If you have a business in the construction industry, then there’s a good chance that you like working with your hands, managing projects, and creating things. However, while the actual projects might be the best part of the job, there is more to it than that. There are steps you need to take and things you need to have before you can start any project.
If you are not properly prepared, then any number of things could happen. You might go over budget or over time, for example. You could also end up with an unsafe worksite or have to deal with complaints from the client. On the other hand, having everything in place ahead of time will make the build go smoother, give you peace of mind, and ensure that you can focus on the work during the project. Here are some things that you need before you begin a construction build to make sure that it’s a success.
Never start a construction build without a budget in place. The client should approve your budget, and if you go over that budget, you will be on the hook for the difference. Make sure that you include every possible cost when you are calculating your expenses. This includes materials, staffing, utilities, equipment costs, insurance, subcontractors, and tools. Construction builds can cost millions of dollars and involve many different components, and everything should be included.
Never forget that construction builds often cost more than the initial forecast. There are many reasons for this, such as delays and errors. Include a buffer in your budget for these possible issues, and get approval from the client. That way, everyone will understand if there needs to be an additional cost attached to the project, and you will be prepared for it.
The Right Location
Before you can even budget, you will need an appropriate location for your project. This means that the type of building you are constructing, whether commercial or residential, is legal to be built where you want it. Talk to real estate professionals to make sure of this before you start to dig. Failure to do so could mean that your project gets shut down, or you will have to pay heavy fines. Also, never buy land for construction without understanding what is allowed to be built there.
Once you have your location and are ready to go, do not forget to get your zoning and building permits. Zoning permits will show that you are legally entitled to build the type of structure you will build. You will have to provide detailed plans of the structure to the zoning department so they can ensure that what you are doing meets their requirements.
You will also have to get permits for certain aspects of the build. For example, your electrician will have to apply for electrical permits, as will the plumber. You will also need a permit for the type of support your building will have to ensure that it is properly safe.
It is never a good idea to avoid paying for insurance. Even one negative incident could be disastrous for your business. Construction projects are dangerous, and people could get hurt. You will have employees on-site as well as clients, and you may have the general public nearby as well. A personal injury claim or other lawsuits could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and beyond. If you don’t have protection, you will need to pay for those costs out of your pocket. Insurance will also protect you if the client does not like the work you provided and decides to sue. There may not be any merit to the claims, but they can sue nonetheless.
It’s important to remember that even if you have insurance for your business, you might also need it for specific jobs. If you need to add additional insurance, check the costs for the extras and add them to your budget. You should also not work with any subcontractors who do not have their own insurance, and they must provide proof to you.
The Right Subcontractors
If you don’t already have them on your staff, you will need to work with various subcontractors to complete your project. These include electricians, plumbers, engineers, heavy equipment specialists, HVAC specialists, and potentially more. You may already have close working relationships with subcontractors, but if you don’t, then you will need to interview any potential partners to make sure they are the right fit. You want to ensure they have the skills and capacity to do the work that’s required and also that you can have a good working relationship with them.
A Start and Finish Date
You need to have a general idea of the timeline for the project. Is there a deadline from the client? Do you need to work during certain environmental conditions? All of this needs to be factored in when you are planning out the build. The client may need it done faster because they have a commercial use for the space that is time-sensitive. If that’s the case, you may need to hire more people to get things done on time. If there is little concern about the completion date, then you can build in time in the schedule to make sure that everything is perfect, and you can wait for certain supplies and materials. Weather delays, drying cement and paint, and other factors can lead to delays. Make sure to build those into your schedule.
Any construction build is a great achievement, but there’s no reason to make it harder on yourself or your client. Make sure that you have everything in place before you start to hit the ground running and have as smooth a time as possible during the project. If you don’t, you will find that you have cost and time overruns, mistakes, and other consequences to deal with. Be prepared and get the job done right.