How Does Pre-construction Work?

pre-construction process and guide

The Preconstruction Process

Numerous elements contribute to a successful construction project. While each step is crucial to the process, preconstruction has one of the biggest impacts on the construction process overall. This stage is a chance for you to explore what construction companies can do for you as their client and how they’ll handle your project.

As drawings, budgets and schedules are mapped out, you’ll clearly understand your project’s potential for success. After preconstruction, you can watch your ideas come to life.

Learn the importance of the preconstruction process and what is done to ensure every aspect is accounted for during project planning.

What Is Preconstruction?

Preconstruction includes the preliminary planning stages of a construction project. This is arguably one of the most important steps of any construction job because it sets the tone for the rest of the project and lays all the groundwork. During preconstruction, you meet with the construction company and an engineering or design team to work out a budget, schedule, drawings, potential issues, cost estimations and more. Here, the project is defined and the construction company determines the most effective way to use your budget and their resources.

It’s essential that the preconstruction process is as thorough and intentional as possible. Your chosen construction business will show you what they can do for you, and you can determine whether they’ll be a good fit for your project. Preconstruction involves a lot of communication — something good construction companies do well!

What Is the Preconstruction Process?

The preconstruction process is ultimately the time for a construction company to understand and plan the project, communicating with you for approval throughout. Even though you don’t have to do very much during the preconstruction process as a client, it’s still helpful to have a basic understanding of what to expect.

Initial Meeting With the General Contractor

To begin the preconstruction process, you’ll need to meet with the general contractor or representative from your chosen business. This stage is where you’ll begin forming a professional relationship and getting a feel for how you work together. You’ll share your vision and project goals as well as any questions or concerns. The general contractor will get a sense of your wants and needs so they can start planning.

Design Phase

After your meeting, the general contractor will begin creating a design for your project. This step often involves visiting the construction site and analyzing the space to determine where equipment will go and what the general contractor can achieve regarding the layout. They will ultimately determine what needs to be done for the project and turn this information into a design. They will then present the design to you so you can visualize the potential layout and give your approval.

Cost Estimate

Next, a preliminary budget will be calculated based on the design and construction site assessment. The contractor will factor in materials and labor and consider the budgets of similar projects to present an accurate estimate.

Assignment of Responsibilities

During preconstruction, it’s important for the general contractor to clearly define all responsibilities and who will be doing what. This step is especially crucial if the construction company uses subcontractors or has various teams that handle different installations.

Schedule Outline

With a better understanding of cost, design and team responsibilities, your general contractor will create a preliminary schedule. The schedule allows you to see a general timeline for the project and know when certain stages will be complete. The schedule is subject to change depending on how construction runs, though it gives you something concrete to plan for.

Benefits of Preconstruction

The preconstruction process is an important part of a construction project for many reasons we’ve outlined above — and it provides several advantages. Consider a few benefits of preconstruction:

Determine If the Project Is Feasible

The preconstruction process helps the contractor and client determine if their project is feasible with the available space and budget. If changes need to be made, there is plenty of time and many opportunities to do so before actual construction begins.

Determine the Project Scope

Preconstruction planning provides a clear outline of what the project is, what it will look like, how the construction company will complete it and when it will be done. This clarity in scheduling allows the client to have realistic expectations about the project once it starts.

Establish Strong Communication

The relationship between client and contractor is vital, as it sets the tone for the rest of the project. Preconstruction allows both parties to establish strong communication, which makes for a much smoother relationship over the course of the job.

Decide If You’ll Proceed With the Contractor

As the client, preconstruction is your opportunity to determine whether a specific contractor can deliver your project with your goals and vision in mind. As you work through preconstruction, you can decide if you’ll continue with a certain contractor or find someone else.

Preconstruction Buying Process

Preconstruction buying involves buying a house, townhouse or condo while the project is still in the preconstruction phase. This process is a bit different from preconstruction itself in that the buyers aren’t part of the planning — they just view the plans to decide whether they want to buy the space. Potential investors ultimately get the first choice at the available space. Once the construction and buying contracts are complete, the buyer is free to do as they please with their property, within the terms of their contract.

guy wearing preconstruction safety gear

Things to Know Before Preconstruction

It’s best to consider preconstruction buying as an investment. When you invest in a preconstruction property, you’re essentially buying the right to purchase the property once construction is complete. Because the project is still just an idea, it could get canceled before construction even begins. If you’re wondering whether you should go through with preconstruction on your own building plans or invest in a preconstruction property, consult with professionals like your financial advisor, real estate agent or a reputable construction company first.

Discuss Your Project With JRM Construction Management

An effective preconstruction plan can set the stage for a successful construction project. At JRM Construction Management, our team of construction experts provides superior pre-construction planning, budgeting, scheduling and strategizing to help you make the best decisions for your project. After planning, we’ll assemble our team of contractors and other crucial parties to ensure your job is in good hands. We’ll guide everything from beginning preconstruction to handing you the keys when construction is complete.

To find out how we can help you start your project, contact the experts at JRM today.

interpreting construction plans