Selecting a Commercial General Contractor in Nashville TN

What is the first step in hiring a commercial contractor in Nashville, Tennessee? Do you type “commercial general contractor” into Google?.  Would you hire the first contractor that pops up?  Although you would have a contractor, is this contractor your best choice?  Will he be the one you need and is right for your project?  Above all, finding the right contractor is an important task.  It will ultimately drive the success of your project.



How to choose a commercial general contractor to fit your needs?

For this purpose, it can be as simple as hiring an architect.  You could use contractors the architect is familiar with and rely on the low bid amount for selection.  This plan can work.  But to be more secure in your choice, a little more work is needed. The previous low contractor may be more bound to the Architect than to you.  Or the bid may not contain what you expect it to contain.  Therefore, a qualification based contractor selection process is a smart option.

What should I look for when hiring a commercial general contractor?

Your contractor will be your business partner for the course of the job.  You want to choose someone:

  • Who lives, sleeps, and eats in your project’s locality.
  • Who is honest and ethical
  • Who has financial stability
  • Who is an excellent communicator
  • Who has experience
  • Who can adapt to fit the way you work
  • Who can balance your ideas with common sense
  • Who is cost savvy

Criteria to make your project successful

Most general commercial contractors with some history know how to do the basics.  On the other hand, not all are created equal.  So, what should you look for?  Above all, fit the contractor to the project.  It seems wise not to hire a home builder to build your power plant.  But you would also not hire a large national contractor to build a single story office building.  Primarily, hire someone who lives, sleeps, and eats locally.  Secondly, look for a ton of local experience and a focus on local work.  That contractor would know how to avoid the perils of local codes and permitting.  They can also identify the right local suppliers and subs to use to build your project.

The chosen contractor should adapt to fit the way you work and adapt to your ideas.  He should balance your ideas with common sense, best practice, and with concern with your cost goals. Problems are common on any construction project.  So, it is crucial to find someone who will act wisely and with mastery to resolve the issues.   A successful project has a smooth flow of communication.  You are going to be talking about things you want to see done.  Therefore, your contractor should be willing to work with your style of communication.  You will spend a lot of time in contact with your contractor.   A responsive contractor would want weekly and monthly update meetings along with daily communication.

Consider the project delivery method  

For some time, owners have been asking for the design and construction industry to shorten the delivery period of projects. Consequently, the construction industry, along with project owners, has adopted various forms of project delivery methods.  Your contractor should be well-versed in your chosen project delivery method.

Consider adopting a team approach over the usual design-bid-build method.  For solid reasons, the team approach and design-build are often used for the construction of any sized project.  Upfront teamwork between the owner and design-builder results in efficiency.  The team sets the budget and quality goals during the design and pre-construction phases.  This results in fewer changes during construction that affect the bottom line and schedule.  With design-build, there is a single source of responsibility for all issues related to design and construction.   The burden to integrate all project elements sits squarely with the design-build team.   The overlap of the planning, design, bidding, and construction phases can save time and shorten the project schedule.  This allows you to operate and generate revenue in your new facility sooner.

Advice when selecting a commercial general contractor

Some great advice when looking to hire a contractor is to start early and allow plenty of time. Unfortunately, many owners, only look at the bottom line.  Let’s face it, would you trust your heart surgery to generic specs and the lowest bidder?  The impact of contractor errors or failure are many and range from small fusses to major lawsuits and worse.

The best way to find a contractor is the same way you find a doctor or other professional.  Initially, ask your circle of friends, acquaintances, and other business owners.  Look for successful projects similar in scope and ask who built them.  In addition, after you have narrowed your list, ask for a list of references and call them.   Perform due diligence, and you will find a contractor you feel comfortable with and trust.

Benefits of selecting the “right” commercial general contractor

Companies who invest time to find an experienced contractor with a high level of integrity enjoys many benefits. The right contractor can ease a business owner’s mind.   As a result, they can then focus on making their businesses successful and profitable.  Carden Company can be “that” contractor for your Nashville or Middle Tennessee project.