Preconstruction is a critical planning step that can make or break a project’s success. The process is essential to allow you to prepare for every part of the project and ensure it goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. There are a lot of crucial steps that go into preconstruction planning, from finalizing your project’s scope and making a budget to choosing materials and creating a schedule. It would help if you focused on constant communication and close collaboration in each stage to consider every detail.
In this article, let us look at the importance of preconstruction, its steps, and tips on taking advantage of its benefits.
Preconstruction is the stage of a project that comes before the construction itself even starts. Getting preconstruction right is very important because it sets the tone for the rest of the project. During this stage, you can finalize critical details such as drawing up the blueprints, figuring out how much the job will cost, what materials or resources you need, getting permits, hiring contractors, and making a construction schedule.
Effective preconstruction planning allows you to bring together the team to make a plan for the future. This way, you will be sure that everyone, from builders, engineers, and contractors to owners, is on the same page. Everyone must have a whole idea of what must be done for things to run smoothly and ensure no speed bumps. If done right, it leads to fewer delays, better use of resources, and happy customers.
Why Is It Essential to Conduct Preconstruction?
As mentioned earlier, preconstruction is crucial for making intelligent choices, staying on budget, and having a smooth building process. It serves as your baseline on how you want the project to proceed. It gives builders time to prepare before working, and your teams will know what to expect when construction finally starts. This lowers the risk of delays and misunderstandings during construction. Construction management software can help you and your team track all the details during planning.
This section looks at some benefits of an efficient and effective preconstruction process.
Keeps Costs Down
Estimating and planning will help project owners better understand how much the work will cost and how much they can profit from it. Having this knowledge early in the process lets you see how to use money efficiently, get the best value possible, and eliminate unexpected costs. Staying on budget is a direct result of managing the preconstruction phase well.
Project managers can use resources best and reduce delays by carefully planning and making a thorough schedule. This way, you can share this with the team and get valuable insights on efficiently assigning tasks and ensuring everything goes according to plan.
Everyone involved in a project, from the owners, the clients, the architects, the engineers, and the designers, must understand the project’s scope and goals. People with a stake in the project must work together during preconstruction to help get the job started.
Lessons Danger and Possible Roadblocks
Preconstruction lets you look at the project and spot potential risks before it begins. You must devise contingency plans to account for this and ensure the project is still completed within the set baselines. For example, you can find dangers like flooding or erosion during site surveys. By figuring out these risks, project managers will have time to find ways to fix problems before the building starts.
The Preconstruction Process
The preconstruction process is made up of several steps. In this section, let us look at the primary preconstruction stage steps.
Define the Project Scope
It is critical to lay down your project’s framework before you can even think about starting the construction phase. As a first step, write down what you want the end project to look like, its technical details, goals, and any potential problems. Once you know your project’s scope, you can help your building and design teams fully understand what they need to do. You can inform your clients and stakeholders to understand everything they need to know, from the risks, design requirements, site plans, and schedules to different tools.
Plan The Project and Finalize the Details
Next, you will work with the clients to finalize the details. For example, if you are building a new custom home, you must work with the clients to understand their vision. Finalize how many bedrooms or bathrooms they need or if they want a pool. This step lets you choose the project’s plan, quality, style, size, and building materials and systems used. You can better plan how to finish the job if you know all the details.
Set The Budget
Once you know how you want the project to look, you must determine how much it will cost. In this step, you will need to work with your design and building teams to determine how much the project will cost by doing a cost analysis and budgeting. Once you have a rough budget based on the cost analysis, you and your team can develop other cost options to give the client more choices. You can only sometimes plan for some things, so keeping your budget up to date throughout the process is essential.
Lay Down Your Schedule
Once you have set the groundwork for your project, you can set due dates for your milestones. With these dates as goals, your team will know what to do and what to prioritize from the first day of the building process. Setting deadlines also helps you keep costs down because you can avoid delays by ordering supplies ahead of time.
Determine Your Project Team
You will need to choose the people working on your project once you have a clear idea of the plan, details, scope, and budget. Since you will be ready to put together your bid packages, you can find people who can handle the needs of your project successfully. You can speed up the bidding process by meeting with suppliers and giving them information.
Resource Planning and Procurement
Once the plans for the project are clear, 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. Choosing the products for the project is another vital part of preconstruction development. Because some goods take a long time to arrive, you need to know exactly what tools and materials you need before you start the job.
Find out which parts need to be ordered and plan how you will get them in time while choosing your interests. At this point, you can also add a procurement schedule to your building schedule to make things run more smoothly once construction starts.
Get The Site Ready
Lastly, you will need to get the site ready for the construction to start. Get rid of any site obstructions that are in the way. The next step is site grading, which levels the ground and ensures water flows away correctly. You can start building when the ground is level and cut accurately.
Common Challenges During Preconstruction
The construction industry involves a million moving parts. This makes it prone to various risks and delays that are sometimes out of our hands. Here are some of those risks and some ideas for how to deal with them.
A client’s choice or a mistake in the design could lead to changes that can lead to delays and higher costs. You can combat this by setting a clear goal at the project’s start and setting a design review time that can help keep these changes to a minimum.
Budget and Cost Overruns
The whole project will only succeed if the budget is planned well. With enough money, work is often of poor quality, but clients are happier, and this could help your company’s profitability in the long run. To avoid this, estimate how much the materials, work, and permits will cost.
Scope creep means that the project has grown beyond its primary goals. This could be because the client wants it or the project needs to be clarified initially. At the start of the job, be honest about the details with your client and everyone with a stake in it. Communicate the goals with your team and get their insights and input.
Best Tips to Get the Most Out Of Your Preconstruction Phase
Now that we have defined preconstruction, its importance, and the steps involved, let us look at how you can incorporate them and get the most out of it. These best practices will help you lower your risk and get better project results.
Write Down Your Project Goals
This must be stressed more, but it is critical to set clear goals for the project and agree on the big picture. Work with your team to decide on a plan. This will guide the design, the choice of materials, and the hiring of subcontractors.
Do Your Technical Due Diligence
Check the site for any problems and incorporate them into your plans. Some things to consider are how stable the soil is, how well it drains, and any risks, like floods or protected habitats.
Create An In-Depth Job Outline
Outline the whole building process, including jobs, deadlines, and materials. Create a plan and connect all your activities to discover your critical path. This helps you get a clear overview of your construction process and assign tasks to your team to keep everything on track. 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.
Keep Track of Project Information
Keep copies of contracts, permits, and change orders, and let everyone involved in the job know about everything. This is an excellent spot for construction software to take over as a central place for everyone to discuss project updates and keep everyone on the same page.
Focus on Constant Communication
Setting up clear contact lines and a plan ensures your project’s success. Setting clear goals and good ways to talk to each other early on makes it easier to work together and have their needs met by the other person.