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What is Pre-Construction in a Buildout?

A successful buildout project starts with careful planning, and pre-construction is a necessary step to ensure your buildout is smooth, efficient, and cost-effective. Without a thorough pre-construction process, it’s easy to underestimate the necessary costs, quantity of materials, or time frame necessary to complete a buildout.

Preliminary planning will save you stress (and money) down the line. Here’s what you need to know about the pre-construction process for your business buildout.

What are the Pre-Construction Stages?

Pre-construction is the initial phase of the buildout process and often dictates the success of the completed project. Pre-construction helps you determine essential factors like the size of the job, the site location, the estimated cost, and more. Each buildout project is unique, but here are some of the main pre-construction stages you can expect when beginning your buildout.

General Contractor Meeting – Before you do any detailed planning you need to establish a relationship with a general contractor who will manage the entire buildout project. During the contractor meeting, you’ll discuss your goals for the finished product and the general contractor will assess the feasibility of the project. The general contractor meeting is a great time to establish open communication with your project manager, and voice any concerns or questions you may have about the buildout process.

Assessment of the Site and Design – Now that you’re on the same page in terms of expectations and budget, your contractor will go and assess the buildout location to determine engineering needs.

During their inspection, the contractor will look at elements like HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical systems to make sure nothing needs to be replaced. The contractor will also identify the best locations for new appliances, and draw up a comprehensive design for the buildout.

Architectural Plans – Once you have selected a site and have a basic understanding of your design layout, you will get started on the architectural plans. Your contractor may provide these services or recommend an architectural team for your project. The architect will take your design to a full set of plans, including putting together a team for the plans that involved a locally certified engineering team, that will be needed to obtain a permit for your project.

Cost Estimate – Once the contractor has a better idea of the space and design details, they will provide you with a more accurate cost estimate for the entire project. The estimate will take into consideration necessary expenses like hiring additional labor and purchasing raw materials. Then you can factor in the cost of potential repairs to the current space, new appliances, and bespoke design elements and decide if the project is doable within your budget.

Schedule – Finally, the contractor will create a schedule for the entire buildout process. Remember, the schedule is likely to change throughout the process, but having a rough estimate for the length of the project will help you advertise the opening of your business and anticipate potential disruptions to current operations.

What are the Benefits of Pre-Construction?

Although the pre-construction phase does add extra time to the buildout, the benefits far outstrip the drawbacks. Here are some of the most noticeable benefits you’ll gain from the pre-construction phase:

  • Helps Determine Feasibility: You definitely want to know whether or not your project is financially and logistically feasible before breaking ground. Pre-construction inspections and cost estimates will help you avoid the pitfalls of biting off more than you can chew.

  • Establishes Clear Communication: You and your contractor should work together as a team. Pre-construction meetings establish a relationship of trust and mutual respect from the start.

  • Keeps Everyone on the Same Page: With so many moving parts, it’s helpful to start a project when everyone is on the same page. Outlining your goals and expectations from the beginning will focus the project and prioritize the elements you’re most excited about.

  • Eliminates Potential Obstacles: In any construction project, there are bound to be certain unpredictable complications that arise. The pre-construction phase may help you and your contractor identify potential issues and come up with proactive solutions.

Working with Buildout Pros

One of the essential ingredients for buildout success is partnering with a contractor you can trust. At Buildout Pros, we are committed to providing our clients with comprehensive construction services from design to completion. With experience in a wide array of industries, including medical, dental, and hospitality, Buildout Pros offers end-to-end transparency throughout the entire buildout process. Our customer portal allows every customer access to real-time updates on projects and facilitates easy and seamless communication with contractors. From budgeting, to design, to staffing, Buildout Pros is committed to providing a personalized and streamlined customer experience. Contact us today to get started with your initial consultation!

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