1. When would you have to begin construction to meet my opening date? 

-The date you need to open is of great importance to you and your contractor.  Communicate what your needs are so it can be factored into the timelines.  Every project is different in terms of how long they take to complete.  Your contractor can tell you how long it will take to do a quality job, given all the various factors, including when you want to open.


2. How much will my project cost?

-Ask multiple contractors how much a project of your size will cost. Some contractors may send you preliminary  pricing once they have a chance to do a full estimation, and that will give you a general idea.  Remember, the lowest  cost doesn’t necessarily mean the best results.


3. Have you completed other similar projects? 

-In addition to asking about speed and price, find out what experience the potential contractors have with jobs like yours.  Ask about the details and timelines of completed similar projects.


4. Do you have a backlog of projects? 

-A key piece of information is knowing how many projects a contractor is currently undertaking. You don’t want them to fall behind on your project or start it later than anticipated.  Ask about the company’s size and about how many projects they typically handle at one time.


5. What is your bonding capacity? 

-Depending on the contractor’s current projects it’s important to understand if they will be able to bond your project. For many projects, construction can’t start until they have the correct bonding.


6. What is your safety record? 

-Safety is the upmost importance on any job site. Choosing a contractor with a great EMR record allows you to understand their safety and vigilance on a job site. Choose a contractor whose EMR rating meets or exceeds the industry standard of 1.0 or less.


7. Have you won any industry awards? 

-This may seem like an odd question, but awards help demonstrate that a company has pride in their work and so do the industry professionals.


8. Can I make changes during construction? 

-Changes may need to happen during construction.  Find out how the contractor typically handles change requests and how changes will impact the schedule and cost. Some changes may add cost outside of the budget,


9. How can you save me money? 

-Ask the contractor about their value engineering processes. Value engineering can save you money in the long run!


10. Who will be my main point of contact?

-Being able to get in contact with someone during your project is extremely important. Will you only be speaking with Project Managers, or even as high as the Project Executive or Principal-In-Charge? Communication is key to a successful project.