top of page
  • Writer's pictureBuildout Pros

The Ultimate Pre-Construction Checklist

General contractor going through a pre-construction checklist

Creating a pre-construction checklist for commercial builds can significantly reduce issues during the construction phase.

A comprehensive checklist also helps stakeholders, contractors, and project managers plan and organize the many details of the construction process. It contains many items, including site assessments, necessary permits, a budget, and the construction timeline. 

Let’s discuss how you can utilize a pre-construction checklist to mitigate risks, facilitate communication, help choose the right contractor, align objectives, and help avoid costly delays.

Defining Your Project

Before selecting a contractor or taking other steps, you must define your project, including its scope, budget expectations, and objectives. This step helps create a successful commercial build within your budget and timeline.

To define the project's scope, outline the tasks, deliverables, and the specific requirements for the build. The scope helps stakeholders grasp an understanding of the project’s goals. A budget sets financial parameters and helps to guide decision-making through the end of the project. 

Having a realistic budget can help with financial strain and cost overruns. It also guides the selection of the right contractor for your project. This strategic approach creates a foundation for informed decision-making and creates effective communication, which contributes to the overall success of the build.

Selecting the Right Contractor

A pre-construction checklist should have a section for commercial general contractors. When choosing a commercial general contractor, you’ll want to check for the following: 

Credentials: Ensure the company is properly licensed, insured, and certified.

Experience: Verify the company's track record on similar projects, especially in your industry or with your specific requirements.

Portfolio: Look at the contractor's completed work through their portfolio to assess the quality of their projects.

Communication Skills: Strong communication skills are crucial for effective management in commercial construction. The contractor should be able to provide regular updates.

Subcontractor Relationships: Confirm that the contractor has reliable relationships with subcontractors to ensure high-quality workmanship.

Project Management Processes: Ask about how the contractor handles unexpected issues, schedule changes, and other management processes, which can indicate their organization and efficiency.

Contract Terms and Pricing: Thoroughly review pricing, contract terms, and payment schedules, ensure everything is clear, and inquire about potential additional costs.

Assessing Project Sites for Existing Buildings

Part of your pre-construction checklist is also an integral part of your business plan. When evaluating a site for second-generation projects, you should ensure that the existing building and infrastructure suit your business needs. Some of the critical factors you need to consider include:

  • Existing Utilities: Assess the availability and condition of utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and sewage systems to determine if they can accommodate your type of business.

  • Building Condition: Evaluate the existing building's structural integrity and overall condition. Determine if any renovations or repairs are necessary to meet your business requirements.

  • Zoning Compliance: Verify whether the existing building complies with local zoning laws and regulations for your intended business activities.

  • Accessibility: Ensure that the building is accessible for employees and customers, focusing on compliance with disability regulations.

  • Environmental Factors: Consider any environmental concerns related to the existing site or building, and assess their impact on your business operations.

  • Design Adaptability: Assess whether the existing layout and design can be adapted to suit your business needs, including interior configurations and exterior aesthetics.

Your project will be more efficient and cost-effective when you clearly understand the existing conditions and how they align with your business objectives.

Project Timelines and Risk Assessment

A contractor's ability to assess and manage risks is crucial. This skill helps them identify and tackle potential challenges early, preventing cost overruns and delays. It also demonstrates the contractor's experience and preparedness, instilling stakeholder confidence.

Additionally, your contractor's project timeline is essential. When contractors know property-related risks and issues in advance, they can meet deadlines and stay within budget. A strong timeline and effective risk assessment are key to a successful construction project.

Safety, Compliance, and Quality

A contractor that doesn’t abide by regulations and laws, including safety regulations, will have an issue with quality. Employees and subcontractors could sustain injuries, and you could have issues with the finished project if a commercial general contractor does not follow safety and compliance regulations.

When a contractor is dedicated to safety, you are ensured to have a safer build process and fewer issues and delays.

A professional contractor prioritizes all safety and compliance regulations, including with the subcontractors. Adhering to safety regulations is not just for the job on-site. The contractor should provide safety training for its employees and have a robust quality control process at the job site.

Effective Communication and Documentation

One of the most important factors you should look at is the commercial general contractor’s ability to communicate. When a contractor has effective communication and thorough documentation of the project, your mind is eased, and the stakeholders’ minds are at ease, too.

Clear communication also ensures everyone is on the same page regarding disbursements, timelines, and problems that are out of a contractor’s control, such as supply line issues.

As for documentation, the contractor should have a detailed record of specifications, project requirements, and agreements for all parties involved, including you and the stakeholders. A complete set of documents also ensures the potential for disputes is minimized.

Make an Informed Decision When Hiring a Commercial General Contractor

When you create a pre-construction checklist, including project scope and timelines, plus choose a contractor based on a contractor outline in the pre-construction checklist, your building project will go much smoother, and you’ll most likely come in at or under budget and on time.

Get in touch at:

Buildout Pros


69 views0 comments


bottom of page