Commercial construction high rise building under construction

When we refer to commercial construction, we’re talking about construction in the private sector.

Commercial construction projects are for the building and selling of business structures such as offices, retail centers, warehouses, and industrial buildings. Business owners, managers, and developers hire general contractors to build or remodel their commercial structure.

Commercial construction is a project overseen and built by a general contractor company. General contractors may work in various sectors of construction such as both commercial and residential. The difference in these parts of the construction world is that residential construction projects are for individual housing projects.

A general contractor might be educated and experienced in both residential and commercial construction, but they may only serve one of these sectors of the industry. Some general contractors may only service select industries, so when choosing to hire a commercial contracting company, ask them what type of industries they serve.

General contractors may also hire subcontractors to work on a project if they don’t have the proper amount of workers or knowledge in a specific field of the project, such as plumbing.

8 Common Types of Commercial Construction Projects

Commercial construction is a vast sector of construction that covers a multitude of projects. Some of the most common commercial construction projects include the following.

  1. Restaurants
  2. Medical Facilities
  3. Retail & Grocery Stores
  4. Shopping Malls
  5. Accommodation (Hotels, Apartments, etc)
  6. Industrial Structures (Factories, Warehouses)
  7. Institutional Buildings (High Schools, Universities)
  8. Sports Facilities

Levels of Commercial Construction

There are plenty of commercial construction projects that general contractors build, however, there are various levels of construction. The quote for your project and how it’s handled depends on the scale of the project. We can throw projects into 3 different scales of commercial construction.

Small-scale

Smaller projects such as office space redesigns, structure updates, and many building repairs fall under small-scale commercial construction. This is typically less-costly and requires minimum personnel from the general contractor’s side of things. For business owners thinking of rebranding, opening up spaces, or adding extensions to the structure, these would fall under small-scale commercial construction. Think of it as a facelift to your building or office space.

Medium-scale

Over time, buildings start to lose the fresh look and flair they once had. They also start to get old and so do the materials. Medium-scale commercial construction projects are for business owners that are looking for a building restructure, additional structures (expansions), remodels, or other more time-consuming projects.

Large-scale

Large-scale commercial construction projects are those that start from the ground up. Essentially, there is no already-built structure. The construction crew will work with an architect or developer to create a new structure that’s entirely based on the business owner’s vision. Large-scale commercial construction projects require a lot of time, preparation, and development to ensure a successful build. After the purchase of the land and the zoning codes, construction is typically ready to start. There may be some other elements that infringe on the development of construction, such as the demolition of an older structure.

What Are The Different Types of Commercial Buildings?

When choosing a commercial build, clients find themselves looking for the right type of build for their project. The land purchased and zoning codes will dictate what type of structure can be built in that part of the city. Once zoning codes have been acquired, the commercial contractor will have a better perspective for what type of build the client is wanting.

Commercial buildings can be any one of the following:

Hire a Local Commercial Contracting Company

Before you start on a commercial construction project, take the time to perform the necessary steps for a successful build. If you are in the market to start on your commercial construction project in Colorado, contact us at H3 Construction and Design to handle your construction and remodeling needs. We are licensed and insured construction contractors that only use the best materials, handled by the crew with the most experience.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment for a free estimate on your commercial construction project in Colorado. No build is too big or too complex!

Denver construction contractors working on site

It’s an exciting time when a new commercial construction is being planned for the business. Commercial construction projects show growth for a company, and we love to hear that! However, there are a few things you should know about and plan ahead before starting on a commercial construction project.

At H3 Construction, we are experts in commercial building projects, so we know a thing or two about how to plan for a successful construction.

Use this checklist for the planning of your construction project to save yourself time and headaches.

1. Create a Realistic Budget

You might be very excited to get started on this build and the company owners are ecstatic, but try to be realistic with your budget. If you have a financial department, they will work with you for creating a practical budget to spend on the commercial construction project. If you don’t have a financial team, then you should take as much time as you can to calculate a budget that won’t damage the business.

You don’t want to spend too much on a project, but a commercial build can be quite expensive.

In 2018, the total cost of total construction spending in the United States alone was over $1.29 trillion. Commercial spending in 2017 was estimated at $85 billion.

Using a cost estimation calculator will help you to at least have a rough estimation as to the maximum cost your project should require. A quality job could cost anywhere from $100,000 to several million. Judging the costs means calculating the square footage of the building, where the materials are sourced, and the cost of the labor. On top of these costs, you will need building insurance, which will significantly add to the end cost of the construction.

Commercial construction costs can include:

  1. Manufacturer costs (building materials)
  2. General contractors (for assembling the building materials)
  3. Subcontractors (optional: hired on for specialty services)
  4. Brokers (optional: to negotiate with manufacturers for material prices)
  5. Insurance (for the building, materials, and other services)

2. Choose a Location

This is very obvious, but the location matters the most for the type of construction project you can build. You most likely already have a location in mind for where you would like the construction project, but location choice goes hand-in-hand with budgeting and zoning. Though you may want a seven-story building with an underground garage, you may not have the authority to make your dream come true.

Be careful when deciding on a location and if you are using a commercial property agent to help you with the property acquisition, then clearly inform them about your vision. Property agents will have an understanding for what type of commercial buildings are allowed to be built on the land. Don’t buy the land unless you know you can legally build the structure you are wanting.

3. Acquire Zoning Permits

After you have a location in mind and you have a vision that you know you can legally build on the land, you need to acquire zoning permits. Local zoning requirements refer to what type of buildings or structures you can build on the land. Zoning codes dictate the structures built on the plot of land you’ve purchased. That is why it’s very important you take time in deciding which land you are purchasing for the build.

Before H3 restaurant construction build in Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado construction project - Before

The zoning permit you acquire will have details for the structures and divisions of the land. Once you have obtained your zoning permit(s) from the local zoning department, you can proceed with obtaining your building permit. Building permits are used for the architecture of the building. Essentially, the building’s physical features, safety, and how it will affect the surrounding area.

Both zoning permits and building permits are necessary to acquire before you can even start on the commercial construction project.

4. Choose a Start to Finish Date

You must have a rough idea of when the project will be completed. When does the construction project need to be finished? Are you planning on using the building this upcoming summer? 

Think about the purpose that the end-project will serve. If you need an additional office space because you have more staff on hand, then you might want to have the project done faster. But if you aren’t as concerned about the completion date, this will provide more time that may be needed to ensure the build is of the highest quality.

The general contractors (GCs) you higher for the construction assembly will require a timeline. If you need the build accomplished faster, then the GCs may need more hands on deck. The construction contractors working on the project have a start to finish process. Paint needs to dry, the weather can impede on the days worked, manufacturers can be late on material shipments, etc.

These factors are discussed with you by the supervising GC, also known as the project manager. Informing the project manager when you want the start and finish dates of the project will give them a better perspective. They will provide you with realistic dates for the project based on their processes.

5. Request Bids from Commercial Construction Companies

After you have the main logistics planned, you’ll need a commercial construction company to start on assembly. As stated before, the construction company will need specific details of the build. They can’t get started without the proper documentation for the plot of land and building.


Construction companies will “bid” on your project. This bidding process is the company providing you with a proposal for the build. You will want to contact at least three companies to learn what makes them so unique and which company is right for the job. Their bids rely on how long the project will take, square footage of the building, materials to use, subcontractors to hire, and the architecture of the structure.

H3 Fort Collins commercial construction zone in progress

If you don’t have a blueprint or design in mind for the project, construction companies will sometimes have a professional architect on their team. This comes in handy because you’ll have direct contact between the architect and the construction crew. The architect knows what’s possible for their crew’s experience and expertise.

6. Choose a Licensed and Insured Construction Company

Never hire a construction company that isn’t licensed or insured! Licensing and insurance takes the stress off of your shoulders and claims the construction company as liable for defects, damages, or negligence.

The licensing allows them to work in your state for construction builds. They will need commercial construction licensing to deal with commercial buildings. Each contractor that works on the project will need to be licensed to perform their services.

Insurance financially protects you from out-of-pocket expenses and keeps your assets safe. The construction company should acquire insurance for the materials, their services, and worker’s compensation. A construction company that doesn’t offer worker’s compensation is one that doesn’t care for its workers. This should be a good indicator for the quality of services and ethics of the construction company.

7. Request 3D Renderings of the Finished Build

With new technology, construction companies and architects can provide you with 3D renderings of the finished construction project before they even get started! Companies that offer 3D renderings go into great detail for making your vision come to life. This is the ultimate blueprint of your project and truly puts into perspective the work that needs to go into the build.

After H3 restaurant construction build in Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado construction project - After

You may also request 3D renderings of multiple versions of your build. Maybe you haven’t officially decided on the design or color scheme for the structure? The building designers can create build variations for you to choose from.

Conclusion

Your commercial construction project is an amazing achievement, but will take time and a lot of moving pieces to complete it. By following this checklist of pre-planning for the initial build, you’ll be better prepared to jump into this project with confidence.

A construction project doesn’t need to be stressful, and you shouldn’t have to do all of the work yourself. Hire a local commercial construction company with integrity and experience to oversee the success of the build

We at H3 Construction & Design have been in the commercial construction business for years, serving small businesses and large companies all over Colorado. We serve Denver, Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder, and the surrounding cities. We are a licensed and insured construction company, ready to take on any commercial build size! Contact us today to schedule a consultation for your project at (970) 515-2264.

Taking on a building construction or remodel is no easy task. You have to think about the permitting, zone regulations, state laws, budgeting, and so much more. Whether it’s a small project like an addition to a building or a project as big as constructing a new building from the ground up, there are a lot of moving parts and expertise necessary to properly initiate and complete the project.

Luckily, there are people who are trained in commercial construction and design! General contractors that specialize in commercial construction are your go-to professionals for anything related to construction and design for your building. But what exactly does a commercial contractor do and how can they help you with your construction project?

What is a Commercial General Contractor?

Construction personnel reviewing blueprints for construction build

Commercial contractors are general contractors who have experience in commercial construction for businesses. A general contractor (GC) is a professional construction company or worker that is in charge of overseeing the construction site, materials, equipment, vendors, and contractors or subcontractors that work on your construction or remodel project. They ensure the project is going smoothly and if there are any discrepancies from the beginning of the construction project to the end.

Great commercial building contractors will also have a team of specialized designers to help with the interior design of the building (if applicable). The commercial contractor will work and communicate with vendors, staff, subcontractors, designers, and architects when it comes to the project at hand. Commercial contractors are the only ones who know how to create an incredible structure that is safe and serves the intended purpose for years to come without collapsing. Basically, they make all of your dreams come true!

Commercial Contractor vs Residential Contractor

Commercial contractors are very different from residential contractors. Generally speaking, commercial construction will be much more complex than residential. Commercial buildings and offices tend to be larger and consist of different materials, budgeting, timeframe, codes and regulations than residential construction. Good commercial contractors understand the differences between working on something like a house and a hospital.

Responsibilities

When hiring a commercial contractor, the expectations of their role and responsibilities include:

There are a lot of responsibilities when it comes to being a commercial contractor working on a large project. The larger or unique the project, the more complicated it becomes and the importance of hiring a commercial contractor with a lot of experience is the top priority. Among other things, your main expectations are for the commercial contractor to be professional, work with your timeline for the finished project, and keep to your budget.

What Type of Work Does a Commercial Contractor Do?

Cranes being used for construction site

A commercial contractor will have experience working with construction projects such as offices, restaurants, medical facilities, retail stores, recreational facilities, and warehouses. Plenty of construction projects require contracting licensing and city permits. It is vital that a commercial contractor will have a license in order to work on a project and adhere to the laws and regulations in the jurisdiction.

If you want a new build, reconstruction of a building, redesigning of a building, additional offices or structures, a commercial contractor is the professional you want working on your project. The commercial contractor will be in charge of purchasing materials and informing other contractors working on the project as to how and where the materials should be installed. If there are any problems with the material choices purchased, the contractor will contact the material vendor and negotiate for replacements or new materials.

Aside from overseeing the entirety of the construction site and project from start to finish, the commercial contractor is in charge of the hiring process of other contractors and subcontractors. Subcontractors are hired to perform unique or specialized tasks that other contractors can’t or are missing the credentials for. Subcontractors can be individuals or businesses that specialize in plumbing, electrical work, carpeting, painting, or other significant roles that require experience and possibly other forms of expertise credentials that a general contractor most likely won’t have.

How to Hire a Commercial Contractor

H3 construction zone in Colorado in progress

It seems like a lot of work to have a successful and safe construction project, doesn’t it? Well, it is, and there’s no sugar-coating that. However, hiring a commercial general contractor is the best way to give yourself and your business peace of mind and know that the project will be a success!

Here is a list of steps and qualifications you’ll need to go through to hire a good commercial contractor for the job.

Research Local Commercial Contractors

It might seem very obvious, but it’s the first step in hiring a commercial contractor with construction and remodeling experience. Local contractors are going to have the proper licensing in your construction site’s state. They will also have better experience dealing with the natural environment and have a list of sources to purchase materials and hire subcontractors.

To find local commercial contractors, you can contact different property management groups in the area for contractors that worked on their construction projects. This might take more time, but you’ll get a list of referrals to choose from that you know have experience in projects similar to yours.

Find properties or structures that are similar to the exterior and interior designs that you want for your business, then perform outreach to find the contractor(s) who worked on them. Be on the lookout for positive experiences, not just the cost or timeliness of the work provided by the contractor. Cheaper and faster doesn’t mean better and efficient.

Another way to find local commercial contractors is to search online. Perform a search on Google or Bing for something like “commercial contractors near me” to find contractors in your area. Your search results will be based on proximity and you can choose the nearest commercial contractor. If your project will be in a different city or state, then type and search for “commercial contractors (city)” to find a local contractor in the appropriate city.

Your results will look something like this:

Google search for commercial contractors loveland

The hiring of a local commercial contractor with experience and great reviews is key to a successful construction project. Check reviews, testimonials, and rating scores online for the commercial contractor you think would best fit the project.

Next, visit their website (if they have one) to see a few projects they’ve worked on in the past. Only choose a commercial contractor who has good work experience with their previous clients. You don’t want to be working with someone who is difficult or overcharges you and the company.

Know the Cost of the Project and the Contractor’s Services

Obviously, there is a budget in place for your project, whether it’s a remodel or a new construction. Complications can become visible when the commercial contractor’s cost of service is higher than your budget. Your budget shouldn’t be sky-high, but also shouldn’t be ground-low. The budget dictates what materials you can afford, the type of insurance you can acquire, and who you can afford.

First, get an estimated price for the overall costs of the construction. This price is typically formulated by the structure’s square footage, insurance, and location. Next, contact a couple of commercial contractors to “bid” on the job. Sometimes, they’ll work lower than the anticipated budget. Their bids (costs) are calculated by hours to be worked, insurance and bonding, overhead costs, materials, industry type, geography and location, and a few other essentials. They’ll let you know if your budget fits the build or redesign. 

Construction costs can be anywhere from $40 to $225 per square foot. This is subject to change and an estimation of costs will be required for the commercial contractor.

Hire a Licensed Commercial Contractor

Licensed commercial contractors are legally allowed to work in your project’s state and jurisdiction. They are well-equipped for the job with knowledge of necessary permits, zone regulations, materials to be used, other contractors for hire, and project management. Never hire a commercial contractor who isn’t licensed, as they aren’t experienced to work the job and can’t easily be held liable for problems that occur at the project site.

Ask for Proof of Insurance

If a worker is injured on the job or someone makes a mistake to the build, insurance will save you a headache and money. Only hire a commercial contractor who has insurance to take care of liability and worker’s compensation. They are in charge of the project, materials, and other contractors, so liability costs shouldn’t be on your hands.

The insurance will be part of the contracting bid costs, but don’t assume the contractor automatically has insurance. Ask them for proof of insurance so you know for a fact that they are insured.

Friendliness and Professionalism

It should go without saying that you don’t want to work with a contractor who is unprofessional or even rude. A good commercial contractor will know how to deal with even the most difficult of situations without losing their composure.

When you make first contact with the contractor, get a feel for how they respond to complicated questions. Take into consideration their tone, professionalism, and the ability to comprehend what you are requiring of them. You also don’t want to work with someone or a team that doesn’t understand your vision for the build. Just remember, first impressions are the most important and should take time for both of you to get to know one another at the professional level.

If you aren’t comfortable with them taking on the project based on how they interact with you, then it’s safe to say that they aren’t the right contractor for the job.

Once you’ve found the contractor you’re certain can oversee the project, your next step is to fill in the appropriate parties as to the contractor’s hire and when the project will get started. Go through the proper legal documents and be sure to read the fine print. 

Conclusion

Commercial contracting isn’t rocket science, but it does come with its own set of complications, experience, and qualifications. You’ll want to hire a commercial contractor you can trust and has the experience and credentials aforementioned. Don’t waste your time trying to hire a contractor that’s cheaper than the rest but doesn’t have the right experience; you’ll find yourself caught in a very difficult situation.

H3’s construction and design teams are knowledgeable in new commercial construction builds, remodels, and architectural design. We have years of experience in commercial work and can take on any size construction project. Call us today to schedule a consultation and see if our experience and integrity are what you’re looking for. We take on projects in the entire Colorado state, specializing in projects located in Denver, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.

Construction & Design
102 S. Saint Louis Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537
Phone: 970-515-2264
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