Looking for a general contractor in Skagit County or beyond?
First, do your homework
Chad Fisher Construction is a general contractor in Skagit County, Wash., specializing in commercial construction and tenant improvements. We’ve built a reputation on our “signature quality” – delivering first-rate workmanship on time and within budget.
Skagit County is a great place to live and work, which is why Chad Fisher Construction is proud to call Skagit home. Whether you have been doing business here for years or are newly discovering the benefits of doing business in Skagit County, welcome!
In this article, we’ll talk about just a handful of our local projects over the years to give you a feel for our work. We’ll also outline a few key points to consider when hiring a general contractor to help get your search off to a solid start.
Economic Diversity in Skagit County
Being a general contractor in Skagit County, Chad Fisher Construction is fortunate to be located in the heart of an economically diverse region. Industry in Skagit County includes manufacturing, agriculture, marine, aerospace and health care. We have been involved in projects for all of these sectors.
Some of our Skagit County projects include:
Hexcel Corp. is a global leader in advanced composites technology. Chad Fisher Construction was selected as the Design-Build contractor for the expansion of Hexcel Corp.’s Burlington plant. Phase 1 included at 60,000-square-foot manufacturing floor, ISO Level 8 clean room and offices. Phase 2 included a second clean room as well as an autoclave, freezer for material storage and a climate-controlled IT room.
Sakata Seed chose CFC when relocating their Northwest operations base. The project included offices as well as a state-of-the-art seed certification laboratory with climate-controlled germination rooms.
Janicki Industries, one of the leading employers in the county, has worked with CFC on multiple projects. These include the design and construction of a 7,000-square-foot enclosure for an industrial-sized autoclave for composite fabrication. The structure required noise- and climate-control considerations. Janicki also called upon CFC to turn an existing space into a 9,600 sq. ft. ISO Level 8 clean room with 16-foot ceilings.
Team Corporation manufactures large-scale vibration testing equipment used by auto manufacturers, the U.S. military and NASA. CFC built an additional manufacturing facility for a large-capacity overhead crane and specialty foundation to accommodate large CNC machines.
Cascadia Eye turned to CFC to complete a remodel of one office as well as a quick-turnaround remodel of their surgery center operating rooms in another clinic. Work on the surgery center was completed in just nine days.
While each industry and business has its special needs, the fundamentals always stay the same: planning, permitting and site prep before the job, and sound project management, including subcontractors and suppliers, throughout the life of the project. That’s where Chad Fisher Construction comes in.
Company namesake Chad Fisher has more than 40 years’ experience in general contracting, and Chad Fisher Construction follows the best practices developed by Chad and the industry over the years.
What to look for in a General Contractor
When looking for a general contractor to work on your Skagit County project (or beyond), it’s important to recognize what constitutes a quality contractor.
Here’s a checklist to help you determine what to look for:
How long in business – Longevity in the industry is typically a good sign. Not only does longevity convey experience but also a certain level of trust. Company founder Chad Fisher had a long career in construction and project management before starting Chad Fisher Construction in 2010. Clients of Chad’s on past jobs have followed Chad to his new firm for their new projects.
Licensed, bonded and insured – This is a must for you as a customer. A licensed, bonded and insured contractor signals another level of trust. A licensed contractor can obtain the necessary permits for a job, so you don’t have to navigate the permitting process. Licensing also signals the contractor has taken the proper channels to register with the state, which is an added level of assurance for customers as well. In Washington state, you can verify a contractor, tradesperson or business’s license with the state’s Department of Labor and Industries.
A surety bond protects a contractor’s customers if the contractor fails to pay for permits or subcontractors or fails to complete the job. In Washington, general contractors must carry a $12,000 bond; specific trades carry a $6,000 bond.
Along with a bond, liability insurance covers a contractor for damages caused due to negligence. Again, any reputable business will have this coverage in place.
Contract – One way to ensure a job is completed to your satisfaction is by defining the scope of work to be handled by the general contractor. A contract outlines expectations for both parties, provides the estimated cost and schedule, and clarifies how change orders on the job will be handled. If a contractor isn’t providing a contract, it’s best to walk away.
Pre-construction services – For commercial projects, pre-construction planning is a must for maximizing your dollar and project efficiency. Combining planning, design and engineering, and construction in a single contract provides consistency every step of the way, from site selection to permitting to scheduling crews. If you already have plans in hand, great, you’re a step ahead of the game. Your contractor can serve as a valuable “second eye” to make sure the plans will meet your needs.
Professional Affiliations – While it may not be necessary to join a professional organization to be considered a pro, it is another sign of an accountable, competent company. Contractors may belong to any number of local groups or larger organizations, such as the Association of General Contractors.
Reference checks – A good contractor will readily share letters of recommendation or provide contact information for past customers to serve as a reference. Not only can these references vouch for the contractor’s quality of work but also can provide insight into the ease of working with the contractor. You may also check social media and online review sites to get a feel for a contractor’s reputation – but don’t neglect to dig a little deeper before making your final decision.
Now it’s your turn
With your checklist at the ready, and your initial online research under your belt, it’s time to get to work interviewing likely contractor candidates.
A final piece of advice: Never be afraid to ask questions along the way. A measure of a good general contractor is its willingness to guide you through the construction process, answering all your questions in a forthright, timely manner.
Best of luck on your project!
Looking for a general contractor in Skagit County (as well as south to Seattle and north to the Canadian border)? Contact us to learn how we can fulfill the needs of your project.