construction tips

1. Have your builder involved in your project as early as possible, right from the initial concept stages. Include your builder as a part of the development team to help control overall costs as well as shorten the project time cycle. Generally an owner hires an architect who then hires other consultants. Plans are completed and sent to various builders for pricing. Most project exceed initial budgets. The owner then asks the builder to help reduce the costs. This requires extensive cost reduction analysis/evaluation/component reduction or elimination, re-bidding to the sub-contractors involved and creation of new budgets. All of this costs money and time so early involvement of your builder will substantially reduce costs and time on your project. Consider hiring your builder on a design build basis to further reduce costs!

2. If you are thinking about expanding your operation you should always start with a feasibility study done by someone with real world practical experience. Your first question should always be, do I really need more space?

3. Develop a good planning team. Remember that changes made at the beginning are inexpensive to include. Changes made after the architect completes his plans can be costly as a design revision and since the plans are already filed for building permits the process will most likely be delayed. Changes made after the building process results in the most costly extras to the owner; they are usually very expensive and can seriously affect time schedules. Getting the project components that the owner wants in the plans before they are bid out the first time is the most cost effective way to control budgets and provide owners with the most professional service.

4. A very good planning team consists of:  the Owner, his Facilities Manager and Realtor, An Experienced Knowledgeable Contractor and a group of Design Professionals and Advisors.

5.  A Project Priority Checklist

    a.  Aesthetics
    b.  Completion & Occupancy Date
    c.  Compliance with regulations: local, state and federal
    d.  Energy Costs
    e.  Financing
    f.  Function/Ability of the Facility
    g.  Initial and Overall Cost
    h.  Location
    i.  Maintenance Costs
    j.  Path to Minimum Stress
    k.  Quality of Work
    l.  Safety on the Project
    m.  Integration into the Surrounding Neighborhood
    n.  Operations of the Facility

6.    Critical Location Factors & Considerations

    a.  Business Climate
    b.  Enviromental Regulations
    c.  Freight Costs
    d.  Investment Incentives
    e.  Labor Characteristics
    f.  Property Availability
    g.  Support Services
    h.  Soil Characteristics
    i.  Tax Burdents and Incentives
    j.  Utility Considerations
    k.  Zoning Regulations
    i.  Quality of Life

7.    Estimating Project Costs - Typical Project Costs for a Commerical or Industrial Building Include:

    a.  Land Costs
    b.  Legal Fees
    c.  Survey Costs
    d.  Project Financing Costs
    e.  Government Fees
    f.  Expediter Fees
    g.  Architect/Engineers Fees
    h.  Consultants Fees
    i.  All Direct Costs Including Site Development and Building Construction
    j.  Contractors Costs Including General Conditions
    k.  Contingency Costs for Probable Scope Changes
    l.  FF&E - Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment
    m.  Unforseen Costs Depending on Project Type and Location


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