7 Steps Pre-Construction Process Guide by Fluidconstructions
A construction project involves numerous tasks and operations that need to be executed in the proper order, manner, and timeline. That is why the pre-construction process or phase demands so much meticulousness, deliberation, and importance. The more careful the pre-construction process, the better the execution of the project.
What makes the pre-construction process so crucial?
Pre-construction is as crucial as the preparation before a long voyage or preparation before a military operation because a lot of uncertainties are involved in each case and mistakes can be costly and often irrecoverable.
Preconstruction is the beginning of a construction project when an idea starts taking shape. The client hires a construction company and provides them with the information they need to move forward. The construction company sends its architect, designer, or design-build contractor to perform the preconstruction process steps.
The designer meets with the client to understand the project and discuss the potential issues, scope, and other details related to the overall project planning. The client also assisted in developing the budget and creating schedules. At this point, the client can determine whether or not the project is feasible.
How pre-construction process benefits a project
The preconstruction process lays the groundwork for an initial budget and a preliminary schedule. It is important to note that neither of these estimates is final. However, they help to give the customer a better idea of how much the project will cost and when it will be completed. Having this information early on will help the client determine whether the project is feasible for their needs.
By working closely together during preconstruction, the designer and client are able to agree on the scope of work early on. Also, they can establish responsibility chains or matrices determining who is responsible for what during each stage.
Preconstruction services are usually chargeable to the client, but the amount is often minimal compared to the overall cost of the project. Therefore, if the customer and contractor don’t want to work together, they have less to lose.
Pre-construction process steps
Construction as a whole is extremely complex, particularly when it comes to pre-construction planning. Looking at the task in its entirety can be overwhelming. However, if you divide pre-construction into manageable steps, it’s manageable.
Here are 7 essential pre-construction services
#1. The scope of construction
Before you do anything else, you must define the scope of the project you intend to undertake. The scope can refer to a variety of things, but in pre-construction, it specifically refers to defining the following:
- What exactly is the project? (housing, office building, mall, etc.)
- The lot size and the structure.
- The project’s constraints
- The goals, if achieved, will make the project a success.
Many of these points may seem obvious from the start, but they must be documented and thoroughly discussed with all project stakeholders.
#2. Identify the right construction crew
Some construction workers are better suited for certain types of projects than others. Some people can work on any type of project, while others must work on specific projects. As the owner of a construction company, it is your responsibility to get the best team possible to complete the project on time, within budget, and with the high level of quality your customers expect.
It is critical to select a few key people early in the pre-construction process because they will be involved in many of the remaining steps of the pre-construction process. You can’t — and shouldn’t — do it all alone, and you don’t have to if you choose the right team.
At this stage of the project, you won’t be able to handpick subcontractors, but identifying multiple subcontractors whose skills and abilities are sufficient for the various parts of the project you need them to complete is crucial. Having a strong list of subcontractors who are interested in the project will allow you to prepare bid packages and rest assured that the jobs will be completed.
#3. Approximating budget of the project
Budgeting is essential throughout any construction project, but it is especially critical during the pre-construction stage. Why? Because this is the first time the customer has a confirmed expectation of how much they will have to spend, and it sets the tone for the rest of the project.
Setting a budget is difficult. You must consider a wide range of factors, such as labour costs, various materials, transportation, equipment purchases, rentals, and so on. Instead of an exact figure, provide an estimated budget range. This gives you some leeway without immediately disappointing the customer.
#4. Construction design
The design of the construction may or may not be your responsibility. It depends upon what type of service you provide. If you are a design-build company, you will be entirely responsible for the design, whereas other types of construction companies may work with designs created by third parties.
In either case, you should opt to be involved in the design process. Perhaps most importantly, you must evaluate the design for constructability, which means whether it is possible to build it at all and, if so, within budget.
#5. Planning of various construction stages
Nothing gets done without a plan. Pre-construction is an excellent time to begin planning the various phases of the building’s current construction. You must outline what needs to be done to transform the building materials into the actual building, dividing them all into defined stages with hard deadlines.
You should plan out the execution of the following construction stages:
- Site preparation and construction
- Preliminary framing
- HVAC, plumbing, and electrical
- drywall and interior fixtures
- The driveway and outdoor walkways
- Countertops and flooring
- Fixtures for the outside
#6. Construction materials and scheduling
Where will the actual building materials come from? What exactly will they be? What will be the cost? If you do not answer these questions during the pre-construction phase, you will almost certainly run into problems later on. During this step, you will answer the questions and order the materials.
Also, since you’ve already chalked out the construction stages everything must now be scheduled. This pre-construction stage will require scheduling the various phases of the project with your team and reaching out to subcontractors to verify they can complete their work at times that work for your project. Your project schedule also needs to take into account permit requirements, inspections, and customer feedback.
#7. Communication within the project
Communication is the final step in the pre-construction process, but it should be a part of all of the previous steps and should continue throughout the construction phase. Communication is critical during the pre-construction phase. Clients, subcontractors, designers, city officials, and other stakeholders must be kept informed of what is going on and how it affects them.
Preconstruction communication is extremely important, especially during the design phase of the project. You must be able to communicate the final appearance of the structure, whether any changes to the original design are needed, or potential additions. Because many people find it difficult to visualize the final look of the structure when looking at the plans, it’s critical to include a visual aid.