Ten Things To Consider Before Signing a Commercial Construction Contract

A construction contract is the legally binding document which stipulates the price that the construction company will charge, and the services which will be rendered in return. If you’re not careful, you could quickly find yourself in a very sticky situation with a construction company.

That is why it is advisable to consider a few things first before you sign on that construction contract. You will want to make sure that you are getting a fair deal, and these items will ensure that you are not being ripped off before you sign and have the obligation to pay.

Signing a contract

1. Have You Agreed to The Time Frame for Completion?

Some things come up unexpectedly from time to time where contractors are unable to finish the job in the allotted time. However, this doesn’t mean that the contractor should drag the job on for months and weeks beyond the expected time frame. If the job seems like it will take too long based on your gut instinct, perhaps it’s time for you to choose a different contractor.

2. Are All Costs In Front Of You?

Another area where many people are rightfully concerned is that of costs. Do you feel that all relevant costs are being disclosed to you, or do you feel that there might be some hidden costs to the project? Without full disclosure, it’s hard to know for certain if the project will be done on time and in a manner in which you can expect.

3. What Kinds of Materials Are Used?

This is a big area which you might disagree with the construction company on: materials can be quite pricey. However, you’ll want to make sure that the company is using the best materials for the job. Some companies might decide to cut corners by using less costly materials.

4. Problems Which Might Arise

This area can be difficult to anticipate, but the company should give you an idea of any problems which may come up during the process. You don’t want to be midway through the project and finally have the company reveal a major hiccup which puts the progress of the project back.

Take for example all the utilities that run underground where the construction is taking place. If these aren’t accounted for and located properly, the excavation process could damage one or many of these utilities. This doesn’t just affect your project but the entire area. It could mean that disruption to electricity, internet or even water/sewer services.

Does the construction company do thorough research prior to starting or perhaps they may opt to bring in a hydro excavation company to either locate, pothole excavate the area.

5. What References Does The Company Have?

Do other clients of that company typically have good or bad experiences? The company’s references could be all too revealing of the company’s business practices. If others have had great experiences, then you’ll get an idea of the experience that you might have with that same company.

Architect looking at blueprint on a construction set

6. Do You Get Along With The Contractor?

This is an individual whom you’ll want to be able to talk about your concerns with. You’ll be spending a lot of time with the contractor, so you will want to make sure you have good rapport with the contractor. Obviously, you will also want to know that they will be there to support you and provide you with the best experience possible.

7. Will They Be Available?

You’ll definitely want the company to keep you in the loop after the job is done. For that, you will want to make sure that the company will be available to answer any concerns that you might have about the project or the outcome. The company should be available to perform any of the maintenance tasks on the building which might be required once the job is done.

8. Are They Innovative?

You’re probably not looking for the same cookie-cutter approaches that most companies offer. An innovative company can come up with new, resourceful ways of controlling costs and implementing the building plan. Perhaps they can provide some insight into operating the building more efficiently, or implementing new features in the design which can reduce the costs of maintenance.

9. Can They Get It All Done?

The company should be able to manage the entire project from top to bottom. They might not be able to do everything, but they should be able to get the building built well and have good relations with their subcontractors. This is perhaps the most important thing to think about with regard to getting the whole project done on time.

10. How Will You Pay?

The contract is specific as to when you should pay for the job. The company might be expecting full payment or partial payment at the beginning, but this should be specified in the contract. The goal should be to ensure that you are not being blindsided by the company’s expectation of payment. The terms of payment should be reasonable, and can be negotiated by both sides in the beginning.