Commercial Builds and Contractors – What You Need To Know

If you are expanding your South East business or want to increase productivity, a new commercial build is good idea. However, it will involve significant investment and planning.

Investing in commercial builds is a big undertaking. As well as the financial outlay, there are other important considerations. For example, what happens if something goes wrong? Who is liable – you or the contractor?

Have a contingency plan

A good commercial building contractor will understand that your business needs a project completed on time. The future success of your enterprise will depend on it. But, even the best contractors, can hit stumbling blocks. Unforeseen problems can blight the best-managed commercial builds.

To protect your project from serious delays, ensure you have a contingency plan in place before you accept a single tender. You should set aside a sum that is representative of 10 per cent of the total build cost to cover unexpected problems. Consider the implications of a project over-running and have a Plan B in place. Also bear in mind that some contractors can be unreliable or that their work may be halted by extreme weather.

Building regulations matter

The Government constantly reviews and updates building regulations. To ensure your project meets the required standards from the outset, engage a good architect. As well as knowing all the relevant legal stuff, an architect will be able to help you maximise the use of space and really make your new commercial premises work for you.

When appointing a contractor to work on a commercial build, make sure they belong to a trade body and have the necessary qualifications and insurance. Ask to see references and evidence of their previous work. Ensure they are aware of any regulations pertinent to their work on the project.

You can find out whether your project will need Building Regulations Approval here.

Finding the right building contractor

There are many commercial building contractors in the South East. Which one should you choose? Finding a competent builder is pivotal to the project. Don’t let your choice be guided solely by price. Be prepared to pay a bit more to get a contractor with a solid background in similar projects. Be careful to ensure the business is financially sound, and get a price guarantee in place – so you are not lumbered with extra costs because of failings on the contractor’s part.

Know who does what on your building site and stay in touch with all contractors throughout the project. Staying in the loop will help you prepare for any problems and keep work on track. Check any guarantees and ensure you have them in writing. Be aware of who is responsible for work carried out by sub-contractors.

If something goes wrong

Occasionally, a dispute will arise between a business and a contractor during or after a commercial build. It is important, where possible, that you work together to resolve issues in a mutually beneficial way. If, however, you are still not happy, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors can help. It runs the world’s largest Dispute Resolution Service for the construction industry. Considered quicker and cheaper than pursuing a case through the courts, its trained professionals follow strict guidelines for the best outcomes.

To find out more, visit the Dispute Resolution Service.

For more advice, get in touch with our team on 01273 539124 or email us.

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