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I wish there was a simple "do’s and don’ts" on how to pick a contractor, but we believe the key ingredient (like in everyday life) is in the relationship. It is important to have on your team people who, in both good times and storms, can work together for the common cause, which in this case is your next project. Some of the basic things to look for are commitment to professional-quality construction, responsible business management, and reliable customer and warranty service. . Here are some specific questions to ask when choosing a contractor: - How long have they been in business?- Do they have workman’s compensation and general liability insurance? If so, make sure to obtain a proof of insurance from their carrier.- Do they understand that your involvement during the project and until its successful completion depends on effective communication and follow-through?- Will they maintain a safe and reasonably neat jobsite to prevent damage or injury?- Will they guarantee their work with a warranty?- Will they respond promptly to service calls and inquiries? For many manufacturers, your next project represents a sizeable investment. Like a personal investing decision, you should invest in a construction project with someone you trust. Here are some ways to determine the trustworthiness of your next contractor: - Get to know their owners and managers. Are they only concerned about making money or are they truly interested in pleasing you?- Are they giving something back to their community?- Check references to reassure yourself you are making the right choice. - Define your needs and wants- Look at trade magazines and accumulate photos or articles about what you want.- Think about traffic patterns, equipment placement, colors, lighting, and how you want to use the spaces.- Develop a budget of how much you would like to invest in the project.- Finally, pick your contractor and get started!