Contractor Checklist

October 1998


Contractor Checklist

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Make sure the contractor is registered and licensed in the state and municipality in which he will do the job.
  3. 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.
  4. Ask for resumes of key people who will work on the project and talk to the company principals.
  5. 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.


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