The Ultimate Guide to Preconstruction Planning

26 August 2019
Architect architecture black and white

The Focus team prides itself on offering clients a premium comprehensive construction service. The premium service we deliver starts with an in-depth creative, preconstruction planning period aimed at reducing cost and increasing efficiencies without sacrificing great design.

Preconstruction planning is arguably the most crucial aspect of construction. Proper preconstruction planning can prevent headaches, provide accurate timelines, and set realistic expectations.

What is Preconstruction Planning & Why Is It Important?

Preconstruction planning is crucial to comprehend the entire scope of a project. Without proper preparation, your project could be delayed for months and face challenges you never foresaw.

With preconstruction planning, a contractor can save countless hours, significant funds, and valuable resources. For example, a crucial component of the construction process, value engineering, takes place during preconstruction which can make the difference between a project being economically successful or not. By overstepping or rushing preconstruction planning, you can send your project into disarray before it even begins.

Step 1: Define Project Scope

Preconstruction planning should always begin with an initial meeting between the contractor and client to discuss project scope from start to finish. Within this meeting, the client will communicate their goals and vision for the upcoming project.

It’s important to remember that this is an introductory meeting that will be followed by multiple progress meetings. As the construction process matures, various concerns will arise requiring additional meetings along with standard progress meetings.

Step 2: Set Objectives & Goals

Once the project scope is communicated, the contractor will define goals and objectives of the project. This defined outline and goals for the project will then be aligned with building codes, budget, staffing, and more.

This step helps to discover areas for cost efficiency. Without deciding on strict goals, a project could go over budget and miss significant deadlines.

Step 3: Plan Clear Budget & Schedule

With prior-stated goals and objectives, the next step is to develop a strict schedule for construction. After a schedule is in place, assess this schedule and develop a budget for all aspects of the project. Deadlines are crucial to staying on schedule so make sure to set strict deadlines. Your budget should include all permit costs, materials, employee rates, and should account for escalations across all areas.

Usually, a loose budget is presented during the initial stages of the prospecting process, but this is where a more in-depth, accurate budget will be presented.

Step 4: Collaboration with Architects

Adult architect blueprint

Before the project breaks ground, it’s crucial that architects and contractors are on the same page. Contractors must collaborate with the architectural and design team to create a detailed schematic design.

Experienced general contractors will work early and tirelessly with the architect to help ensure continuity of design intent and sound economics. By participating in this process, architects and contractors will experience a cohesive partnership throughout development.

Step 5: Construction Site Analysis

Before breaking ground, contractors should physically visit the construction site to understand the location they will be working with. A general contractor will determine what special accommodations will need to be made in the schedule and site logistics plans in order to ensure site safety and project success. The contractor will guarantee that all set objectives and goals are attainable at this location.

Currently, Focus is implementing special logistics and utilizing unique crane deployment on the 3rd party Schiller development due to strange site conditions. This small site and dense neighborhood resulted in Focus utilizing a smaller, hydraulic crane. With proper preconstruction site analysis, Focus was able to find a solution to a difficult site situation before even breaking ground.

Step 6: Obtain Permits, Approvals, & Necessary Materials

Lastly, contractors will determine what permits and approvals are needed from the local government to break ground on a site. Not having the proper permits and approvals will cause delays and compromise the safety of your staff.

To avoid any complications, make sure to obtain all the necessary materials needed for the scope of your project with ample time.

Focus understands the importance of thorough preconstruction planning. If you’re in need of a development partner or general contractor that puts in the needed effort, research, and more even before breaking ground, reach out to Focus today!

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