Building a new building, or even a major renovation, boils down to three main phases. First is the planning stage, next comes the construction stage, and lastly, the post-construction stage. The pre-construction, or planning phase, is the first step. It involves planning and preparation, and is arguably the most intricate and difficult step. Fortunately, we’ve already gone into detail about it, so you can learn whatever you need to in order to get this phase done properly. The second phase occurs during construction. It involves dealing with all of the problems and unexpected occurrences that happen during the actual building phase. The last phase of the building process, post-construction is when you deal with wrapping everything up and dealing with any problems that arise after the vast majority of the building is done.

When does post-construction phase begin?

This is the phase when everything gets finished and your commercial building becomes ready to start bringing in income. In order for the post-construction phase to be completed properly, a checklist of problems should be compiled in the last part of phase two: the construction phase. In fact, the post-construction and construction phases (stage 2 and 3) have significant overlap. It’s not only a list of issues that need to be completed when construction is complete. Any immediate changes once the building is complete should be noted as well. For example, expansions that are needed, or improved facilities, parking, or otherwise should be taken into account. 

 Not only should the post-construction phase begin before construction is complete, but it can start during the planning phase as well. During planning construction, you can start making your post-construction checklist. You can draft paperwork for when the project is complete, and work out contracts and how to work/deal with the finished project.

The individual elements of post-construction


Every commercial contractor company will have a slightly different way of doing this. Mainly, the crux is that the building company is handing over control of the building to the owner. Once all labor on the building has stopped, documents should be signed that indicate it is totally complete. These documents will typically be agreed upon and settled during the pre-construction planning phase.

The local certification board/legal authority will also issue a certificate of occupancy, making it legal for the owner to move into the building. This will attest that construction is completely finished. 

During this phase, the construction contractor will also hand over necessary paperwork to the owner. The paperwork will involve warranties and building plans for operational and owner use. These papers will also cover any problems that may happen immediately after construction that the contractor is legally liable to handle.

Finishing the paperwork for post-construction will begin before the building is even started, and end after the building is complete.


Once the building is complete, the building needs to be cleaned up. Construction is a messy process, so cleaning up to make the building presentable is a necessity. It involves the following:

  • Cleaning walls clear of dirt, debris, and marks.
  • Removing plastic/stickers from parts of the building such as doors, windows, and furniture.
  • Power washing windows. 
  • Power vacuuming floors.
  • Handling any safety issues such as loose/exposed wiring and leaks.
  • Clearing off floors of trash and debris.
  • Dusting appliances like fans and heaters.
  • Disposal of trash and debris.

The cleaning will go through three main phases as well: rough cleaning, light cleaning, and final cleaning. Cleaning can involve many steps and parts, depending on the construction job. Find out much more about post-construction cleaning process here.

Seasonal testing

After construction, the builder should return for the next year to check on the building facilities during different seasons. Seasonal use amenities, such as air conditioners and heaters, should be tested out. All systems can not be tested fully during the construction phase, so this needs to be performed after building is complete.

Post-occupancy review

This part of the post-construction phase will address the issue of what can be done with the building if/when the owner/primary client moves out. This stage will ask and attempt to answer the following questions:

  • How can the building be used apart from its primary purpose?
  • What kind of business/organization could use this building?
  • What changes would be necessary to re-purpose the building?
  • How can the building be recommissioned during different parts of its life cycle?

Final Review

About one year after the building is complete, final tests will be completed on the building.  During this phase, the building contractor can ask questions of the owner. The contractor can find out how the phases of construction as a whole went. Was the contractor a good communicator? Was the building quality up to par? Were time and budget requirements respected? Answering these questions helps the contractor to better hone their services. It will make future jobs go more smoothly, and will also ensure that the client is satisfied. The final review is a great opportunity for the builder and the owner to end everything on a good note, and succinctly ending the business relationship. 

Ensure all phases of your construction process go as well as possible with Reliable Commercial

Reliable Commercial Construction has been in the building business for over 35 years. Our experience enables us to be not only high-quality builders but also fantastic at customer satisfaction. Our policy of relentless cooperation will ensure that we constantly and effectively communicate what you need to know during building. For Reliable, no job is too big, or too small- we can help you regardless of your project. Get a hold of us today for a free quote, and find out what we can offer you.