As a leading Chicagoland construction company, Madison Construction understands the importance of all phases of construction. We don’t cut corners and we don’t rush headlong into projects at the risk of safety for the sake of saving time. One of the most viable client resources we provide to all of our clients is the pre-construction planning. In this article, Madison professionals explain the vital importance of this phase of construction.
What Does Pre-Construction Planning Involve?
There are multiple phases to the pre-construction process:
The first step in any pre-construction planning is to meet with a client to discuss the project goals. This initial meeting allows the client and the contractor to meet to discuss the basics of the project. This meeting is intended for the client to share their vision for the project. The contractor will utilize the information to create a comprehensive pre-construction, project management, and construction completion plan.
In addition to the initial meeting with the client, it’s important for there to be multiple follow-up meetings with the owner, designer, and engineer, where details can be revisited, changes can be suggested, and tweaks can be made as necessary.
Defining the objectives of the project is a phase where the contractor, in coordination with the owner, designer and MEP contractors, creates the plan and outlines the projects overall means of construction. For example, in considering the local building codes and taking into consideration the current state of demand upon subcontractors, the contractor will identify the best way of constructing the foundation of the building and what the cost per sf will be. During this process, the contractor should be able to advise the client on value-engineering cost-savings in addition to general scheduling, labor and material advisement.
This pre-construction planning is vital to the success of the project. This process also allows the project to begin to come to life through solid references as opposed to the more abstract concepts discussed in the initial client meeting.
With the detailed scope of the project outlined, the contractor can now create a more targeted budget expectation for the project. Where initial budget conversation may have been much broader, now, with the scope of the project available, it’s possible to obtain a slightly more targeted idea of what it will take to bring the project to life. It is in the step that Madison has been able to advise clients of the many cost-saving alternates. Madison provides expert industry knowledge from our staff of experienced industry professionals.
The largest budget breaker or cost saver is the schedule. Creating a detailed scope for any construction project is time-consuming but it is one of the most important steps in the pre-construction process because it outlines each step of construction for the client. This plan serves as a roadmap for progress on the project overall. Projecting the schedule in the pre-construction phase, with Madison as opposed to creating the schedule and providing it to the GC, will allow for a comprehensive construction plan. This process allows Madison early opportunity to find time pickups for the client, provides the client with a detailed construction timeline and most importantly allows Madison the opportunity to work with the subcontractors, utilizing BIM, to identify schedule conflicts early on.
Where the detailed scope of the project involved poring over blueprints, this phase of the process involves creating a sold schematic design. This design is a look into what the final project will look like once complete. It isn’t unusual for clients to make suggestions for change during this time, but at this point in the construction process, Madison will work closely with the client’s design team to construct and review the client’s project via the schematic design. Madison will ensure the schematic design is being constructed with the client’s vision in mind and will ensure that the schematic will resemble what the construction of the final product will resemble.
The next step in pre-construction planning is to take a look at the construction site. A client will likely have a construction site in mind for their project, but if that land is not suited to the project at hand, the project is going to come to a sudden halt.
During the analysis of the construction site, a contractor will look over the schematic design while considering the unique characteristics of the chosen location. If construction is feasible on the land chosen, the construction planning process will continue. If the site is unsuitable for the project, however, other accommodations must be made by either altering the schematic design or choosing an alternate location for construction.
Madison Construction ensures in this process that we do not run into the problem with procuring the materials necessary for a job. Madison has learned that long-lead procurement processes can make or break a budget. Madison has saved clients hundreds of thousands of dollars by procuring materials far in advance of when the materials are needed. Locking in current pricing is vital to budget savings due to the fact that many material prices rise in cost during high construction seasons. Recognizing these seasonal price pits is part of the process of securing the best cost for our clients. On the other hand, not ordering long-lead items in advance will cause major problems such as budget overruns and schedule delays.
The approval and permittng process is vital to starting the construction of the project. Not having the proper approvals and permits will most definitely delay your project schedule. Gaining the building permits is an official approval issued by the local government agency that allows the project to proceed with construction. It is intended to ensure that the project plans comply with local standards for land use, zoning, and construction. These standards are intended to ensure the safety of current and future owners and occupants and to provide enforcement of zoning and land use policies. Madison construction has implemented procedures to ensure the proper approvals and permits are received to keep the client’s project schedule on time.
If you’re looking for a construction company that has mastered every phase of construction planning, Madison Construction can help. Give us a call today at 708-535-7716 and let us know how we can help you by meeting and exceeding your current construction needs.