A. The answer to that depends on the size and complexity of your commercial build-out project but based on South Florida building permit requirements the answer may be yes.
Architects and commercial building contractors in Fort Lauderdale and south Florida view building design and construction differently. A licensed architect is schooled in design and engineering and will create floor plans and blueprints as required. An architect sometimes has a particular structural engineer that he works with. Structural engineers are often required to sign off on certain elements of plans like foundations and load bearing walls in order to pull permits. The architect can also make sure that the specifications in the plans are being met as the work progresses.
A Fort Lauderdale, south Florida licensed building contractor can also work with structural engineers and can follow and execute plans correctly.
A. Property owners can get their own building permits but the process is often complex and sometimes lengthy. In south Florida the building contractor usually files the applications for the permits and follows them through the process, answering any questions the building department may have.
Unless it is a very simple commercial build-out project, it is usually better to have the building contractor get the permits. In addition to speeding the process, when the contractor pulls the permits he is the one responsible for answering any questions the building department has during construction and permitting. A delay in answering questions to the satisfaction of the building department can slow a job by weeks or months.
The building contractor, by noting reasonable costs on the project application may be able to save money as permits are fee-based on the overall cost of the project.
A. Unless you are very experienced in work ranging from drywall, plumbing, electrical and stucco to framing and masonry, you are better off hiring a building contractor. Most commercial remodeling jobs will be more complicated and time consuming than you may think. On a commercial remodeling job the time demands alone may amount to almost a second full-time job.
The amount of money you save by doing the job supervision yourself may be worth far less than the time and possible errors that occur and have to be fixed. Unless it is a very small project get the help of a professional.
A. This is an area that has changed in recent times. Formerly property owners and building contractors were not liable for negligence on the part of independent subcontractors or their workers. The courts have changed that and now both the owner and the Fort Lauderdale or south Florida building contractor may be held liable for damages caused by negligence on the part of subcontractors.
Make sure your commercial building contractor has appropriate liability insurance and talk to your insurance agent to determine if you have the right coverage during construction.
After the first meeting, it’s time to move to the details that lead to a bid. You need to know that the South Florida building contractor has the experience and the staff to effectively supervise and execute your project. This is when you begin to ask the questions that will let you decide whether the fit is right or not. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Consider the quality of the products that the commercial building contractor is suggesting. Just choosing the least expensive materials may look good on your initial budget but may ultimately cost you money. A good south Florida building contractor can steer you through quality choices so you can make the best decisions not only for the short term budget but the long term effectiveness for you.
It is those choices along with the time required that will determine a fair price for your job. The lowest price may not be the best price as you may wind up paying later to add in things that should have been in the initial contract. This is the point where you make sure that all the details are addressed. An unscrupulous Fort Lauderdale building contractor may not specify the quality of windows or carpeting and give you a lower bid based on low quality items that you will regret. This lack of detail in your early negotiations is the first step toward costly change orders that you want to avoid later on.
An experienced Fort Lauderdale building commercial contractor should be able to help you cut costs where you can so that you stay in budget and still get the best possible outcome.
Ask for references and check online at www.myfloridalicense.com to see if the contractor’s license is current and if he or she has any complaints against them for past work.
Ask for bids from the building contractors you feel will do a good job for you and based on those bids negotiate your contract. Be as precise and detailed in the contract phase as you can. Don’t be afraid to hold back some portion of the payment until the project is complete and you have your occupancy permit. You may wish to have your attorney go over the contract as you would any other contract.
We are confident at Mulheron Construction that you will find our emphasis on communication coupled with our expertise and excellent track record to be a solid basis for a contractor/client relationship. Call us at 954-294-5504 to sit down and discuss your project and any questions you may have.