Pre-construction Services are additional services that some builders and construction managers will provide to clients at the front end of a construction project prior to starting. The main purpose of pre-construction services is to assist the client from the beginning of a project at project conception in achieving their design and budget goals. The end result of the pre-construction process is typically saving the client time and money. I will go into greater detail of what services the contractor may include below. Builders and Construction Managers typically charge a fee for pre-construction services.
What does the Contractor include in the Pre-Construction Services?
The services provided by builders and construction managers during the pre-construction phase of a project will vary depending on the point at which they were hired on the project and the particular type of project. Below is a list of what your contractor may provide during the pre-construction process.
- Understanding the Mission, the Ultimate Goal.
The contractor will need to fully understand what the client wants to achieve. Everything must be disclosed in order for the process to succeed: Budgets, Design Ideas, Location, Timeline, Personality Concerns, etc. It is very important for the client to understand that everything associated with the project must be openly shared with the builder at this point.
- Project Site Review.
The contractor will walk the project site to provide information on: utilities, local government jurisdiction concerns, construction ideas, soil conditions.
- Construction Team Recommendations.
The builder may provide you with suggestions on other organizations that will need to be a part of the construction team. Some of these may include: Architects, Lenders, Engineers, Designers, Real Estate Agents, Land Brokers, Insurance Brokers.
- Preliminary Estimates.
At different phases of the pre-construction process your contractor may provide you with preliminary cost estimates. As the project continues to develop the preliminary estimates can be updated and the information become more accurate.
- Value Engineering / Scope Reduction.
Should there be a discrepancy between initial designs and client budgets, the contractor can recommend alternate materials and construction methods to bring then in sync.
- Constructability and Material Suggestions.
As the project design is developing, the builder will periodically review the construction drawings and documents to make suggestions on materials, construction related concerns, and building systems. This is also a good time to discuss green building options.
The preliminary construction schedule works a lot like the preliminary estimate. The builder will develop a preliminary construction schedule showing the timelines of the different activities that will occur during the construction process. This schedule will be periodically updated as the project design evolves.
The contractor will put the construction drawings and documents out for bid when the following conditions are met: construction drawings are 100% complete, all drawings and documents have been approved by the client, the documents are in sync with the latest estimate and schedule. Once the contractor has received all their bids, they can then present a cost proposal to the client. At this point, if you have not already done so, you will want to discuss the Construction Contract / Agreement and if there are other options to discuss.
I strongly suggest that a builder, contractor, construction manager, construction consultant be hired for pre-construction services for all construction projects. You will never understand all of the benefits this service will provide the client and project unless you have been thru the headaches of a project without it. The minor fees that are charged for pre-construction services will ultimately be nominal compared to the time and money they will save the client.