Constructing a commercial building can be stressful. There is a massive amount of time, money, and effort that is invested into a new building. It’s definitely not as simple as refinishing a room in your home or installing a few light fixtures. It is a long, arduous process that leaves little room for error. The stakes are high. However, purchasing a commercial building and working with a team of contractors and builders doesn’t have to leave you with daily headaches. In fact, it can actually be a smooth, fun process if approached in the right way. Here are some tips to help you avoid headaches while constructing your commercial or industrial building:
Secure the right amount of financing and budget accordingly. One of the first things that you need to do is get money (if you don’t already have the cash). The majority of commercial buildings are financed and this needs to be thought about and discussed before you start trying to find a general contractor. When you have your needs set in stone, you can then start looking at general contractors and securing estimates. Don’t sign a contract just yet, though.
Once you know a ballpark figure for the construction project, you will be able to talk with a lender. To avoid headaches and to get a loan for the amount that you need, be sure to provide the bank with all of the necessary documents. Depending on your business, make sure that the building you want is reasonable and possible based on your current financial situation. If not, you may have to wait a while, opt for a smaller structure, or choose a different location.
Hire the best commercial construction contractor for your needs. The number one thing that you can do to have a great construction experience is to hire the right guy for the job. Contrastly, hiring a cheap, inexperienced contractor just to save money will probably end up costing you more in the end in headaches and money.
A general contractor is like the director of a movie - he calls the shots, he keeps the construction site safe, and he tells people where they need to be and what they need to be doing. An experienced, qualified general contractor will do his job properly so that you don’t need to worry about how things are going on the construction site. You will be able to trust him.
Make sure your contractor has done work similar to your project in the past. If so, your project will likely be done more efficiently and with a higher quality of craftsmanship. For more tips on hiring the best general contractor and avoiding one that’s not so great, check out this blog.
Know what you want before you build. The time to discuss design features, plans, placement of rooms, etc. is before you start building. Your building should be (for the most part) set in stone before the foundation is laid. When changes are made after construction commences, it gets infinitely more expensive.
Change orders are one of the most headache-inducing, costly issues that can happen on a construction project and they usually happen because the building owner changes their mind or wants to add something. A change order involves an amendment to the original contract and possibly means getting more money from the lender. It’s less stressful to know what you want and make the right decisions during the design phase and then stand by those decisions.
Create a reasonable timeline. In order for the building to be built with quality craftsmanship, your general contractor will need a certain amount of time to complete the building. Of course, this can vary widely depending on the scope of the project. The point is, if your contractor says something will take a certain amount of time, trust him. He will work with you to create a reasonable, mutually-beneficial timeline.
A pre-construction meeting in which you discuss tasks, milestones, completion dates, and any foreseen pitfalls will work wonders. If the timeline is appropriate, you will be able to plan for your business. If the timeline is incorrect and attempts to finish things too quickly, your project will probably fall behind schedule and you will feel stressed.
Don’t try to cut costs mid-project. This will create a headache for you and for your contractor. If the contractor provided you with a fixed price contract, he won’t be too happy about this big of a change order. It will not only cause unnecessary strife between you and the contractor, it will probably end up costing you more in the end in lost productivity. Avoid it at all costs.
Trust the general contractor and his team. If you have hired the best contractor for your needs, you can trust him and know that he will do the job you hired him to do. He will provide you with a spectacular, durable building that meets your specifications. A commercial construction project requires many different people with a lot of different areas of expertise. Each of these people has an investment in your project.
A great contractor will only hire the best people as his team members and he will only use subcontractors that he knows perform quality work. A trusting, collaborative environment will yield the best results and will ensure that the construction process is headache free for everyone involved.
Keep open lines of communication with the general contractor. If you truly do have concerns about the direction of your project or if you have a reason to mistrust the contractor, you need to talk with him right away. This is why it is important to have a culture of honesty and openness with your general contractor. If you can communicate with him candidly, your construction project will be less stressful. Meet with the contractor regularly (even if there’s nothing going wrong).
Hopefully by following these tips, your construction project will be finished without a hitch.