Kick Off Your Project With Efficient Preconstruction Planning
Kick Off Your Project With Efficient Preconstruction Planning

Kick Off Your Project With Efficient Preconstruction Planning


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When managing construction, preconstruction is the critical planning step that allows you to prepare for everything once the construction phase starts. Whether you are a new project manager or a seasoned general contractor, it is important to note that this stage is essential, even though it does not involve actually building anything.

Preconstruction involves many necessary steps, from making a budget to choosing materials to creating a schedule. For each step, you need to plan and communicate clearly and carefully with your team, as this will dictate what will happen to your project as it progresses. You also have to hire people, make plans, and estimate before you can start digging, sawing, and putting. These steps lay the groundwork for a job that is carried out well.

In this article, let us talk more about preconstruction and how it can help you achieve your vision and goals for the project.

Defining Preconstruction

Preconstruction is the first step in managing construction, the part of a project that comes before the construction and post-construction stages. During preconstruction, things like making blueprints, figuring out how much the job will cost, getting permits, hiring contractors, and creating a construction schedule are planned and finalized. Essentially, it is the beginning stages of the project.

Why Is It Essential To Do Preconstruction?

As mentioned earlier, preconstruction is essential during the early stages of construction in order to make intelligent choices, stay on budget, and have a smooth building process. In today’s modern age, many project managers are using construction technology, such as software, to manage building projects. These can help you keep track of the planning process’s little details. In this section, let us look at the many ways having an efficient preconstruction stage can help you lead your project to success.

Keep Costs Down

Estimating, forecasting, and planning can help you better understand how much the work will cost. When project managers have this knowledge, they can come up with ways to save money, like using different, less expensive building materials or utilizing an alternative method or technique. You can have a clear overview of what to expect as the project progresses and be able to figure out how to get rid of any unexpected costs. Staying on budget is a direct result of managing the preconstruction phase well.

Streamlined and Optimized Workflow

Project managers can maximize resource use, delegate tasks, and reduce delays by carefully planning and creating a thorough schedule. The calendar and list of tasks can be shared with the whole project team during job scheduling, making this part of the process easy. Using construction management software can help keep you and your crew on the same page so everyone knows what tasks are critical at a specific time.

Good Communication and Close Collaboration

Everyone involved in a project, such as the owners, the clients, the architects, the engineers, and the designers, needs to agree on what the goals are. People who have a stake in the project work together during preconstruction to help get the job started. It is critical to be able to define the project’s scope, time, and cost baselines to ensure the deliverables are clearly defined from the start. 

Lessens Danger

Preconstruction is also the time to identify and address possible risks before it becomes an even bigger problem in the future. For example, site surveys can reveal risks like flooding or erosion, and from there, you will be able to design the proper foundation and footings to withstand these risks. By identifying these risks ahead of time, project managers will have time to find ways to fix problems before the building starts.

The Steps During The Preconstruction Stage

The preconstruction part is made up of several steps. In this section, let us look at how to do an efficient and effective preconstruction:

Step 1: Plan The Project

First, you will have to define the project’s goals and limits. During this step, you will have to figure out the project’s shape, size, and style. For example, you are building a custom home. This means that the clients work with the architect to choose the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, whether they want an open or closed floor plan, and which features they want. There are thorough drawings and floor plans in the project plan, as well as information about how long the work will take and what tools and workers will be needed.

Step 2: Feasibility Study

These studies examine the project’s potential by reviewing market trends, site conditions, estimated costs, and possible income. The goal is to determine the project’s likely earnings.

Step 3: Approval and Permits

Next, do some research to make sure you are following the rules and laws set by the city or town. For instance, if you are adding on for a client, then you need to get the correct building permits and send in your plans before you start the job.

Step 4: Finalize The Contract

In this step, you set up the legal and financial parts of your project. The contract will spell out what each person working on the project is responsible for.

Step 5: Resource Planning and Procurement

Once the project’s goals are clear and the contract is finalized, it is time to get the tools and people who can do the work. Finding suppliers, getting quotes or bids, and negotiating contracts are all parts of construction buying. You would decide on sellers and compare prices on these items before finalizing and buying the materials you need for the project.

Step 6: Get The Site Ready

Now is the time to prepare the place for construction. The planning is the same whether you are building a new house or adding to an existing one.

First, remove any buildings or obstructions that are in the way. For example, if your project includes a basement, you will probably have to dig for a new floor. The next step is site grading, which levels the ground and ensures water flows away properly. As soon as the ground is level and cut correctly, you can finally start building. 

The Challenges That You May Encounter During The Preconstruction Phase

There are some usual risks in the preconstruction phase. Here are some of those risks and some ideas for dealing with them.

Design Changes

Usually, a client’s choice or a mistake in the design could lead to changes. Most of the time, this means delays, higher costs, and countless change orders. Setting a clear goal at the project’s start and a set design review time can help keep these changes to a minimum.

Scope Creep

This means that the project has grown beyond its primary goals. Usually, this is contingent on design changes or could be because the client wants it or the project needs are not clear. At the start of the job, be honest with your client and everyone else who has a stake in the details. Everyone involved in the project must understand what it is supposed to do and how it will be done.

Permit Delays

The process of getting a permit takes a lot of time and involves working with outside groups. Find all the licenses you need at the start of the job and start right away. After getting the approvals, keep an eye on the work regularly.

Budget Changes

The whole project only works if the budget is planned well. When there is not enough money, work is often of poor quality, and clients are unhappy. To avoid this, estimate how much the materials, work, and permits will cost.


Best Practices For An Efficient Preconstruction


Building companies should do a lot of good things during the preconstruction phase. These best practices will help you lower your risk and get better project results.

Set Clear Goals and Expectations

Set clear goals for the project and agree on a big picture for it. This will guide the design, the choice of materials, and the hiring of subcontractors.

Do a Thorough Assessment of The Site

Check the site for problems. Consider the stability of the soil, how well it drains, and any risks, like floods or protected habitats.

Create an In-Depth Job Plan

Outline the whole building process, including jobs, deadlines, and materials. This is your plan for the job and should include best practices for project management, a schedule, and information about the resources you will need.

Accurately Forecast and Estimate Costs

Figure out the work cost, supplies, tools, and permits. This step is essential before making a project budget.

Spot Potential Problems and Manage Risks

Threats and unknowns that could affect the success of your project should be seen as such. For example, set up contracts with your suppliers to lock in the prices of the things you need so that the prices do not change.

Communicate With Your Team

Talk to everyone who has an interest, such as clients, engineers, architects, subcontractors, and providers. Good building management software and regular meetings before the project starts will keep everyone in the loop.

Start with an Audit Before Construction

You may already have a clear plan for the preconstruction phase. However, does it improve the way you do things? If you want to find weak spots in your current preconstruction process, you can do an audit of it. It helps you figure out how to make your preconstruction plans work better so that you have more success.

Automate Tasks

Using the right building management software, like Pro Crew Schedule, is one of the easiest ways to improve planning before the project starts. This eliminates manual tasks that take a lot of time, allowing you to focus on other critical items. Thus, it will reduce time and work and make things run more smoothly.


Key Takeaway

Finding weak spots during preconstruction planning is essential for making the building project go more smoothly and quickly. When contractors or project managers focus on planning before construction even starts, they have a much better chance of leading the project to success and staying on track with their plans and budget.

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