Although the end results of commercial construction projects can be exciting and hugely beneficial to your enterprise, it’s not the simplest thing in the world, and can be extremely challenging from the initial planning stages to the last days of construction. If you’re about to tackle a project like this for the first time, here are some of my best tips for surviving the commercial construction process.
As a business owner, you might have gotten used to a position where everyone expects you to understand all the little details and constraints of every project. Naturally, this can make it feel a little strange to ask questions and clarify things.
However, the contractor you hire is going to have a lot of experience with these kinds of projects, and they certainly won’t expect you, the business owner, to know everything there is to know. Naturally, you’ll have certain queries about the road ahead.
What kind of ROI can I expect? What’s the approval process in the area where you’re building? What is the meaning of design and construction? What additional fees should I prepare for? Whatever happens to be on your mind, be sure to ask the contractor.
Communication and Meetings
Communication with the key players on the team is essential in any kind of project, and even more important when it comes to something as large and complex as commercial construction! A good relationship with your project team, characterized by open, proactive dialogue, is integral to your future success.
Long before any actual work starts, make sure you establish a dependable point of contact between you and the construction team, which will ensure the communication process doesn’t hit any slip-ups. Make sure you’re applying any kind of tech which can make the communication more fluid and easy.
There are many cloud-based construction management programs out there, which will allow you, the project manager, the contractor and so on to keep in contact with each other and share important documents in real time. Even with this in place, meetings can be very important to keep things running smoothly.
When you’re in the approvals stage, be sure to attend any public hearings which have your building on the agenda. Once work begins, you should also have bi-weekly sit-downs with your contractor and their upper management on the job site itself.
Prepare for the Unknown
Provided you take your time in the bidding process to find a construction company that fits the bill, almost everything in the project should go according to plan. Note how I say almost.
Any construction project, especially ones on a commercial scale with more variable factors, is likely to have some kind of unexpected slip-ups and setbacks. For example, if your project entails renovating an existing building, you might find that the layout or underground utilities aren’t quite what was specified in the early planning stages.
Furthermore, the weather isn’t always that cooperative, and it’s fairly likely that work will be rained or snowed off for one or two days. Make sure you’re taking these possibilities into account!