Commercial Construction FAQ
Questions and answers for anyone considering starting a construction project.
Commercial Construction FAQ
No matter what kind of business you run, odds are good you will reach the point you will need to build something new. You might need a totally new building for your expanding business. You might need a renovation on your present place of operation as your business practices change. Either way, business owners often have to foray into the world of construction. In those cases, most people who aren’t already in the construction industry will need some pointers.
How should I plan for my commercial building construction?
This is such a good question that we listed it first. It boils down to three basics:
Location and Building Plan
This is a huge element in the planning process. It involves careful consideration of the following:
- Accessibility to clients, employees, and other businesses.
- Zoning, as well as laws and regulations regarding building in that area.
- How will the nearby area handle the future business? What is that area’s projected growth? Can the area handle the increased traffic? What about safety?
- Water and sewer lines, and electric supply in that location must be sufficient.
- Environmental testing and surveying. This will determine if the area has soil contaminants, the removal of which can be very expensive.
Ultimately, location, projected traffic (incoming and outgoing business), the purpose of the building, and nearby infrastructure will determine the building plan. Here’s a good checklist to help with choosing the right location.
Once you have a building plan and location, figure out your costs. Costs should be in total, this will include everything from labor costs of general contractors to land costs to projected future costs of running the business. The ultimate goal of this step is to figure out if your construction will be feasible/sustainable. Will you make enough money from the business to continue?
Finding the right team to get it done
Once you have a plan and have figured out your costs, it’s time to find someone who will build it for you. You will need a vast number of contracts for your commercial construction team so that everything will be legally binding. The contract should also include the projected construction timeline.
What are the phases of a construction project?
- The first stage is what happens during the completion of the planning, and just after it is finished. It is also known as the pre-construction phase.
- The construction phase. This is where you try to keep on-budget, on-time, and hopefully avoid any major catastrophes. During budgeting, it’s a good idea to put some money aside for miscellaneous costs that will arise during this step.
- Post construction. This is the step of wrapping everything up and transitioning from the building phase to the phase of running the business. Now is when you will start to pull in some revenue off of the business.
Do I need to get building permits and insurance for my commercial construction?
The answer is almost certainly yes. Unless you are building somewhere with no government presence at all, such as a war zone or Mars, you will need building permits. These should be handled during the pre-construction phase of building. As for insurance, you will want three things:
- Builder’s insurance, or builder’s risk insurance.
- Commercial and general contractor liability insurance.
- Workers compensation insurance.
These will keep you covered during the building of your construction, and after.
When complete, you will want to switch to another type of insurance for running your business.
What type of foundation should I have?
Foundation is incredibly important. It will determine the longevity of your building and how tall it can be. Your foundation will need to be based on the following considerations:
- What type of soil is your building in?
- How big will it be? A high-rise apartment, a small house, and a big box store will all have vastly different foundations.
Fortunately, we have written extensively on foundations and how they can best be made.
Why work with a commercial contractor?
If the whole building process seems intimidating, complex, or altogether too time-consuming, that’s understandable. Fortunately, working with a commercial contractor will help make the whole process much easier.
- A more streamlined process that takes less time and effort from you.
- Less micromanaging required. The contractor will be able to make decisions (such as what type of foundation to use) for you.
- A higher chance of success of the project. With a commercial contractor, you can look at previous projects and see their success rate. Your odds of keeping the project’s costs under control, as well as the timeline strict are much higher with a tried and true contractor.
What should I ask a commercial contractor?
First and foremost, ask them all the questions listed here! Make sure that they agree with you on the budget, timeline, and scope of the project. Other questions of importance include:
- What are you warranty options? This ensures you can handle problems with the building that arise after construction is complete.
- How long have you been in this business?
- Have you done projects similar to this one?
- Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
- What is your payment schedule? Ensure you do not pay 100% up front.
- How do you ensure project costs don’t fluctuate?
- Can you provide references?
- What does your job safety record look like? You should not hire a contractor who doesn’t keep these records.
- Are you projected costs for the project estimates or guaranteed?
- Were your most recent projects delivered on-time and on-budget? A contractor may change employees or management, thus changing the quality of their work.
How do I pick the right contractor?
Ideally you want one who can answer all of your questions, and help you with the questions listed here. A good track record is also a must. If you are in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, then look no further. Reliable Commercial Construction has over 35 years of experience and a team big enough to handle any project. Contact us today to get your project started.
About the Process
For every step of a construction project, including the simplest and the most complex, we make sure all our predefined processes are scrupulously respected in an effort to ensure a successful outcome.
Construction projects always take a considerable amount of time and work and represent a consequent investment. Working with the following steps enables us to make sure each project has everything it needs and can follow projected delivery dates.
- Commercial Construction