A full renovation or new construction is a huge undertaking, and project owners sometimes find it hard to know where to start. Having a general contractor with integrity can help you navigate the process, but it’s important to do your own homework as well.
While some project owners may choose to hire an owner’s representative to help keep the big-picture concepts into focus and avoid getting bogged down with details, it’s still important to be aware of your project and a few key things to ensure the job gets done right—while staying on time and on budget.
To give yourself a little extra peace of mind during the pre-construction process, this checklist will help you ensure a smooth process:
Define Your Goals:
First things first, before you get underway it’s imperative that you and your team know what your goals are for the project. Have you clearly communicated these to your GC? Have you discussed the reasons behind your desired timeline? Or why you require certain features? Sharing your goals with your GC – for instance, needing to open in time for your company’s centennial celebration – are paramount for entire team to understand the need to be even more strict on a timeline and working backwards from there to achieve your goals.
All of these things will help guide your GC when they create a schedule and scope.
Get an Idea of the Cost
Your GC will provide you with an itemized budget based on the project’s scope and your goals. Commercial projects are a big investment, so you need a realistic budget and an explanation of where you can save (note: this is not about cutting costs by cutting corners, though. Budgets are set in place by making informed decisions that will both stick to a price while also maintaining the integrity of the build). The budget should include costs for permits, subcontractors, and other fees. Unforeseen costs can definitely come up, but setting a realistic budget before you start will lessen the blow.
Build A Timeline
Time is money, especially in construction. Having a clear and realistic schedule is the best way to make sure the project says on the aforementioned budget. Disruptions, like weather, can get things off schedule sometimes but it’s important to think ahead and be aware of whether weather will be an issue (read: building during hurricane season in South Florida? Set extra time into your timeline). That’s where we go back to importance of planning, which can build in efficiencies and processes for managing unforeseen events.
Keeping an open mind about the build will help not get too stressed out if things get delayed. Schedules should include various milestones along the way so that you check in with your GC on the progress.
Create a Process for Managing Changes
During the pre-construction process, you should find out how any changes will be addressed and managed during the build. You want the ability to make changes if something doesn’t seem right, but changes can snowball into delays and higher costs. So, you want to be clear with your GC from the start on what their typical process is as well as bringing up any requests you have for such procedures.
Keeping (and reviewing) a pre-construction checklist starts you out ahead of the curve, and the planning will help you minimize any issues that come up. At Seacoast Construction, we know the value of proper planning. We can help you with your build in a variety of ways: project management, owners representation, general contracting, and more. Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation.
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