7 Questions To Ask Your Contractor

Is your office looking tired?  Does your space instill confidence in your customers?  Does your growing business need a makeover to accommodate new business practices, services and technology?

It sounds like you need to remodel.  Now you have reached the most critical part of your remodeling project, who do I hire?

As you begin your quest for the most beautiful and productive work place in the market, there are several questions you should ask your potential project partners.

1. Who will complete the design work?

Your office remodel project will begin with evaluating the current state of your floor plan or office layout, the wall framing, the ceilings, the flooring, painting, furniture and artwork.  You will want to seek out a specialist in office remodeling with an extensive portfolio of interior design and project references.  A design firm that takes the time to learn your business needs will incorporate your wishes into a highly productive work place that is both ergonomically sound and striking in its appearance.  Your choice of design firm should also take into consideration the budget constraints of the project.  It is not difficult to let a project budget get out of control, but will your design firm help reign it back in?  A firm that can run multiple budgeting scenarios will allow you to choose where you want to allocate your spending and get the most value for your dollars.

2. How do I know how much this project will cost?

Calling a specialist in office remodeling will pay huge dividends.  An interior specialist will be capable of quantifying and pricing your proposed plan.  Controlling the budget should be their number one priority.  By utilizing extensive knowledge of interior remodeling and interior finish products, your contractor should be able to propose a firm price for the given scope of work.  That same contractor should be able to propose alternative products, construction methods and project scope downsizing in order to accommodate any budget.

3. Does my remodeling contractor buy their materials direct from the manufacturer?

Hiring a remodeling contractor that has relationships with material manufacturers will ensure that you are getting the most value for your dollar.  Dealing directly with multiple manufacturers will allow your remodeling specialist to ensure that you are receiving the best product selections at the best price.  Not every material can be purchased directly from the manufacturer; some materials must be purchased through a local distributor.  In any case, you want to minimize the number of companies that handle your interior finish materials.  Each company that handles the product from the manufacturing line to your finished space will add unnecessary cost to your project.

4. Who will complete the construction work?

After the striking design is complete, you will need to hire a partner to bring your ideas to life.  The quality of the contractor is where “the rubber meets the road”.  Poorly executed installation will undermine all of the effort put forth in the design and planning.  You will need to determine if your contractor uses subcontractors or if they self perform the work at hand.  A contractor that controls a majority of the installation trades will allow for tighter schedules, less down time and a final product that exceeds quality expectations.

5. How well is the installation crew trained?

A workforce that is respectful and professional is the minimum expectation.  It is a starting point.  There are a lot of people out there that are pleasant and good people, but that does not mean that you want all of them installing your brand new flooring.

There are a lot of questions to ask.  Here are some of the most important:

  • Do you specialize in this work?  Do you have references?
  • Are you third party certified in specialty installations?
  • Do you participate in a continuing education program to keep your skills sharp and up to date with the latest technology?
  • Is your onsite installation staff trained in OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, requirements and basic safety and first aid practices?
  • Are they familiar with and have experience in infection control procedures for working in a healthcare environment?

6. What experience do you have working in occupied spaces?

If you intend to keep your facility open during the renovation, you will want your installation crews to understand working in occupied space.  The needs of working alongside your staff and customers vary greatly but can include: safety concerns for your customers and employees, minimizing noise during working hours, utilizing dust barriers and barricades and infection control for healthcare environments.

7. Will you leave me when the project is over?

I know this sounds needy, but this is an issue that needs serious consideration.  Hiring a remodeling specialist is the start of a long term relationship.  Your new high performance and highly attractive office will need some tender love and care to keep it functioning at its peak performance and lower the lifetime cost of maintaining your office.  Does your choice of contractor have a service staff that is ready on a moment’s notice to touch up some paint or make a quick repair to the flooring before the problem grows?  Do they have a routine cleaning and maintenance staff?  An interior specialist will provide these services, help you protect your investment and keep your customers and staff admiring your work space for years to come.

Good luck with your office remodel!  I hope you find the project team to produce that one of a kind work space that dazzles your customers and delights your staff.