by Mark Lusky
The adage about "fast, cheap, good: pick two" is especially applicable to the construction industry. A recent Inside Self-Storage article speaks to the importance of being good (a/k/a qualified and experienced) over being cheap.
In an article headlined, "Choosing a Self-Storage Builder: Industry Experience Trumps Low Bidders," writer Caesar Wright notes, "There may be builders who are willing to cut you a deal, but cost cannot be your only consideration, especially if this is your first venture into self-storage. While it's tempting to go with the lowest bid, contracting with the wrong builder can cause you frustration, time delays and hard cash."
Following are some of Wright's due diligence recommendations when selecting a self-storage builder:
"First, make sure any builder you consider is legitimate: licensed, bonded and insured."
"Do your homework. Your financial investment is at stake. Look at previous projects that are similar in scale to your project and check references."
"It's not enough to be a great builder. The company you choose needs to be a great self-storage builder...In self-storage, there are construction requirements specific to the industry that an architect who doesn't have extensive experience in self-storage would not think to include."
"Work with an experienced builder who offers site design and engineering services and is willing to consult with you through the entire project, from site development and design through completed construction. These services will not necessarily eliminate the need for an architect, but having a builder who can work closely with your architect to design all the amenities, utilities and structural requirements that are unique to self-storage is going to save you time and money."