Commercial construction projects can be tricky to get right if you don’t prepare for them properly. Plus, each new commercial construction project will be different from what you’ve done before, so you can’t rest easy thinking you know everything.
In this post we’ll guide business owners who’re starting their first commercial construction project. Even those who’ve completed several projects in the past will find something valuable in this post.
1. Ask Questions
Like we mentioned before, each construction project is going to be different, so you need to ask the right questions. Your contractor might have decades of experience, but without you asking the right questions, they’ll just work based on experience and not your specific needs.
For example, if you want durable commercial mailboxes installed, ask them what kind of mailboxes they have and communicate your needs instead.
Some high-level questions that you would be wise to ask are regarding the legal process and fees of construction.
- How long does the approval process take in my jurisdiction?
- When will my project be approved?
- What sort of additional fees do I have to pay?
During the project process, it’s important to have smooth communication with your team. Choose one person on the construction team who has authority and make them the point of contact.
Communicate with them regularly using technology that’s readily available today. There are cloud-based construction management software services that you can use.
Using a construction management software will allow you, the construction project manager and contractor to communicate all in place, increasing the visibility of all communication.
3. Scheduling and Milestones
Before construction work starts, have set milestones that must be completed according to a schedule. This will help the construction team stay on track and not get side-tracked.
You don’t have to come up with a schedule on your own if this is your first commercial construction project. Take help from the contractor and create a tentative schedule for the duration of the project.
Don’t take your schedule as something set in stone. Building materials are built to order, and may take extended periods of time to reach you in some cases.
So the takeaway here is that, you should have a schedule for your construction project, but consider it to be flexible and a point of reference since construction is a very spontaneous process.
4. Expect the Unexpected
You might have a construction plan created by the best contractors around, but not all will go exactly as planned. Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that the plan simply did not account for.
The weather might take a turn for the worse, forcing you to pause construction work. Or if you’re renovating a commercial building for example, the existing building plans might not be up to scratch.
There are many variables in a construction project that are out of your control, and you should expect this to be the case.
You need to plan way ahead into the future for commercial construction projects. Project approvals can sometimes take more than 6 months, and in that time you can’t be sitting around doing nothing.
Take the approval process into account for your scheduling, and you can perhaps have your building materials made during this time so construction work can be kicked off as soon as approvals come through.
Depending on your project, you may want to choose a contractor who has previous experience in getting approvals so they can help you expedite the process.