Pre-Construction Phase
Erecting any structure, whether a commercial building or a residential one, requires substantial planning. Such planning is often carried out in multiple stages to ensure that everything runs smoothly. With any big project, there’s always a risk of key factors being ignored. As such, the pre-construction phase is crucial to ensuring that things are on the right track from the get-go. This is something the JNL Group does well, with the initial planning and detailed project management being key to any of their construction work.

Specific individuals tend to coordinate this initial phase. It could be a pre-construction manager or anyone within the company with experience in such matters. Because of the costs involved, it’s always advisable that this phase be highly focused and detailed. A client will likely incur substantial costs from the beginning to the end of the project. It is in the best interest of a contractor to ensure that a client is satisfied with all aspects of a project before actual construction begins. Otherwise, a client finding out mid-project that they don’t like the idea can lead to resentments, not to mention the loss of the funds already pumped into the project.

A typical pre-construction phase should involve the following steps.

Initial Meeting

The client must meet the builders or contractors at the beginning of each project. This is important in setting the goals and expectations of the project. While such a meeting may seem casual, it tends to decide whether or not a particular working relationship will last.

A key factor that determines this working relationship is the feasibility of the construction project in question. Sometimes, clients have unrealistic expectations. For example, a client may want significant expansion on their current property even when the available space isn’t enough for such a project. Such a client may be adamant about having such construction carried out despite a builder telling them about its impracticability.

In such cases, the working relationship may come to an abrupt end. If, however, the builders agree on the feasibility of the project, then planning becomes easier.

It’s important for the contractors to fully understand a client’s idea of the final construction project. This ensures that expectations are aligned, and costly errors are avoided.

Planning And Cost Estimates

When most people think of any construction project, their thought process always starts at this phase. While planning and estimating costs are crucial, they should only be carried out after both parties have agreed on the bigger picture of the project.

This planning now involves the actual specifications of the structure to be built. Assuming the contractor doesn’t have the necessary experts on his team, he may contact other subcontractors. Any construction project will need electricians, air-conditioning technicians, plumbers, among other experts. All these professionals are critical to this part of pre-construction planning.

Assuming the construction project involves making extensions to an existing building, these professionals will need to determine how things like plumbing and wiring of the new structure will seamlessly fit into the existing one. It is at this point that an accurate cost estimate becomes much clearer.

Factoring in technical requirements, labor costs, and the materials needed, a contractor will come up with a number close to the actual cost of the final project. Of course, analysis of the cost of comparable projects also plays a part.

Identifying Potential Issues And Possible Solutions

This step may seem part of the planning stage. However, some issues only arise after proper planning and consideration. Delayed cash flow and inaccurate forecasting are some issues that can arise after a comprehensive planning session, not to mention unforeseen circumstances. Having a contingency in place to address such issues will ensure that the project stays on the right track, even if the schedule is disrupted.

While bad forecasting is rare, it can happen even to the best builders and contractors, who sometimes underestimate the true cost of a project. This will usually require making some adjustments to key aspects of the general construction project. The pre-construction phase will ultimately save the builders and clients a lot of trouble down the line.

Of course, some projects may require contracts to be signed and certain documentation to be prepared. For example, in many jurisdictions, erecting a building on your property requires permits from the local authorities. This can get a little complicated as the authorities may need to send in their experts to independently analyze the site.

All such factors should be accounted for during the pre-construction phase, ensuring that the project will go smoothly once construction begins.