So, you’ve been doing an awesome job running your business, you have a great marketing plan, a growing client list, excellent cash flow, and most importantly, an awesome team. The problem is, you’re out of space, maybe you need more space at your current location, or maybe it’s time to expand into that second location you always dreamed about. Regardless if you’re building new, or remodeling there’s nothing more exciting (or terrifying) than seeing your business grow, and moving forward with a commercial construction project. You not only want your new space to be functional, but also a reflection of your business and the culture and values that make it great. To achieve this, there is some essential planning that needs to take place prior to breaking out the hammers and nails.
To make sure your commercial construction project is a fun, exciting, rewarding experience you need to make sure you project team has a clear vision of your expectation. Here are couple steps to follow to ensure your new building is everything you want it to be, and the journey to get it is successful.
1. Select a Contractor. Having a qualified contractor on board from the inception of project planning is invaluable. A general contractor will be able to help guide you through the entire process, starting with selecting the right design professional. Contractors have the benefit of working with multiple design professionals who all specialize in specific types of building construction. You wouldn’t want an architect that specializes in office buildings to design your new manufacturing plant, or apartment building. A contractor can also provide guidance in the design phase regarding budget. When your contractor knows what the budget is they can help determine building size and select finishes that are going to be within your budget.
2. Generate Plans. Nothing is more important on any construction project than having a good set of plans. Working with your contractor and architect to generate plans is an essential step to making your new space functional and aesthetically appealing. The plans need to contain all the details required for the sub-contractors to provide accurate bids on the project, enabling your contractor to give you a fully inclusive project budget. This means an accurate number for you to arrange financing with and no dreaded change orders. Having complete plans will also enable your contractor to effectively lay out the project timeline, further ensuring your project runs smoothly and stays within budget.
3. Establish the final Budget. With plans complete it’s time for you contractor to get sub-contractor bids on the project. A qualified general contractor will have a list of sub-contractors they can send bid invites, to solicit bids from, typically three bids are obtained in each division of work to get the best value possible. Best value doesn’t always mean the cheapest, and your contractor will go through each submitted bid to see which one is providing the most value for your dollar. With all the bids collected and reviewed your contractor will have a complete project budget to present you with. The budget should be close to what you discussed while generating plans, and hopefully the project can move forward, if not you may need to revisit the plans and do some “value engineering” to bring the project within your budget.
4. Apply for permits. Depending on the location and size of your project, permitting can take anywhere from a month to a year. Again, this is something that your contractor will be familiar with and will be able to provide significant assistance. Often there are several local, state, and federal agencies that permits need to be obtained from. Having a good set of plans for these agencies is critical, they are reviewing them for compliance with all applicable codes and regulations in the area you intend to build, and having detailed, complete plan sets will help expedite the permitting process.
5. Ready, Set, Build!! With plans complete, budget set, and permits in hand, finally the construction can begin. Your contractor should have a timeline established for the sub-contractors to follow and onsite construction activity should be underway.
All this planning can take anywhere from a few months, to years, but each step will have one step closer to you, your team, and your customers utilizing your new space. Investing adequate time in the planning stage of your project will ensure that the entire construction team has a clear understanding of your vision while moving forward. This will make your entire commercial building project and enjoyable experience filled with anticipation and excitement.