Remember, this is your big case. You want to be sure you have someone with dental-specific experience. You want a dental contractor you can be confident in. Who will stay on budget and on time. But is it enough if someone has built one or two dental practices?
You want someone who has built enough dental practices that he has a full understanding of plumbing, flooring, permits, ADA access, and “not forgetting the future.”
Forgetting the future can cost a fortune in money, time, and stress if you later decide to install high-tech equipment or need to add another operatory. If you expect your practice to grow, you must consider the future and plan accordingly.
Some things to consider for the future:
- CAD/CAM—Don’t hide it. Leave room in your plans to showcase it.
- 3D Printing—Again, make it possible to allow patients to see it.
- Cone Beam—this requires a larger footprint.
- Extra Operatories—do you expect to grow?
- Overflow Room—will you want a room for emergency patients?
- Associates—if you even think you will want them, they will need operatories.
- Recovery Room—if you are considering surgery, such as implants.
- Consult Room—some cases may need discussion away from the chair.
- VIP or Mom’s Room—will you be serving high-end clients or mothers? You may want a private place they can use to do some business or nurse a baby.
The easy answer to finding the right guy for you? Find a dental practice contractor who can show he actively participated in and managed at least ten new dental practices. These practices should have been completed on time and on budget with a high level of satisfaction from the dentist.
Looking for a more complex answer to be absolutely sure you have the right guy? We took our ten years of experience in starting hundreds of dental practices and developed a 13-Point Dental Contractor Interrogation. Our clients use these questions to gain confidence and clarity in knowing who is right and who is wrong.
When you ask the right questions and know what to look for, you WIN!
Before choosing, get to know your potential contractors. Visit offices. Take rides in their cars. Notice what you see.
Is everything chaotic and messy? Or are they organized and neat? How do they behave? What image do they project? Is it the image you are looking for?
Ask for references and employee records. Understand who they are while showing the potential contractor you want to do due diligence.
If this scares them away, good riddance. This process can sort out the good from the bad.
If you’re afraid of questions at the “first kiss,” imagine how painful future questions regarding serious issues will be.
Does he tell you not to worry about things?
Don’t fall for it. What does “don’t worry” mean? Don’t worry about the money you will spend? The change order that will come? Whether or not you will be taken care of?
Here’s a BIG red flag—a bid without details. If you get a one-page, lump-sum number, RUN. A one-page proposal is dangerous. Everything should be outlined and detailed. If it’s above $100,000, you should get a 10-page proposal with details, including cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, general contracting—everything should be clear and specified.
When you think you know, ask yourself—can you trust him? Can he deliver?
Does he stand behind his product?
Is he familiar with all the local laws and regulations regarding permits? Permits can actually become one of your biggest costs. Seriously! You wonder how?
The cost of time. And time costs money when it pushes back your opening day. If your contractor doesn’t understand all the ins and outs of permits, you could find yourself waiting over eight months for certain permits to be approved.
All that waiting while you pay bills and aren’t open.
Make sure he understands permits where you are building. These regulations and laws can be quite different from town to town. Just as costs can be very different depending on your region.
Each region of the country has unique average costs. This will impact your budget.