Commercial construction is different from residential construction because it involves more complex tasks. While the complexity of the tasks depends on the type, size, and details of the construction, they all follow the same steps.

The process of constructing a commercial building involves seven basic phases, each with different tasks. Constructors should carry out the phases in order, and how well they complete each stage determines how well the result will be.

Planning and Development Phase

This is the initial and most crucial phase of the whole project. It determines how smooth all the other stages will be because everything that happens results from this phase. As a contractor or project manager, you should be goal-oriented and have critical thinking in everything you do in this phase.

Some of the tasks involved in this phase include:

  • Deciding the right location
  • Setting a budget
  • Identifying and hiring the right team
  • Consulting with your team

When it comes to deciding the location for the building, you have to consider a site that works best for the commercial building. You also have to select a place that will be accessible for the clients and employees working there.

Zoning laws are essential to consider because they determine which types of buildings you can construct in a particular area.

Finally, it would help if you considered the area’s infrastructure like sewer and water lines to serve the buildings and fire hydrants in case of an emergency.

When setting the budget, you should consider every financial aspect of the project. That includes all the materials, labor, and getting government licenses and permits. You should determine a rough price estimate for each and include miscellaneous expenditure to cover any additional costs.

When hiring, consider working with people who have experience with similar projects in the past. You can consult other project managers or contractors and ask for recommendations.

Pre-Design Phase

This is an essential phase for the whole team to meet and make necessary preparations to avoid any mistakes in the design and construction phases. In this phase, some of the tasks include:

  • Selecting building materials, required equipment, and design products
  • Calculating the cost for all materials and equipment
  • Determining the building’s size
  • Determining the number, size, and orientation of the rooms
  • Creating contract documents

Design Phase

After roughly determining what the building will look like, the team now has to come up with drawings and models. You and your team should make these drawings and models to scale to determine any changes needed. This also helps you visualize how all the materials will be used, which helps to determine the exact costs of everything.

Having the models and drawings complete also makes it easier to understand whether the building complies with the building requirements and codes of the area. They also help electrical and mechanical engineers decide how best to install electricity and plumbing solutions in the building.

Civil engineers can design the drainage system, parking spaces, and how to connect the building to other existing infrastructure. With tall buildings, models and drawings help you determine how well the building will stand up against natural disasters like floods, strong winds, and earthquakes.

Pre-Construction Phase

Once you’ve decided how you want the building to look, you should start preparing for the construction phase. Some tasks in this phase include:

  • Obtaining a building permit
  • Getting insurance
  • Finding a construction team
  • Quality control
  • Determining working hours
  • Deciding where and how to store all the materials and equipment

Procurement Phase

In this phase, the general contractor finds suitable suppliers for services, building equipment, and materials. It would help to get invoices from different suppliers first to determine which one fits your budget best. You should also consider the quality of all the materials and equipment.

If the project is too big for the contractor to deal with alone, consider hiring subcontractors. For example, you can have a subcontractor for window installation, another for concrete work, another for plumbing work, etc.

It’s at this stage that you also determine if you’ll hire or buy building equipment like excavators and man lifts. You should decide whether you will get delivery trucks or have the suppliers deliver the products to you as well.

Construction Phase

This is the phase where you bring the building design to life. The tasks in this phase include:

  • Site preparation
  • Foundation construction
  • Framing
  • Roofing, siding, and HVAC
  • Interior
  • Exterior
  • Utilities
  • Landscaping

Post-Construction Phase

This step determines if all the tasks were done perfectly and if the building turned out as you expected. After every construction phase, professionals with permits need to inspect the building to look at the foundation, electrical wiring, HVAC system, utilities, and more.

You need to inspect the whole building to determine if any unsatisfactory areas need fixing like peeling paint, cracked tiles, or faulty wire installation. Finally, building authorities will check the entire building to ascertain that it meets all local regulations and codes.

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