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What Is A Commercial Contractor And What do They Do?

Published by
Rami Tawasha

A commercial contractor is a central entity that takes care of every facet of a commercial construction project. They take complete responsibility for the project and bring your dreams and aspirations of constructing a small or big commercial project to reality as you want. Usually, the present-day commercial contractors are a team of trained professionals with each team member specialized in a particular service area required to complete the project successfully.

Who Is A Commercial Contractor?

A commercial contractor is a general contractor working with a special focus on commercial construction projects. Usually, a general contractor is a construction company or a construction professional that has got rich experience, long-standing, and training in the construction industry. They take part in a construction project for taking overall control of the construction project by

  • Taking care of the ground preparation works
  • Creating and finalizing the design of the building
  • Obtain all necessary permits and licenses
  • Bring in the necessary equipment
  • for the execution of the project
  • Rope in Vendors for the supply of materials for the project
  • Employ the contractors and sub-contractors and manage them
  • Take care of the financial matters for the smooth progress of the project

commercial contractor

Thus, the commercial contractor is the single-point action center for your commercial project. They take the responsibility to ensure the smooth progress of the project and successful completion with excellent results.

The commercial contractors work as teams with members to take care of each stage of the project from designing the project to interior designing and offer all-under-one roof services for the successful completion of the commercial project.

They take care of interacting and communicating with different teams of people working on the project and have the necessary capability to give the best shape to your construction project and help in bringing the design to life as planned and within the allotted budget.

Finding the right commercial contractor for your project will be one of the most important decisions you will be called upon to make while starting your construction project. This is true irrespective of the type of commercial construction, a new construction project, or remodeling of an existing project.

A commercial contractor virtually takes care of the entire project, including its compliance, and knows how to comply with the local building codes, licensing, and permitting orders. They also help you in complying with state and federal laws. They also have design teams and design the building, determine the project’s budget, and take care of the project’s financial part.

With a good commercial contractor, you can easily tackle the complexities of the project irrespective of whether you are starting a project from the ground up or going for an addition or alteration to existing commercial construction.

A commercial contractor brings in the necessary mindset, expertise, and capability to gather both men and material to the project and bring it to a successful completion with the expected results. This is not an ordinary task and cannot be easily accomplished except with the help of well-experienced trained professionals in the commercial construction industry.

As commercial contractors are well versed in all the requirements and project tasks related to the designing, construction, and completion of commercial construction projects of all types, they are an essential part of your project.

Commercial Contractor VS Residential Contractor, What’s the Difference

A Commercial contractor is different from a residential contractor. However, a commercial contractor is a general contractor in as much as they are also involved in the construction projects’ conduct. But a commercial contractor does not take residential building projects and focuses more on the much more complex and complicated commercial building constructions. Due to this, they are usually teams of construction professionals working together as a company or an entity offering a range of services necessary to conduct and complete commercial construction projects.

Commercial Vs Residential general contractor

They are fully experienced than the general contractors in conducting large to very large construction projects. They have special expertise in employing different types of men and using different types of materials than that are used in residential construction. They know how to differentiate the working environment that prevails on a residential construction site and a commercial construction site like that of a hospital or a large commercial building complex.

With their wide knowledge base, the commercial contractors take care of the entire functions needed for large commercial projects like budgeting, fixing and maintaining project timelines, complying with building codes and other statutory regulations. They are accustomed to the special project execution techniques that are needed to complete commercial projects of all types and sizes.

Commercial Contractor Responsibilities

The commercial contractor is the overall in-charge of the project with many types of roles and responsibilities before, during, and after the project’s start. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Managing and overseeing the construction project and its development
  • Sourcing and acquiring proper and safe materials
  • Bringing in necessary and appropriate equipment
  • Maintaining flawless communication with other project managers, owners, and vendors.
  • Arranging for Logistics and reporting
  • Compliance and adherence to codes and zoning regulations
  • Fixing and complying with the budget and timeline

commercial contractor worker responsibilities

Usually, the larger the project’s size and complexity, the more will be a requirement for more and specialized skill sets to deal with the project’s challenges successfully. Hence hiring a suitably experienced and professionally trained commercial contractor is of paramount importance in completing the project.

Thus, the commercial contractors are burdened with many roles and responsibilities depending on the type, size, and complexity of the commercial construction project, such as:

  • Legal compliance: All these commercial projects have licensing requirements, and he obtains permits from local authorities, and he has the necessary ability and facilities to comply with all the rules and regulations that apply to the construction site.
  • Conduct and oversee the project: Whatever is the type of project your commercial contractor is, the one who starts the project is on the project till it is fully completed and commissioned to your satisfaction. He focuses on every phase of the project and takes care of all the vital functions necessary to complete the project.
  • Vendor and Material management: He manages the material purchase, installation, and vendor management and ensures that the required materials reach the contractors or subcontractors working on the project at the required times so that the project can proceed without any delay.
  • Sub-contractor management: His yet another important function is sub-contractor management, and he does this vital function in such a way that the right people work on every part of the project, ensuring high-quality work output throughout the execution phase of the project.
  • Resources Management: He maintains a list of specialized service providers in his list of sub-contractors offering the services of plumbing, electrical works, tiling, carpeting, painting, interior decoration, etc. He will be aware of the special qualifications and the additional skill sets they possess in their lines of activity and hire the right person for the jobs they are well qualified to work on.
  • Logistics of the project: apart from proper handling of materials and hiring the required subcontractors, the commercial contractor is also responsible for keeping the project on budget and on time, maintain all records of the project, and undertake to clean the waste and debris after the completion of the project.

What Else Do Commercial Contractors Do?

A commercial contractor is an essential part of large commercial projects like the construction of large office complexes, restaurants, medical facilities, retail outlet buildings, recreational facilities, and large warehouses.

commerial contractor duties

All these commercial projects have licensing requirements, and he has to obtain permits from local authorities. Hence, the commercial contractor you choose to work with has all the licensing requirements and has the necessary ability and required facilities to comply with all the rules and regulations that apply to the construction site.

Whatever be the type of the project, like a reconstruction, remodeling, or redesigning of an existing project, your commercial contractor is the one who starts the project and is on the project till it is fully completed and commissioned to your satisfaction. He focuses on every phase of the project and takes care of all the vital functions necessary to complete the project.

He manages the material purchase, installation, and vendor management. He ensures that the required materials reach the contractors or subcontractors working on the project at the required times so that the project can proceed without any delay.

His yet another important function is sub-contractor management. He does this vital function so that the right people work on every part of the project, ensuring high-quality work output throughout the project’s execution phase.

So, he maintains a list of specialized service providers in his list of sub-contractors offering the services of plumbing, electrical works, tiling, carpeting, painting, interior decoration, etc. He will be aware of the special qualifications and the additional skill sets they possess in their lines of activity and hire the right person for the jobs they are well qualified to work on.

How to Hire a Commercial Contractor

A good commercial contractor is a must-have person for your commercial project’s success, and hence you have to be very careful while selecting your contractor. Once you have done this, after full application of mind and careful consideration of various factors, you can conduct the project without any hassles.

commercial contractor hiring process

Enlist the top commercial contractors in your area:

This is the first step in the selection process, and here you will be enlisting the commercial contractors working in your local area. These are the contractors who are well aware of the local conditions and will be able to complete licensing and other legal matters with their local experience.

They have to be preferred as they will be having a ready list of resources to be used in the project. You need not have to go searching for each type of resource as the ones with these contractors will be good and time tested for their efficiency and capability to work on the project with a very high success rate.

You can build your list by contacting property management groups in your location. This will give you a verified list of contractors who have completed similar projects in your location.

Next, you can find similar projects that were completed recently and find the contractors who have worked on this project and add the ones that have exhibited exemplary positive experiences over and above cheaper, faster, and efficient options for conducting your project.

Search online:

in the present days, the Internet provides enormous amounts of information, and you can search and find the list of contractors active in your locality by searching for “ commercial contractors near me” in Google or other search engines. You will be having a long list of commercial contractors who are offering their services in your location. You can add to your list of commercial contractors based on the proximity to your project location.

Here you can select the ones that have long industry standing rich experience in completing projects similar to yours and based on the reviews of their past customers, testimonials given by them, and rating received by them for their past performance.

These factors will give a clear understanding of work ethics, past performance, and their capability to take and complete your project. By visiting their website, you can know more about them, their past projects and other information about their professional standing, industry training, the details about their technical and other teams, the resources that are available to them, etc. and this will help you decide the suitability of a particular person to your project.

Work out the overall cost of the project and consider the bid of the selected persons:

Once you have worked out the project’s overall budget now, you can contact each of the commercial contractors on your list, call them for a meeting, give the rough details of your project, and make them understand the nature and type, and size of your project.

Call for their preliminary bids for the project, their service fee, and other costs involved in working on your project. Consider their bids and see if it matches with the overall costing of your project. Do not go by the cheapest bid as the cheapest will not always be the best, and at the same time, you can remove the commercial contractors who are overly above your costing for the project.

Focus more on reasonable and transparent pricing in their pricing with good experience and a good positive track record in their past projects.

Prefer those who are fully licensed to work on your projects:

A commercial contractor legally licensed to work in your location is to be preferred for your project. They will be well-equipped and have good knowledge of the project requirements, zoning regulations, the type of men, and materials used for easy and efficient completion of the project.

They will be having an ongoing working relationship with material vendors, sub-contractors, and other resources for the effective completion of the project. They can offer the required level of project management. Avoid all those persons who are not fully licensed to work on a project of the size, nature, and location of your project, as they may not be held liable for problems that may occur during the execution of the project.

Verify the terms of their insurance:

The terms and level of insurance coverage opted for by the commercial contractor are very crucial in deciding about the quantum of liability for worker compensation, mistakes to the project, etc. This will help you minimize your liability and save you a lot of money and headaches.

So, call for the insurance documents from the commercial contractor you are considering, carefully consider the terms and extent of coverage under different headings of liability. If you are not able to understand the terms, do not hesitate to take professional help and make sure that you understand the extent of coverage.

Professionalism in dealings and Open in communication:

Depending on the size of the project, your working relationship with the commercial contractor will go for some months till the successful completion of the project. During this period, the commercial contractor who is going to work on your project must have high work ethics, honesty, and integrity with an impeccable sense of professionalism in their work.

They must be open to communication at all reasonable times. They must be transparent in their approach and desire to give the best possible quality of workmanship in everything they do with effective communication lines at each stage of the project. They must be persons with patience and an open mind to listen to your views and give the right responses to your queries and concerns.

You must select a person with whom you feel comfortable working with and this will be the most important of all the qualifications you expect in a person to take charge and conduct your commercial project.

Once you have selected a person to act as your commercial contractor, discuss all aspects of the project and make him understand the project’s basic objectives and the terms on which you want them to be fulfilled.

Get their views on these vital factors and make mental and other adjustments before taking the final decision. If everything works out well and you feel comfortable working with them, draw out all the legal documents and go on with the project with clarity and a result-oriented approach.

Conclusion

Commercial contracting is a specialized form of construction service, requiring the highest form of competence, professionalism, experience, and the highest degree of integrity and determination to give quality work. So, take your time, consider all the factors, and get all the required documents to verify the credentials of the person you want to select and satisfy yourself as to his suitability for your project.

We would love to help you realize your vision. Contact us today with any questions, and be sure to check out our site for more information.

This post was last modified on March 3, 2021 2:13 am

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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Rami Tawasha

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