Pre-construction services are services that may be purchased before tangible construction begins to help plan, examine, and establish requirements for construction. They are intended to educate clients on what will be necessary to make the project functional and economically feasible.
Not all projects require pre-construction services; however, pre-construction services could be particularly treasured on multifaceted or complicated projects. The consequence of a builder’s input during the design phase is further streamlined design development, with little to no changes and surprises for the new homeowner.
The most efficient methods of pre-construction services partner the builder and designer affording accurate construction techniques, materials and cost information to weigh the options prior to the new construction or remodel breaking ground. This is an efficient process that assures homeowners their construction and design teams are completely in sync.
Early cost estimates lead to a more streamlined efficient design and construction process. Constructability issues are addressed prior to construction and creative cost-saving construction alternatives can be explored. Costs are visible during design, allowing you to make cost-wise choices early in the design phase, rather than necessitating an expensive redesign after the project has been fully detailed.
Pre-construction services add a profound level of detail to your designer’s scope of work and specifications. This immensely reduces the risk of construction cost overruns, change orders, and unexpected delays in the project.
The cost of pre-construction services is typically 1-2% of the construction budget (on top of construction costs) typically works out to about $1000+ month depending on the scope.
Preconstruction services are a separate agreement from the actual construction contract, which allows for a client to collect information and learn about their project before they agree to complete any construction. It also allows for a client to break the relationship with the preconstruction services contractor if the project isn’t feasible (cost or constructability) or the relationship isn’t meeting their desired expectations.
Typically, the services pay for themselves in the cost savings identified during the design process through materials selections and methods of construction.
Getting a builder/contractor involved early on in the process will help clients guide the project along from a constructability lens. Contractors will work with the engineers that identify systems and structural details that need attention. They then offer solutions to architects on designing around existing conditions, which will help save time and money later in construction.
In most cases, the following items are included during the preconstruction phase and will help determine project feasibility. They are often provided in a hard copy via a report, and digital files to save for later review.
Engineering Assessment – This assessment will analyze the existing conditions of the space and determine the needs of the project. For example, HVAC, electrical and plumbing assessments will be made to determine if they will be sufficient and work properly for the proposed use.
Develop an Initial Schematic Design – Field measure existing space and produce digital files of the layout. This initial layout will help clients visualize the space, ensure there is sufficient space for all equipment, furnishings, and required ingress/egress.
Preliminary Construction Budget – A budget will then be produced based on the schematic design and engineering assessment. This budget will be based on comparable spaces, with estimates, and isn’t necessarily a bid.
Depending on the agreement, a proposal for construction will be prepared later based on the construction documents, and final designs. This step will also help with financing activities.
Responsibility Matrix – A responsibility matrix may then be developed to assist in the identification of deliverables by all parties when the project moves to construction. In most cases, it determines who is providing the items, and who is installing it. For some projects, the contractor, the client, and property owner are the three parties with dependent moving parts. A clear picture ensures a smooth construction project with constant communication.
Preliminary Construction Schedule – After most of the scope is laid out, a schedule can be produced, but it will be dependent on final decisions being made. The preliminary schedule is more of a guide to identify lead times and the sequence of construction. It can estimate days to complete each construction task and help provide a rough idea of when the project could be completed.