satisfying results.

If none of the people in your social circle has dealt with a contractor in the past, you should know that most contractors are part of some sort of association. Look for the association that represents commercial contractors in your area. Search their database for some promising names.

3). Options

Don’t limit your options. You are encouraged to ask for recommendations from friends and family because you can trust them to steer you in the right direction. However, you shouldn’t hire the first recommended contractor you find.

Accumulate a list of potential targets. Don’t be so quick to dismiss any of the names you encounter. These days, a lot of people use Google to find contractors. Like I said before, a simple Google search will introduce you to all the registered contractors in your area.

Google simplifies things because you can also investigate the reputations of the contractors you find. A significant portion uses social media. You can use that to your advantage. By scrawling through the reviews, you can determine whether or not the candidates in question are suitable for your project.

4). Interviews

An online search can shed some light on the competence and trustworthiness of your candidates. But you cannot use it to determine whether or not those contractors are a match for your pet store construction project.

To narrow your options down, you have to perform interviews. If you did your homework, you most likely generated a long list of attractive contractors. As such, the notion of interviewing all of them probably sounds intimidating. However, you don’t have to talk to them in person. A simple phone call will do.

Each conversation shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. The key is to ensure that you ask the right questions. For instance, find out whether or not they can tackle projects of your size. Some companies are much smaller than their portfolio suggests and they might lack the experience and the resources to oversee your pet store construction project.

Other firms are too large and they only participate in projects of a certain size. You will narrow your options considerably by determining whether or not your candidates are willing to take on a project like yours.

You should also ask them to provide references, not just the financial kind but also a list of previous customers. Some companies will refuse this request. Regardless of their reasons, you can use that excuse to remove them from the running.

You should also ask your candidates to reveal the number of projects they are running. This will tell you whether or not you can trust them to give your project the attention it needs. Based on their answers to those questions and more, you can eliminate some contractors from your list.

how to work with a pet store construction contractor

5). Insurance

A lot of bad things can happen during construction. The construction crew works with many dangerous tools and materials. This is why insurance is so important. All professional contractors must be insured.This is the only way to protect yourself and your project from unwanted liability in the event of a major accident.

Contractors that lack insurance are far too risky. You should avoid them altogether. The chances that they are operating illegally are quite high.

6). Investigation

While all the answers a contractor provides to your questions are important, don’t just take them at their word. Take the time to investigate the information. If the contractor claims to have done previous jobs that are similar to your pet store construction project, ask them to show you those projects.

The advantage of a construction contractor is that their work can’t be hidden. You can simply visit the buildings they have constructed to verify that they did everything they claim. If they have bolstered the strength of their resume by adding high-value clients, reach out to those clients to ensure that the contractor in question worked with them in the past.

The results matter. Make sure those clients were happy with the contractor. A bad contractor cannot hide their poor reputation. This is where the internet comes into play. If you look hard enough, you will find disgruntled customers that are more than happy to publish negative reviews of the contractors that disappointed them. You can use that information to determine the quality and value of your chosen contractor.

7). License

Even more important than insurance is a license. Are your chosen commercial contractors licensed to work in your state? A license matters because it means that the contractor in question was vetted and deemed fit to carry out their duties. It also means that they met certain strict standards.

Licensed contractors are more reliable. They are also less likely to defraud you. This is because they know that you have a body that you can appeal to if they mistreat you. Unlicensed contractors are wild cards. It is more difficult to hold them to account when things go wrong.

When a contractor presents their license, take the time to verify its authenticity. Licenses are relatively easy to fake. Fortunately, regulatory bodies have online databases that you can use to determine whether or not a particular contractor has been licensed.

questions to ask a pet store construction contractor

8). Experience

Prioritize contractors that have experience. It is easy for contractors to dazzle potential customers with their wide array of skilled manpower and resources. However, none of that matters. You cannot trust your pet store construction project to a contractor that doesn’t have experience in the field.

Experienced contractors are advantageous because they know what your project entails. More to the point, they know all the challenges that are bound to arise along the way. They have encountered them before and they know how to overcome them. You can trust them to steer your project to the finish line even when things go wrong.

You can determine a contractor’s experience by looking at their past jobs and clients. The reputation matters. Extensive experience is irrelevant if the company in question has a reputation for producing poor results. Make sure the contractor you choose has more victories than defeats in their past.

9). Resources

A contractor’s resources matter. Do they have the qualified manpower to do the work you need? Do they have the right equipment? Do they have all the necessary connections to acquire the materials you require at the best possible price?

This is one of the reasons why experience matters. Contractors that have been in operation for several years have a network of suppliers and vendors that they can use to meet the demands of your construction project. They also have a host of trustworthy subcontractors on hand.

contractor for pet store construction

10). Face to Face

Factors like insurance, license, and experience are supposed to help you narrow your options down. Once you cut your list down to three or four contractors, you should talk to them in person. While the skills and reputation matter, it is even more important to select a contractor with whom you have a great rapport.

You need to know that they understand you and your vision. You must also feel comfortable enough to ask them any lingering questions you might have. There is nothing wrong with making a subjective decision. That is to say, do not hesitate to hire a contractor simply because you like them.

Try to remember that you are going to spend several months working side by side with the contractor. For that reason, it makes sense to choose someone you are comfortable with.

11). Details

Once you find someone you like, you can start ironing out the details. Ask for a proper quotation. If you don’t have a plan, ask the contractor to make one for your project. You should expect them to provide a detailed breakdown of the cost of everything from the materials to the labor.

If you like what you see, create a payment schedule. The percentage of the payment a contractor wants will vary. Some contractors want half. Others want at least ten percent before they start. Your negotiations with a contractor are not complete until you have placed everything in writing and signed a contract.