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18 Worthington Access Dr.

Maryland Heights, MO 63043

© 2014 by Spiegelglass Construction Company


Call Now: 314-569-2300

Frequently Asked Questions




What should I look for when hiring a General Contractor?


The first step in finding a general contractor as a business owner is to have a plan.  Determine what you need and want, determine a budget and prepare an outline.  Use this plan as the basis for contractors to propose to you on.  In addition, it is important to understand the Contractor’s areas of expertise and financial stability.

  1. In terms of areas of expertise, it is important that the GC you pick has in-depth knowledge within that sector. You can ask questions like this:

    • How many have you built within the last five years, ten years, etc.? 

    • Can you provide references of recent customers?

    • Can you give an example of a time you saved your client (within that area) money?

    • Spend time on your estimates.  Look at the materials they will use, length of time they plan for the project and any special conditions noted.
  2. From a financial perspective, ask these questions: 

    • Does the company pay its subcontractors on time?

    • Are there any liens against the business?

    • Are there any complaints against the business?

    • Find out from the potential GCs when lien waivers will be provided. It’s crucial that you receive the lien waivers.
    • Ask the potential GC how progress and final billing works. It’s important to ask them to bill you as work is completed.
    • Is this company insured and is the coverage adequate?  When you find a contractor you think you want to hire, make sure that employer has general liability insurance in case of accidents on the job and worker's compensation. Ask for copies of these policies and keep them on file


I’m considering doing this on my own. Can I avoid hiring a General Contractor?


We respect the value of a dollar and understand why you would want to try to do this on your own. We feel strongly that hiring a professional GC not only ensures the project is built right the first time, but saves money in the long run. There are five reasons why we suggest to hire a reputable general contractor:


  1. Value Engineering – You enjoy the benefits of cost savings without reducing any function. A General Contractor who has experience building in your industry can identify opportunities you might not otherwise notice.

  2. It will save money, but could save a lot of money – You might not realize that you’d need to spend an additional $20,000 just to ensure the utilities you need are accessible for your particular project. A GC who has handled similar jobs can identify potentially expensive issues upfront.

  3. It’s a lot to coordinate – There’s a lot of planning that goes into ensuring the right subcontractors with the right tools are at your job site doing the correct work on the correct days. You have a lot to prepare for before you open outside of construction, so we take on this responsibility with the same goal in mind: opening on time and on budget.

  4. The General Contractor assumes liability – For example if not enough lights arrived on their scheduled, it’s the General Contractor’s responsibility to make it right.

  5. Involving a General Contractor can help provide a reality check. For example, if a space in a great location looks terrific, but it won’t pass code, it won’t work no matter how perfect it looks. A General Contractor can help you from the beginning by identifying the right space before you sign the lease and throughout the process by providing options that avoid potential construction issues before they become real problems.


 How do I find a reputable General Contractor?


  1. Ask around for referrals. Ask others who have built a project similar to what you’re looking to do. Ask your commercial real estate agent. Ask your banker. Reputable General Contractors have a lot of people in town who will recommend them.
  2. Check the potential General Contractors list of references. You want to make sure the General Contractor has recent client referrals in your industry. If you are building a restaurant, ask for at least three restaurant references in your category (fine dining, fast casual, etc.).  Experience with a good track record is important.
  3. Take a look at local directories and websites to review a company's details.
  4. Find out who your primary contact will be. When you want to get a job done on time and on budget, you’ll want a single contact who can make decisions on the spot as your point person so you don’t lose critical time or money with an additional layer.


Where would we start?


We like to start at the very beginning and see you through until opening and beyond. We can help you negotiate with the landlord before you sign a lease, and we never charge to go visit a potential site. We look at sites with an eye toward construction and potentially save you a significant amount of money by catching things that might not jump out at you.
Once the site is chosen and plans have been drawn, we conduct the request for proposal (RFP) process with our trusted subcontractors and put together our proposal.  


What does the process look like?


This is not a linear process, and often it’s a juggling act. However, the key steps include:


  1. Identify concept

  2. Determine your strategy

  3. Build your support team while solidifying your business plan (commercial real estate agent, architect, general contractor, etc.)

  4. Finalize business plan and obtain loan commitment

  5. Negotiate with landlord and sign lease

  6. Build space

  7. Open!