When planning a commercial construction project there are some common questions you should ask before breaking ground.  Understanding the basics before starting construction is imperative to having a successful build.  When dealing with prospective contractors, you should make sure you ask these top questions to prevent surprises and disappointment.

Cost

Knowing how much a project will cost is typically the main deciding factor when contemplating a commercial construction undertaking.  By planning carefully and keeping reasonable expectations you and your contractor should be able to come up with a reasonable estimate.  Make sure to take into account the possibility of cost overruns and unexpected problems.  Once you have an understanding of your potential cost, you can move on to other important questions.

Time

Knowing how long a commercial construction project will take will play a major role in your future plans.  Having a shaky idea of when a project will be finished can wreak havoc on opening dates, potential income and future budgeting.  Similarly, having a realistic idea of the duration of a project is much more important than being unreasonably optimistic.  Understand that a schedule should be a guideline and not a fixed declaration.

Permits

When doing any type of construction work you should always ask about permits.  Permits are typically needed for most types of building and doing so without the proper permission can result in major problems further down the road.  Talking to your contractor as well as your municipal regulators before you start construction will save you time, money and headaches in the future.

Design

Understanding who will be responsible for the design of the project is imperative.  Contractors are not necessarily designers.  And if you aren’t either, you should, at minimum, have plans in place to hire one.  Find out if your contractor has the ability to offer design services or contract them out if necessary.

 Downtime

You should understand how much downtime your business will experience before going ahead with a project.  It may be possible to continue working through the entire undertaking, but you shouldn’t assume that to be the case.  Downtime could have a significant impact on your business, so planning for it, or around it, may be vital to the life of your company.