The Building Blog

Preparing to Use a General Contractor

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 15, 2017 1:10:48 PM / by Zoë Zankowski

Zoë Zankowski

preparing to use a general contractor


You’ve decided to renovate your office & you want to use a general contractor, now what? Here’s some quick advice to prepare you for your first interaction with your general contractor.

Have your budget & renovation priorities ready

Time is money – it’s best to start this process off as efficiently as possible. Come prepared with some basic information for your general contractor including your budget, and the main goals you are trying to accomplish during this renovation. This is the best way to start the conversation because your general contractor will be able to help guide you through how this money can be well spent knowing your end goals.

Bring the general contractor to your space

While your initial meeting could possibly take place at the general contractor’s office, you’ll want to also set aside time to bring them by your office space. Use this time wisely. The general contractor will be running an inspection and taking some quick measurements, but you should also be actively involved. Point out the main problem areas, and ask a LOT of questions. This is someone whom you are trusting with your whole business, it’s imperative that you’re both on the same page.

meeting your general contractor

Introduce the general contractor to your employees

You have your list of priorities and your budget in place, but you may not be aware of other concerns the people working for you have with your office space. Maybe they noticed an issue that you didn’t, or maybe they heard a complaint from a patient that they neglected to report to you. Allow them to share some input while still keeping to your main priorities – your general contractor doesn’t need to know if your receptionist wants a massage chair, but s/he does need to know if the receptionist has too small of a workspace.

Set some ground rules

Iron out the details of the lines of communication from the first interaction. What times of day and days of the week are best for you both to be reached? Is a phone call or an email the preferred method of communication? To whom should you each be reaching out – to each other’s receptionists, or directly to each other?

Transparency is key. You both need to be on the same page and know exactly how to get in touch with each other for any reason.

Plan the timeline

Communicate with your general contractor the timeline in which you need the renovation completed by – after all, you have to keep the business running, so time is of the essence. Pre-schedule check points throughout the project. These will be specific dates where certain tasks need to be completed by to keep the project on time. Make sure you both adhere to these check points.

These few steps are a great starting point for your first interaction with your general contractor. It is also a good idea for you to reach out to your general contractor prior to your first meeting to ask them if there are any key items s/he would like you to have prepared ahead of time – and do the same for them. Shoot them over some questions ahead of time so you’re both getting the most out of this initial meeting.

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Topics: office renovation, construction, general contractor