How To Pick the Right Contractor

Property ownership is one of the biggest investments you can make in the course of a lifetime, so choosing a licensed, experienced, and knowledgeable company for your renovation project is of utmost importance. With all of the things to consider when renovating a commercial space – such as: zoning ordinances, time limitations, required permits, advanced approvals, building codes, public safety, and the potential for raised rent or insurance premiums – it is important to choose the right company to take care of your needs. It can be very expensive when jobs are completed incorrectly or not to your standard, so choosing a company that is licensed and knowledgeable is very important. A license is necessary for a contractor to:
  • pull permits,
  • purchase liability insurance, and
  • post bonds into a recovery fund
Non-licensed contractors generally bid on jobs at a lower rate, which can look attractive if you are trying to save money on your renovation project. However, the immense number of variables that come into play with commercial renovation make paying a licensed, experienced professional well worth the extra up-front cost. Contractors may be required to have a license in order to pull permits depending on where your commercial space is located. If your province requires a license to do so, you know with certainty that your licensed contractor is pulling permits for your project. There is no such certainty with a non-licensed contractor.

Recovery Fund

Licensed contractors are also required to post bonds into a recovery fund. A recovery fund is the account that saves money for a company in the event that a client sues them. If work on your project is substandard or in violation of building codes or proves to be dangerous in some way, reimbursement or reconstruction is covered by the recovery fund. Company insurance plays a similar role. If work was poorly executed or damage is caused to your property because of the work done by your hired renovation company, a licensed contractor will have insurance to help cover the costs and damages. This is good for both you and the contractor; it saves the contractor from going out of business and it ensures your property is taken care of. A non-licensed contractor does not necessarily have insurance or pay into a recovery fund, so if work needs to be redone or, for example, your building burns down as a result of an electrical fire, it will be difficult for you to recoup that money or have the work redone if there is no recovery fund in place.

A Physical Contract

Another consideration is the benefit of having a physical contract. It is beneficial to both you and your contractor to draw up and sign a physical contract that will ensure that your commercial renovation company is paid in a timely manner and that all of your specifications are met. Should any disagreement arise concerning the verbal agreement, you will have a written agreement to refer back to.

Team of Professionals

It is also a bonus to find a licensed, experienced renovation company that has a diverse group of professionals on their team. Some companies may have estimators, project managers, field superintendents, electricians, plumbers, or other professionals as a part of their renovation team. Having a wide range of professionals on team with your renovation company creates seamless transitions from the start of your project to its completion. The ideal commercial renovation company would be a licensed, experienced, diverse team of creative professionals that understands and meets your needs as a commercial property owner.

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