Your Pre-Construction Plan Should Include These 5 Things

Every construction project starts with an idea. Whether you’re envisioning an updated medical practice with expansive renovations or a brand new restaurant designed from the ground up, the first step in taking your idea from a notion to reality is developing a preconstruction plan.

Most major undertakings in life run smoother with proper planning. If you’re planning to retire one day, you know you need a financial plan in place well in advance. Similarly, taking your family on a dream vacation requires a certain amount of research and planning. This is essential when it comes to construction projects too. A well thought out preconstruction plan will save you time and money when it comes to the build phase of your project.

Just like establishing a financial plan for your retirement will give you peace of mind for your future, having a plan in place for your construction project will put your mind at ease once you relinquish project control over to your construction team.

Choosing a general contractor to work with needs to be done prior to the creation of your preconstruction plan. You and your contractor will work closely to create a plan that works for your project. When choosing your contractor, make sure to select a reputable and experienced company. A high level of foresight is needed to plan for the unexpected. This can only be accomplished by working with qualified general contractors. Anticipating potential setbacks comes with first-hand knowledge and on-the-job wisdom.

Many stages of preconstruction planning will happen simultaneously to help the project move forward faster. The more detail provided during the preconstruction phase, the better off your project will be when construction begins.

Defining the Project Objectives

The first step in creating your preconstruction plan will be to work with your general contractor to define your project objectives. This is where you’ll outline every aspect of the project from carefully scrutinizing blueprints and architectural designs and finalizing the big picture goals. Consider the overall placement and design and troubleshoot any potential issues that may arise.

The work done during this phase will lay the groundwork for the rest of your project. During this stage, an experienced contractor will have the ability to determine the feasibility of the construction project and location. This is why working with a knowledgeable contractor is essential to preventing delays during later phases of the project.

The next stages of creating your preconstruction plan will ensure that your project’s construction phase will be completed on time and within budget.

Detailing the Scope of Work

Creating a detailed scope of work is considered the single most crucial aspect of your preconstruction plan. The more detail provided, the better. Creating an accurate budget and schedule will depend on what is outlined in the scope of work.

Proper planning involves answering the following questions:

  • What needs to be done?
  • Who will be responsible for each task?
  • What materials are needed?
  • What equipment is needed?

Think of the scope of work as a roadmap with step-by-step instructions for getting from point A (the start of the project) to point B (project completion). Your contractor will be essential in creating the overall scope of work based on your project objectives. Identifying the tasks that will need to be completed will allow your contractor to hire a competent crew of workers.

A well-defined scope of work will ensure the contractor understands the client’s vision. Having all parties on the same page helps to limit mistakes later down the road and it also allows for the contractor to better prepare with an accurate timeline and scheduling of any subcontractors that may be used.

Outlining a Budget

The feasibility of the scope of work is dependent on the project budget. As a client, you will most likely bring to the table a set budget. However, unless the budget is based on a reasonable assessment of job costs, the initial budget may not match the project needs.

A skilled contractor will be able to assess whether the proposed budget is feasible for the project’s completion. When the proposed budget does not meet project needs, a contractor can suggest project changes to accommodate the client’s vision and goals.

Outlining a budget will bring the project scope to life. Applying the cost to which materials will be used and how many subcontractors will be needed reflect a more accurate and informed budget.

The budget will be based on similar jobs done previously, as well as an up-to-date knowledge of labor and material costs. Contingency funds will also be determined based on potential issues that may arise.

While it’s not uncommon for construction projects to go over budget, careful planning and evaluation during the preconstruction planning process can help to keep the budget on track. For a budget to be realistic and accurate, it’s essential to detail how it was calculated, what it reflects, and what comparable costs may be.

Acquiring the Proper Approvals

Once the scope of work is understood, your contractor will have an idea of building permits needed for your project.

Every construction project requires approvals before construction can begin. This includes new construction, additions, remodeling, and repairs to electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. For example, a building permit ensures your project complies with local, state, and federal standards for land use, zoning, and construction. Permits help safeguard that the minimum requirements will be used to protect public health, safety, and property welfare.

The process of acquiring the proper permits can sometimes be a lengthy undertaking and needs to be started early on to keep the project moving forward. Your project cannot begin the construction stage without first obtaining the necessary permits.

Setting a Schedule

The final component of your preconstruction plan is the creation of a schedule. Some clients will require a specific completion date, while others are more flexible.

A detailed schedule is needed to ensure projects stay on track. Different job tasks often require specialized subcontractors. Subcontractors are an essential aspect of the crew; however, they are not present from the start to finish of the job. Because subcontractors are only hired for their portion of the work, they need to be appropriately scheduled to keep the project moving forward.

Setting a schedule will involve setting key project milestones. Each milestone will have a start and finish date. Construction projects often have many different moving parts, so it’s helpful to have everyone working together on the same timeline.

Everyone working on the project will have a say in what can be completed at which part of the plan to avoid falling behind schedule. Tasks and responsibilities will need to be clearly defined when creating the project schedule.

You’re All Set!

The scope, budget, and schedule are the main elements of your preconstruction plan needed to drive your project forward. A properly planned project will allow for wiggle room during the construction phase regarding unexpected time and budget pitfalls. Proper preparation prevents project setbacks from derailing the completion date.

Submit Your Bid Request

When you’re ready to take your project from an idea to reality, Loder Construction should be at the top of your list! As commercial general contractors in the Sacramento area, we’re equipped to take on any project.

Our vast portfolio includes ground up, and custom builds, healthcare facilities, office builds, sports complexes, restaurants, and much more! Loder Construction has also worked on a number of Retail Centers within the Roseville Galleria, Downtown Plaza, Arden Fair Mall, The Fountains at Roseville, Sunrise Mall, El Dorado Hills Town Center, and The Solano Town Center. Don’t just take our word for it, we’ll provide references upon request. We have the competence to build any store at any location. We’ve also remodeled and modernized many builds.

When working with Loder Construction, you can expect excellence in every phase of your project. As a commercial general contractor committed to capturing our client’s vision, Loder Construction has an experienced in-house team to produce your preconstruction plan complete with a preliminary project schedule, budget, and complete entitlement checklist. We skillfully connect conceptual designs and floor plans based on the client’s vision to our expertise in construction.

Other services we offer include professional estimating, janitorial cleaning services, HVAC sanitation, space planning, and much more! Loder Construction is a team you can count on for having your project completed on time and on budget. We are dedicated to employing passionate staff, overseeing our experienced crew, and using quality materials for every project we take on, no matter how big or small.

If you’re looking for a reliable general contractor, contact us today! We’d love to hear about your project and show you excellence in construction.


JJ Loder

He received his first hammer at 4 years old, not that he wanted one but, because he kept “borrowing” his father’s. Construction has been a part of his life and being raised as a six-generation carpenter, it came naturally. As a boy he visited his father and grandfather on their construction site, and he learned what was being built. High school and college summers were spent soaked in sweat, at the end of broom as his apprentice skills improved. After graduating from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2008, he started running small Tenant Improvements for Loder Construction and excelled in keeping projects on-time and on budget.