10 Things to Ask Your Commercial General Contractor

A commercial building project can be a stressful undertaking, but with the right contractor to help you through the process, it does not have to be! Choosing a company that has the experience and ability to help you from design through occupancy is the key to success. In order to help you with the selection process, we have provided 10 questions that you should ask every commercial general contractor before selecting the company that is the right fit for your project.

  1. How long have you been in business? Enthusiasm is great, but experience is better. Make sure that your contractor has an extensive portfolio that establishes a track record of excellence. With each year a commercial general contractor is in business, they will establish relationships with other professionals in the community, and a good understanding of all the relevant rules and regulations that might impact your project.
  2. Are you Licensed, Bonded, and Insured? Commercial contractors who are properly bonded and insured have coverage that protects their company, their employees and you if something goes wrong. Without this coverage, you may be liable if someone working on the property is injured or find yourself stuck with the bill for property damage that occurs during construction.
  3. What types of construction services do you offer? Some commercial general contractors only tackle the actual construction. Others, like Fraser Construction, can handle both the design and the construction of a project. Fraser Construction can even go a step further and offer construction management services, which means that we handle everything from preplanning, design and construction to engineering and project management. Understanding what services a commercial general contractor can provide and how they might benefit you allows you to make the best choice for your project and many times can save you money in the long-run.
  4. What Changes or Problems Could Impact My Project? In a perfect world, everything would go as planned. In the real world, stuff happens, so it makes sense to be aware of the possibilities so that you can prepare for them. What problems might arise? Discuss these options with your contractor. How might they impact the timing and cost of the project? Contingency plans are quite normal when discussing how to complete a project. Depending on the time of the year, materials and weather might be an issue.
  5. How do you deal with necessary changes? Problems happen; it is how they are dealt with that matters. Be sure to understand how the change order process is handled by your contractor and have a clear agreement about how to handle challenges that may affect your budget.
  6. How often do projects miss deadlines? Deadlines are essential to the building process and missing them can become quite costly. Ask your contractor about the scheduling process and why deadlines may have been missed.
  7. How is your safety record? A company that provides a safe environment for their employees and sub-contractors clearly cares about its people. Check on your contractor’s safety record in order to protect your own liability as well.
  8. Do you offer a guaranteed price? Many contractors offer a guaranteed price, but be sure to cover the details about anything that might not fall under that guarantee. There may be some changes that you will be financially responsible for even though the contractor uses the term “guarantee.” Get these particulars in writing with a detailed contract.
  9. Who Will Be My Main Contact? If you have questions or concerns, you don’t want to waste time tracking down the person in charge. Ask who will be in charge of your project. If it’s someone other than the person you’re speaking with, inquire about meeting them. Talking to this person will give you a sense of the potential working relationship that you’d have with them. What are their qualifications? Do they seem reliable, open and honest? Can you communicate effectively with them? Will they be spending a good amount of time on the project site? What will be their method of communication? Depending on the size of the project, you will be communicating with this project manager for quite some time. Be sure that your communication styles and personalities are compatible.
  10. What Sets Your Company Apart from Other Commercial Construction Companies? This question gives the contractor an opportunity to shine and gives you some insight into the contractor, their viewpoint and their priorities. It may also raise issues that you hadn’t considered, which can be incredibly helpful.

5-Minute Interview with Sylvester Brockington on the Beaufort County Courthouse

Fraser Construction is currently in the throes of the Beaufort County Courthouse renovation. Here is a five-minute interview with Superintendent Sylvester Brockington on that project.

What is your role in the project?

SB:  I’m the superintendent in charge of the exterior and vertical walls. I’m working with two other superintendents, Wayne Gray and Mike Abendshein, who are overseeing the interior.

Argent Lakes September 2020

Argent Lakes at Pulte's Sun City has a new pavilion. Check out all the details of this new "Grill N' Chill" in our video blog!

Beaufort Council Approves Mossy Oak Fire Station

On January 20th, Island Packet Staff Writer Erin Moody Reported that After years of discussing and revising plans -- and discussing and revising them again -- Beaufort is getting a new fire station.

With little fanfare Tuesday night, City Council unanimously approved a $2.55 million contract for the new Mossy Oaks station with Fraser Construction, although Councilman Phil Cromer had legal questions and Councilman Mike McFee asked about some of the materials and fire codes.

But "I figure, since they're a fire company, they can put that out," he quipped.

The total project cost is expected to be $3.3 million, which includes land acquisition and improvements, an alley access road and a stormwater project. That's more than $1 million more than originally anticipated.

The project has its roots in a 2008 plan to renovate the existing fire station. More than $2.2 million was set aside from low-interest bonds sold at the time to raise money for projects, including the new City Hall and a courts and police building.

The plan was set aside in 2009 because of the recession.

In recent years, project goals changed to focus on replacing the 45-year-old Mossy Oaks station, at 2519 Mossy Oaks Road, with a building at 1120 Ribaut Road. What the city will do with the old building hasn't been determined, according to city finance director Kathy Todd.

The plan for the new facility is for a 10,000-square-foot neighborhood station that could be renovated into a joint Port Royal and Beaufort headquarters, if desired.

The two-story, red-brick fire station will face Ribaut Road, so engines can pull directly onto the main thoroughfare. Parking and vehicle access will be to the south through a rear alley.

As plans moved forward, problems including sandy soil, drainage and access pushed back the start date and pushed up costs by $570,000.

Fraser, one of five companies that bid on the project, originally bid $2.79 million. That was reduced by about $250,000 through additional project review.

With those additional costs, the project overran funding by more than $550,000, which City Council chose to take out of the $765,000 in the assigned capital projects fund.

"These are your dollars to go to for these types of things," city manager Scott Dadson told council members last week.

Other funding came from: $2.27 million from the bonds; $109,000 from the stormwater fund; $360,000 from the committed fund balance set aside for the purchase of land; and $3,750 from a fund related to an S.C. Electric and Gas agreement.

Fraser will have 250 days to complete the fire station, after it gets the go-ahead from city officials in the coming weeks.

Beaufort County courthouse renovation underway

Fraser Construction is underway on the $13.4 million renovation of the Beaufort County Courthouse and the Beaufort Gazette has taken notice. On August 10th the newspaper published an article showcased our crews underway and explained how the renovation came about after the county won a three year legal settlement because of faulty stucco on the building.

Belfair Announces New Addition

Bloomfield Senior Living announced in the Bluffton Sun on June 19th that they have selected local contractor Fraser Construction Company to serve as the lead contractor on its new 25-apartment addition to Belfair Gardens, an Alzheimer’s and dementia care assisted living community.

We chose Fraser Construction because they clearly have the ability and expertise to realize our continues vision for exceptional memory  care with our built-by-design concept,” said Lara Williams, executive director at Belfair Gardens.

Bloomfield Senior Living announced in the Bluffton

Bloomfield Senior Living announced in the Bluffton Sun on June 19th that they have selected local contractor Fraser Construction Company to serve as the lead contractor on its new 25-apartment addition to Belfair Gardens, an Alzheimer’s and dementia care

Bloomfield Senior Living announced in the Bluffton Sun on June 19th that they have selected local contractor Fraser Construction Company to serve as the lead contractor on its new 25-apartment addition to Belfair Gardens, an Alzheimer’s and dementia care

Finishing a month ahead of schedule, Spinnaker Development's Bluewater Resort Timeshare Building 6200 is open for Business. The 28 Unit condo was 88% occupied for its grand opening!

Bluffton Fire Department Breaks Ground on New Vehicle Maintenance Facility

Fraser Construction has broken ground on the Bluffton Township Fire Department’s new vehicle maintenance facility. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 21st with Chief John Thompson dedicating the building to the late Fire commissioner Robert Rogers.
The facility will be 12,000 SF with 3 large apparatus maintenance bays, 2 small truck maintenance bays, offices and storage. The site will also have training facility and a fire tower. The design-build team of Fraser Construction, Court Atkins, Cranston Engineering and Optim Engineering came up with a 1 story pre-engineered metal building structure matching the nearby station 30. The project was design over the summer of 2015 while the district secured bond funding, and the pre-engineered steel is on site ready to go while the pad and slab finish up.
Vera Rogers attended the groundbreaking ceremony on behalf of her husband, who died in November. Rogers’ love for being a firefighter began at a young age and followed him throughout his life, from living in Maryland and working in a segregated department to moving to Bluffton and joining the fire district. As he watched Bluffton grow, he pushed for the town to support growth within the district. “If he was here today, he would be very happy because his love became a true thing,” Rogers said. “I am very pleased because he spent so much time in Bluffton and he pushed for so much.”

Bluffton Fire Station #30 Breaks Ground

The New Bluffton Fire Station #30 has broken ground at the corner of Burnt Church and Ulmer Road and will take about 9 months to be complete. Fraser Construction will be building the project with the help of subcontractors such as JS sitework construction who is currently doing the clearing.

Chris Kardish with the Bluffton Today reported on the event on Sept. 23. The building will replace the existing station which looks like an old tin shed compared to the plans for the new station. The fire department and chief are very excited about the new facility. A ground breaking ceremony will be set some time in October. 

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