Ready to begin building your Pet Franchise Store?
Know these tips before you hiring a contractor and signing contracts to begin construction and follow this guide to make the best selection for your own Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique
Establishing a store is an enormous task. But before you can open your doors, you need to remodel the commercial space to meet the needs and specifications of a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. Durability, proper plumbing, and retail space all need to be configured into construction plans. The first step in the process is hiring a good contractor. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has composed a list of 8 essential tips that you should take into account before hiring a contractor.
Finding Contractors for Your Pet Franchise Build Out
First time franchisees can ask friends and family about their past experiences who have done remodeling to seek out potential contractors. Platforms like Craiglist, Angielist, and local classifieds can be used to find contractors. You can then cross-reference through Better Business Bureau (BBB), and National Centers for Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF) to ensure validity.
The goal is to comb through potential contractors to find three potentials before obtaining your floor plans. Next, you will send floor plans to each contractor. Each contractor will review the floor plans and offer an estimate. Compare prices, credibility, and the timeline of the construction project to find the perfect match.
When calling contractors it’s good practice to do a quick phone interview to find out if they are a match for your project. Have your township, shopping plaza, name, and zip code on hand for quick reference.
When questioning a prospect contractor the following are good questions to ask:
1. Do you do work in my area? a. How far is the commute?
2. I will need services in framing, drywall, painting, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. Do you have access to all of these services?
3. Have you taken on projects of this size before? a. Can you provide any references?
4. Are you currently taking on multiple jobs or will this be your full time project during the time you’re on site?
5. Do you have a relationship with an architect that will be able to convert our working drawings into the necessary blueprints for permitting? a. Who covers the cost of the architect and blueprints?
6. Will you be able to provide all of the permits necessary for the work or will I have to attain them before hand, on my own?
7. How is your pricing structured? Do you group labor and supplies into one cost or am I paying for them separately?
Bids Should Be Itemized
When searching for potential contractors communication is key. One of the best ways of detailing communication between you and a contractor is to have them itemize the bid. Flat-rate based pay is not ideal. It leaves room for unexpected costs and hidden fees. An itemized list will detail all expenses. If there is any deviation from contract or change to construction plans, an itemized bid allows you reimbursement for any changes to the plan. Having a detailed bid also makes it easier to compare different bids, and re-evaluate your own finances to cut costs. Itemized bids also protect you from any disputes in pricing.
There is a difference between an estimate, or proposal, and a bid. A bid is contractual and price points are solidified, while an estimate is the step toward the process of signing a bid, and is not binding. A bid should cover the following elements of the job:
- Lighting Fixtures
- Floor Installations
- Electrical Work
- Labor Costs
How to evaluate proposals?
After meeting with a contractor and having a site inspected a few inquiries need to be worked out between you and potential contractors. Are there any unknown variables that will hinder the process of drawing up a contract? Have the contractor inspect crawl spaces, open walls, and check the roof integrity. This helps phase out any unknowns that could affect pricing later.
Standards also vary by state, so contingency based on store location should be taken into account. If you live in an area that requires contractor licenses or certificates of insurance can your potential contractor provide proof of these documents? The rule of thumb when evaluating proposals is clarity. Does the contractor explain everything included in the job? Are costs clear?
If you are not very savvy with paperwork you may want to reach out to the local officials at your local town/city planning board.
This is typically the same place as if you where to get a permit for a home remodel project.
Established Credibility on Criteria of Pet Franchise
There a few signs that automatically show signs of unprofessionalism when first meeting contractors. Organizations like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the National Centers for Prevention of Home Improvement Fraud (NCPHIF), are excellent institutions to draw from to help weed out con artists. Even simple things like having a business card, local address, and finding out how long the contractor has been in business helps you discern credibility. credibility.
Ask for references. Many times the pro-desk at your local home improvement center can offer insight into local contractors in the area. Contact past clients and ask them about their satisfaction with the job. Construction is a huge expense and if you are not completely satisfied with your choice don’t sign a contract. Is the contractor part of a union or trade association that stipulates a code of ethics, trade exams, minimum hours of work?
A reliable contractor will disclose their network of suppliers. Standard contractors should be steadily involved with proprietors of the following:
- Tile Shops
- Kitchen/Bathroom Showrooms
- Lumber Yards
- Large scale construction equipment rental centers/Own their own
- State Attorney General Office
Shake Hands with the Job Foreman
In some cases the contractor is not the actual person who will be at the construction site daily. Contractors usually are the ones bidding work and organizing material supplies. The person you will want to meet is the job foreman–the person who will actually be swinging hammers. Will the foreman be there everyday, and are they the official on-site supervisor? How many construction teams does the foreman employ?
Although you will most likely be in contact with the contractor, it is always important to meet the people who will physically be there. You will want the foreman to put his best team on the job. If the job foreman seems unreliable this may be a sign to pull out, or consider another bid. The contractor may be the most professional person in world, but will only visit the construction site once or twice.
Timing and Execution
As part of clear communication you will need to know every aspect of the project. The start date and completion date will need to be included in the bid. Any external factors like simultaneous projects and weather obstacles will need to be discussed just in case. Does the project site share workers from other sites, or will they solely work on your pet franchise?
Paperwork that Should be Provided
- Contractor license
- Certification of Insurance
- General Liability/Warranty
- Itemized Bid
- Including Material and Labor
- Detailed Contract
- Labor specifics
- Time Schedules
- Payment Schedules
Do Not Hire if These Things are Happening
- Contractor Asks for Payment Up Front
- Cash Only
- Avoids Written Contract
- Door-to-Door Business
- P.O. Boxes
- Vehicles Used Outside of Commercial Use
- Offers to Pay Insurance Deductible