Top 10 Questions - To Ask a Commercial Contractor

Our Advocate Commercial Team fields many questions from property owners, construction managers, and facility managers. As a value-added resource and partner, we are pleased to share the top 10 questions we receive on selecting and evaluating a commercial construction contractor.

What Experience should a contractor have?

It’s essential that a contractor have at least five years of experience. Understanding your local market is also necessary.

Is the contractor properly licensed and insured?

Ensuring the contractor has the necessary licenses and permits is critical. Further, they should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage

How do they handle project management/timelines?

A reputable contractor will have a clear plan for approaching the project. They work with clients to ensure timing and alignment

What is their safety record? How do they prioritize safety?

Safety is paramount in any construction project. Inquire about their safety protocols, training programs, and past safety performance to ensure a safe working environment.

Do they have a good relationship with their suppliers?

This is critical to success. No property owner wants their project liened because a contractor didn’t pay their supplier.

What is their financial stability?

Related to question five above. Request financial references or information to ensure they can handle your project without issues.

How do they communicate with you during the project?

Effective communication is essential in any successful construction project. How do they keep their clients informed? How do they communicate any hurdles or project challenges?

Can they provide written contracts and scope of work (SOW)?

Reputable contractors provide a contract and a related Scope-Of-Work document for any project. This will also include a change order process should an owner’s needs change during the project.

What should I look for in a contractor’s portfolio of work?

Have they completed work that is similar to yours? Can they provide references for this work? Look at the level of overall quality, craftsmanship, and was the project delivered on time

Are they part of any real estate vendor or property management compliance networks?

Commercial contractors that work with compliance vendor programs (such as Net Vendor, RMIS, Vendor Café, and Real Page) understand how important it is to invest in compliance and safety for your project.