I am in the process of interviewing contractors right now, assembling my dream team for erecting my first bar. Contractors or builders come in all shapes and sizes, literally and figuratively. Normally I wouldn’t endorse a triangulated relationship but as one builder fondly referred to it as a three-legged stool, and this makes perfect sense.
In one corner we have Jen Doak (that’s me), the one with only a few absolutes in this design process. There are several ideas and “feelings” in my head/heart that I anxiously await to bounce off the professionals.
In another corner is the architect Shed Built (www.shedbuilt.com) and lastly the builder (unknown at this point).
There is a new vocabulary to learn, spreadsheets to analyze, and questions to ask. Here are the questions I have so far:
· Are you licensed?
· Do you carry general liability insurance?
· Do you have workers comp insurance?
· Do you guarantee your work?
· Will you provide me with written lien waivers?
· Will you be in charge once the project starts?
· Do you pull all the required bldg permits?
· What professional organizations are you a member of?
· Request references from several suppliers
· Request references from several subs
· Have a detailed conversation on how billing & verification of invoices, hours, etc. will be worked
· How will you perform quality checks, re-do's (get this in writing)
· Make sure I am the one who picks out the materials. Let them know I want to be very involved in picking out hardware and paint and flooring and everything else.
· Make sure they won’t be taking any vacations mid-job
· What type of deposit do you require?
· How do you stay on schedule or to a specific timeline?
I am excited and nervous for this component. It will complete the design team and I know how important it is. Not to mention, it makes this dream more of a reality. I bet the food and drinks will taste better when I’m not just thinking about them but seeing them and experiencing in a real space, with real smells, and real people.