If you are a business owner or developer seeking to hire a commercial construction company, this article is a great place to start. It offers some insights on commercial construction and some challenges that are faced during the process. Key questions to ask clients before starting the project
Commercial construction is more than just hammering nails or finishing concrete. The lay person doesn’t realize how many things are to be considered before starting a project and how many chances there are for things to go wrong. It is a process that should start with defining a client’s needs, their budget and deadline expectations. In other words, its about project scope, budget and schedule.
A well-defined project scope is the foundation of a successful commercial construction project. The developer, General contractor and sub-contractors should have similar expectations of where the project is being started and how the finished product should look like. Many projects start out with vague expectations where the people involved do not have a clear idea about the construction status. There is a wide variety of factors that should be taken into consideration when starting out a project as well as when going through the process of construction. Scope of the project should be clearly defined through lease documents, plans and specifications. All parties involved should understand what’s on the plans and documents. Maxx Builders, for example, generally has a pre-construction meeting before finalizing contracts with major sub-contractors and clients to go over the responsibility matrix which specifies who will contribute what to the project. Communication channels are kept open so that all relevant parties can ask questions regarding their roles and this is how the scope of the project is defined. The sub-contractors can also ask clients pressing questions face to face. This step is very important to prevent excessive change orders later on in the project.
Clearly defined budgets at the start of the construction process are vital to make it as efficient as possible. It is usually human instinct to not disclose the total budget at the start of the project due to fear of being taken advantage of or over-paying. However, this can lead to problems in the future with the finished product not being as expected. It is vital to do research properly in picking a contractor that can be trusted completely to make the project a reality. At Maxx Builders, majority of the work is done on a pre-select basis so that the entire process is started with the client’s budget in mind and the project is designed to meet that budget.
Good communication is essential: The client is usually told early on if the project cannot be completed in the allocated budget. This commercial construction budget is defined that meets the developers proforma goals. These goals can be determined by what a marketplace can afford for rent and this value can be reverse engineered to come up with the construction budget. All of this is communicated between all parties involved so that there is no room for debate.
Lastly, an important question to ask is about project scheduling. The schedule is very important as it can cost the client extra money due to factors such as weather conditions and material price increases. A delay can be very detrimental for the project as it can cause extra loan financing costs. At Maxx Builders, these issues are avoided by communicating project schedules clearly and openly to clients at the start of the project. Problems are prevented by developing milestone schedules that include architectural design, State and government approval, project financing options and final construction.