Commercial construction includes buildings such as banks, shopping malls, corporations, doctor's offices and much more. No matter the type of business, this type of construction is highly dependent on meeting firm deadlines to finish on time.
Whether you are involved in designing or building—or maybe you are the client— it's important to know the ins and outs of commercial construction. The process should start with being overly prepared and aware of challenges that may occur along the way.
Here's how to hit that deadline every time:
1. Hire a commercial construction project manager
Yes, construction project managers exist, and they are a great way to ensure your commercial construction deadlines are met.
These managers are knowledgeable in planning, coordinating, and communicating with everyone involved in the construction build process. Your manager should have a strong sense of the building industry along with clear communication skills.
They track the project every step of the way to assure that everything is done on time and on budget. The project manager will also monitor building codes, specs, and any other specific building regulations.
With the right construction project manager, your project will be completed on time and with the least amount of hassle.
2. Agree upon costs early on
One of the most common things clients and contractors disagree upon that affects deadlines are the costs and budgets associated with a commercial construction project.
- Step 1: The client should be given a reasonable estimate of what the project will cost to make sure they are on board and able to move forward. Obviously, there's only so much that can be shared before having contractors involved, but working out a general budget to stick to in the beginning is key.
- Step 2: After agreeing upon a beginning budget, contractors should always come in early to assess the situation and give estimates on the costs. Nothing's worse than a client realizing a certain task is way over their budget, resulting in the contractor and client going back and forth until a decision is reached.
Knowing the preliminary cost estimates will give you and the client an idea of what could be compromised to meet the end goal. If unperceived events occur during the project and prices go up, this is where having a plan pays off.
Keeping everyone organized and in tune with each other's motives is critical is ensuring the project is completed on time and on budget while satisfying everyone's goals.
3. Communicate early and often
Everyone involved with the project should know when certain building activities are occurring and the timeline for completion.
Commercial contractors should make sure there is no delay of work from subcontractors that may have tasks like garbage removal or material delivery. There can also be times when clients will make last-minute requests and want to change the way something looks after seeing it. If builders and contractors don't know when certain tasks are happening, or what could potentially hold up the project, this could be grounds for a deadline setback.
Everyone must know each other's plans and timelines to properly keep the construction moving forward.
4. Be clear on design
The management company and contractors should be clear of what the client wants out of the design, while the client should be clear on the builder's abilities.
Drawings, 3D renderings, and walkthroughs begin this process and make the project clearer as everyone articulates what they want out of the project. Getting down to the final details, like the flooring material, roofing, and plumbing system, should be hashed out before building begins.
Both the client and the construction business should be clear on the must-haves needed to build the commercial construction. Any issues the client has with the design should be worked out immediately.
5. Define responsibilities
The entire team should have a clear understanding of the distinct responsibilities of everyone involved.
So many different people are involved in commercial construction that tasks can easily get lost, pushing back your timeline significantly.
Start the project with a well-defined list of responsibilities, accompanied with a plan and timeline. This will ensure that everyone is responsible for their own actions while keeping the project on schedule.
If you have a plan, understand expectations, define goals, communicate often, and agree upon budgets early on, you will have the best chances of finishing commercial construction projects on time and on budget.