Four Preconstruction Considerations to Know Before You Break Ground

4 Preconstruction Considerations to Know Before You Break GroundBy Lauren Topor-Reichert

The preconstruction process is essential. It involves the fundamental planning that not only defines a specific project, but also identifies potential problems and analyzes costs. The preconstruction process should be deployed as early as possible, as it defines the project scope, cost and schedule. Preconstruction efforts can have a significant impact on a project, as it can reduce the number of changes, schedule variations and unexpected costs of a project. While the preconstruction process will vary by project, adhering to these four considerations is crucial.


1. Address Professional Liability

From subcontractors and small artisan businesses to general contractors and large firms, individuals throughout the industry can benefit from having professional liability insurance. While it may seem like an awkward conversation to have with a customer or client, it's important and is considered standard across the industry.

Today’s customers expect to hear about professional liability during the preconstruction process as it protects your crew and resources, as well as the customer. There are a number of insurance plans created especially for those in the construction industry that are worth looking into.

2. Make Budget Projections Clear

Ultimately, your budget will determine the scope of your project. As you look to develop a budget, though, it's important you create and maintain a list of required materials, resources, permit fees and the overall cost to employ your team and services. Being upfront about the budget in the early stages of the preconstruction process will keep both you and the customer happy and will help you avoid any unpleasant encounters or surprises as work is being done. You can find a variety of budgeting tools online to help you keep your budget clear and organized.

3. Develop a Pest Control Plan

Pests can cause an exorbitant amount of damage, but some of that damage can go beyond repair, leading to delays, unexpected expenses and stress. Before a pest problem makes itself present, be sure to take the precautionary steps to keep your project pest-free. While it will add an expense to your budget, you’ll likely find that it's ultimately worth it. In fact, it's essential to choose a partner in the pest industry during the preconstruction process that has a money-back guarantee and a solid reputation.

4. Create a Project Management Schedule

Being on schedule and maintaining a timeline are generally the most important factors to customers. Because whether it's a new build for a business or a new home, customers want their project completed quickly and efficiently, as nobody wants to wait around for permits or approvals.

Construction project management also involves the coordination and execution of the project. It's your responsibility to share a realistic timeline with the customer, no matter the project. The timeline will often depend on the budget and how many manhours and resources will be required. Openly discussing a timeline — and providing regular project updates — will keep everyone involved happy. Ultimately, though, it's your duty to keep the project moving according to plan.

All construction projects are unique in their own right, but they all have one thing in common: Each individual project, no matter how unique, requires a preconstruction plan. From addressing professional liability and developing a budget to having a pest control plan and project management schedule, these are the essential preconstruction processes to follow, whatever the project may be.

Lauren Topor-Reichert is a full-time freelance writer and alumna of Arizona State University. Her professional work has appeared in a variety of publications from lifestyle mags to business websites. 

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