5 Tips for New Commercial Construction Projects
1) Is Your Budget Realistic?
Prior to beginning any project, every building owner needs to determine a realistic project budget. Determining this budget will enable the owner to evaluate if the project is possible to complete in a timely manner and to secure financing; it can also serve as a tool to choose from among other construction designs or site locations. Once the budget is firm, the owner should set the required date as to when the project needs to be completed. These factors are all used to ensure that the project will not experience excessive cost overruns.
2) Design Plan
When an owner begins planning a building project, he/she will likely have a very specific vision of what the final product will look like. Before starting the project, it is important that the owner is confident that the project’s design team will fulfill his/her needs as well as the needs of any other parties who may be using the facility. Therefore, both the design and the functionality requirements should be covered thoroughly when discussing the design-build plan. Communication is key. An owner will expect the design team to be well trained and skilled in the type of structure being designed. The commercial contractor and owner need to work together to ensure that the design plan for the project is actually buildable. The stipulations of the project plans must also be clearly communicated to the contractor’s team.
3) Realistic Construction Schedule
The scheduling of the building project is another very important component to this process. This is especially true if the owner has a “drop dead” deadline as to when the project must be completed. A business owner may have critical functional needs of the facility, whether that need is for the purpose of providing the needed space to someone or a situation where income generation from the facility is of imperative concern. Therefore, it is crucial to set a realistic time frame for project completion. This time frame needs to be determined early in the design planning process.
4) What Risks Are Involved?
One of the primary reasons that a predetermined budget and schedule need to be developed is to avoid unnecessary risk on the construction project. Regardless of the project’s difficulty, all construction projects involve a level of risk. Being prepared and communicative throughout the process can greatly reduce risk. The commercial contractor should be sure that the business owner has a clear understanding of all potential risk areas as well as the parties responsible for managing each of those risks.
One final factor involved is to determine the level of knowledge and understanding the business owner has with the overall construction process. This familiarity may include the expertise of the owner, as well as relevant internal resources. Once this level of expertise is determined, the contractor will have a clear understanding of the outside resources that will need to be utilized during the project. This clarification between parties may also allow a more realistic and accurate project completion date to be set. Again, communication is key in all construction settings.