For many hotel managers and restaurant owners, the hardest part of any commercial renovation project is not the job itself, but finding a competent and reliable contractor to get the job done right. Renovating floors, tearing down walls or installing bespoke joinery are simple tasks compared to the struggle to hire a high-quality contractor who will perform tasks at a high level from start to finish. Finding a general contractor who is well-suited to the project is key to the successful completion of the job. Here are some tips for finding the right contractor for the hospitality industry.
Define Your Project
Before contacting any contractor, define the project precisely. For example, if you plan to renovate a hotel lobby, go to the details that help you find the perfect contractor for the job. General contractors have knowledge and experience, which is often visible in their portfolio, photo gallery or in before and after photos. Very often, contractors have a website that contains this information.
Interview at Least Five Contractors
Get a written proposal with a quote from each one, compare the rates and make sure each one has the same materials and the same tasks. A detailed conversation and cost estimate of at least five will help you feel more confident when comparing options and making project decisions.
General Contractors Availability
The availability of the general contractor depends on the season and place of residence, but it is worth waiting even a few months for an expert. Three months is the optimal time to give them time to finish their current project and start working on yours.
Renovation of a hotel or restaurant may require the contractor to engage subcontractors for specialized works. They can be electricians, plumbers or carpenters. Ask the general contractor when external workers will work on the area of your property, and how your general contractor will manage and supervise their work.
Licenses, Complaints and Dispute History
General contractors and most subcontractors should have a license. Check your local court records for any problems. Ask the contractor for a copy of his license and copies of the licenses of the subcontractors that will be involved in the project.
To avoid wasting time and disappointment, it is worth talking to both clients and subcontractors who will tell you whether the contractor pays on time. Previous clients will let you know if the estimated cost of the renovation was close to the final cost. Read online reviews to make sure that your contractor is the right person for your job and will be working with you well. Remember that reading review is not a substitute for checking references. When a series of negative reviews over the long run should raise a warning, one negative review or a particularly nasty comment may not provide an accurate picture of the business.
Before you sign make sure that your contract states exactly what will be done and include due dates, payment schedule and the exact materials. If the contract is not detailed enough, write your own or add attachments. Any design change should generate a written update order that includes new work, materials, and costs.