Categories: News and Events

Tips for Selecting the Right Commercial General Contractor In San Francisco? – Part 2

Published by
Rami Tawasha
Updated 8 May 2020.

Constructing a large commercial project in San Francisco is not an easy job. When you are in the process of starting a big commercial project like a multi-story office complex, a retail facility, a school, or a commercial complex in San Francisco, the first thing you need is to select a good commercial contractor in San Francisco to handle the project.

Who Is A Commercial Contractor?

A commercial contractor is a general contractor who takes charge of the commercial construction & renovation projects of businesses and handles all the project works to complete it as per the agreed contract successfully. The commercial contractor is either a construction company or an individual worker. The contractor will hire & co-ordinate with the raw material vendors, on-site staff, interior designers, architects, and the subcontractors for your commercial project; they run the show!

The commercial projects include construction and renovation of office spaces, hotels, restaurants, cafes, educational institutions, shopping malls, retail stores, medical labs, warehouses, and many other commercial working spaces; a general contractor who has previous experience in commercial projects only can handle.

You should never consider a general contractor who specializes in non-commercial projects such as residential projects as the contractor won’t be considered as a commercial general contractor because the rules & regulations set for a commercial construction project are not at all similar to the rules & regulations set for the non-commercial projects.

To efficiently manage your commercial construction project in San Francisco city or its suburbs, you need to first find the most suitable and the best commercial contractor in San Francisco so that your project can be completed as per the scheduled timeline and the initially decided project budget.

A commercial contractor is the most important person on your project landscape, and he is the sole authority conducting your project in all its phases. He is the person who comes into the project before every other person and leaves your project after all other persons who have worked on the project have gone away. He shoulders the entire responsibility of the project and conducts the project in all its stages.

A Commercial General Contractor’s Main Functions Include:

Commercial General Contractor taking decisions for the project

Permitting creating all the documents and reports that are to be submitted to the Local, State, and Federal authorities and getting all the Permits, Licenses, and permissions necessary for the starting and running of the commercial construction project. 

Planning He will have to create a detailed plan on how the project will progress in the future; he will have to forecast the labor, material, and equipment requirements at different stages of the project. He will have to plan on how to communicate relevant information amongst all the project members.

Budgeting After planning the project, he will then provide an estimated project budget, including costs of labor, materials, and equipment operating costs for the project. The estimated budget should meet the desired project results decided by you and meet the work requirements specified by the engineers & architects.

Designing  He works through his in-house architects and other teams of professionals engaged in designing the commercial construction or engage right teams of architects, draftsmen, civil engineers, and other professionals required to complete and finalize the overall design, structural diagrams, and other building plans necessary for obtaining all the building permissions and complying with all legal formalities regarding the commercial construction.

Purchasing supplies He takes the responsibility to purchase, transport, and make available all types of building materials, equipment, and fixtures that are to be used in commercial construction. For this, he enters into special arrangements with an entire range of suppliers and manufacturers. He helps you get the best deals in the procurement and supply of all required materials for your commercial construction.

Adhering to the building codes- He is responsible for designing, building, and completing the commercial project’s construction complying with all your local building codes.

Managing the zoning regulations– As the person who is conducting the whole construction project, the commercial contractor has to take care of the zoning regulations and other related regulations that apply to the commercial constructions in your local area.

Project Management – He will have to make sure that the project gets completed on time and is completed within the estimated budget, labor, material, and equipment requirements, with no compromises made on the desired project results. He can improvise the scheduled plan during the execution of the project as long as it doesn’t extend the project timeline.

Quality Assurance – He will have to examine the quality of the workforce, the materials ordered to ensure that the result of the project is of the highest possible quality, which brings max. ROI.

Effective Safety Measures – To assure the workforce’s safety, he will have to hire qualified & experience safety personnel on-site. He will also have a feasible safety policy to guarantee the safety of the workforce. The policy will include precautionary and dynamic mechanisms to make the workforce feel safe and secure during the project.

Learn in detail about: what does a commercial general contractor do.

How to Find Your Commercial Contractor In San Francisco?

Commercial General Contractor Smiling

There are many ways to find a commercial contractor in San Francisco. In the present days of the internet era, you have numerous facilities to find your commercial contractor online. Google is the largest storehouse of information to help you find your general contractor for your San Francisco commercial construction project.

You can use the Google search engine to get the list of all the commercial contractors serving your area of construction. This will give you the starting point in your search for your commercial contractor in the San Francisco area. Apart from this, you can also consult the business directories that have business listings for San Francisco and find other online resources that give the list of commercial contractors working in your project area. 

Consolidate all the lists and select the ones that look promising to you based on their years of standing in the construction industry and other relevant criteria.

By doing this, you will be able to shorten the list to manageable levels. After this, you can consider the list entry by entry and find their experience level, the previous projects they have worked on, and the types of customer reviews they have received from their past customers.

 San Francisco is one of the largest cities in North America. Hence, you will be surprised to find hundreds of persons who are offering their services as Commercial general contractors. There is a wide variety of commercial construction projects, and each one of them calls for a different approach and different set of people to work on to complete the project.

 As such, no two projects can be said to be similar. They have their peculiarities and variables that must be conquered to bring the construction project to its successful conclusion.

The secret of finding the right commercial contractor for your project lies in finding the contractors in San Francisco who have worked on projects similar to yours. For this, it is necessary to find a contractor who has dealt with many projects similar to yours. Then only can he be a valuable addition to your project?

This also indicates their level of expertise. You can evaluate their performance levels and their way of working by carefully considering the customer reviews and the testimonials they have placed on their websites. Apart from this, consider the media section of their websites and see the gallery images and the details of the projects they have worked on in the recent past and collect as much information as possible.

When you do this, you can find out the types of projects they are more comfortable with and the types of projects they like to work on. This also indicates the types of resources they have and the equipment in their possession. All these can be taken together to zero in on the commercial contractor who is well versed in doing projects similar to yours.

You can assure yourself that they will bring your project to its successful ending as they have done for their earlier projects. This way, you can shortlist the persons who are to be considered further on other counts to get selected for your project.

When you have shortlisted them now, it is time to contact them directly to get all the relevant information from them to make the final decision as to who will be your commercial general contractor for your San Francisco commercial project.

Relevant Factors That Will Help You To Select Your Commercial Contractor In San Francisco:

Once you have the shortlisted names of the contractors who are to be considered for your project, you need to consider the following factors that have a good weightage on your decision as to the appointment of a commercial contractor for your project:

Licensing: This is an important qualification for a commercial contractor as a duly licensed person to act as a commercial contractor alone can take charge of a commercial construction project. So, you need to verify if the person you want to select as your contractor is duly licensed and is fully covered by insurance for all the acts he will undertake to complete the project.

He must be a bonded person to protect you against liabilities that may arise in respect of workers during the working of the project. You verify their documents and, if necessary, get the help of a professional who is well versed in these lines to find the exact nature of the licensing and insurance documents. 


Communication: Communication is the most vital link that will get the project going as you want. So, it is necessary to find the right person as your commercial contractor who gives utmost importance to maintaining the right level of communication between you and other stakeholders of the project.

The commercial contractor should understand the type of communication you need and should create the right mediums to communicate with you at all required times in such a way that you get periodical updates of the project. You can contact him or any other person in the project at all times you need to contact them.


Contractor Bid: When you have provided the project details to the persons who are qualified to be your commercial contractor, they will prepare their bid and submit it to you. This is very important as the bid represents their terms for working on the project, and this includes the amount they are going to charge you for acting as your contractor.

Though their price is an important aspect of selection, it is not correct to select the person based only on the bid alone as most of the time; a cheaper person may not always be the best one.


Referrals: Contact businesses that have lately completed their project; by listening to their good/ bad experiences, you will get to know about the reputation of the local as well as well-known commercial general contractors of San Francisco. You can then start contacting contractors with positive reviews; this will ensure that you end up hiring a qualified contractor.


Proposal Comparison: Remember! All proposals are not the same; examine each proposal to identify the key differences among them. Consider proposals of firms which have experience in projects which are very similar to yours.

For example, if you require a corporate office, ask the contractor if he has experience in white-collar office settings. You can differentiate the proposals based on each contractor’s skills and levels of responsibilities it can undertake.


Cost Shouldn’t Decide: Never let project cost be the only decision influencer. There are chances that a contractor who charges the lowest might lead to expensive future problems and repairs as the quality of the work could be below-grade. You must consider contractors charging fairly close to the market price as those contractors will deliver quality assurance.


Contractor’s Solvency: Knowing about the contractor’s financial stability is important. You should be sure that the contractor is having the required funds to make all the payments and is capable of making any unanticipated expenses that occur during the project’s execution. Ideally, the contractor must have sufficient funds in the bank account or have a credit line to borrow funds for the unanticipated project expenses.

You have to consider all the factors together and take your final choice as to the person who is going to lead your commercial construction project.

You need to start the search for the Commercial contractor as early as possible to come onto the scene and take control of the project from the early stages. Adhere to the basics of selecting contractors and trusting your logic and having a good view of the person behind all the hype. If you find the person to be right and reliable, you can go ahead take him into your team, and your project will be well on its way to successful completion as per your requirements.

To speak with our experienced commercial contractors for your commercial project, please contact us.

Relevant Resource:

The Benefits of Construction Manager/General Contractor Services (CMGC) versus Design-Build Project Delivery

This post was last modified on March 3, 2021 12:47 pm

Rami Tawasha

An experienced civil engineer with more than 15 years of experience, Rami Tawasha serves as a senior project manager for Constructive Solutions, Inc., a commercial general contractor based in San Mateo and San Francisco. Under his leadership, the firm performs services ranging from design build to tenant improvement and renovation for corporate offices, medical facilities, building renovation, seismic retrofit, industrial and retail spaces across the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Published by
Rami Tawasha

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