How do you choose a contractor? Very carefully, experts advise
Hiring a general contractor is the first, most important and trickiest
step in renovating a store. How to avoid a costly mistake? Follow the steps
outlined at this year's SPECS/98 (Store Planning, Equipment and Construction
Services) conference as reported in Chain Store Agemagazine.
- Ask to review the company's Contractor's Qualification Statement (American
Institute of Architects document A305). This form is used widely in the
construction business; if the contractor doesn't have one or doesn't know
what it is, cross him off your list of candidates.
- Make sure the contractor is registered and licensed in the state and
municipality in which he will do the job.
- Talk to other retailers for whom the contractor has worked. Check bank
references and professional affiliations. Also find out what you can about
the company's subcontractors.
- Ask for resumes of key people who will work on the project and talk
to the company principals.
- Make sure the contractor has appropriate insurance, including general
liability, completed operations insurance and workers compensation. Landlords
won't allow construction to begin unless the right policies are in place.
Other factors to consider when choosing a contractor: pick one accustomed
to doing jobs the size of yours. A company that gets most of its business
from many-store projects may not be right for a small independent store,
and small-project companies sometimes can't handle giant jobs. Remember
proximity is important also transporting people to the site will add
to the cost of the project.
Lastly, make sure the contractor has a safety program in place and trains
its staff and subcontractors on safety issues. You don't want to become
embroiled in a liability suit.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.