There are a number of different ways to approach any type of construction project, whether it is commercial or residential, a remodel, addition, or new construction, a process should be followed. Unfortunately, many contractors do not have a proper process and many projects can go down the wrong path quickly. Many problems can be avoided from the start, but this is sometimes the most overlooked portion of the project and can lead to issues with the Owner, including, but not limited to, undefined scope of work, miscommunication on what is expected or included, wrong material specifications, schedule issues, etc…
While many projects can have issues, complications, or require changes, many of these problems can be minimized greatly with a proper approach to the process.
Below is a summary/outline of a recommended approach to a project with a General Contractor. Following this guideline will provide the best opportunity for a successful project as well as create a better Contractor-Owner relationship. The items in bold are considered the most critical to providing an accurate estimate and getting the project started on the correct path.
1. Contractor Contact and Site Review
2. Discuss Scope of Work, Options
3. Provide Estimate
5. Determine Materials Specifications
6. Update Estimate and Provide Schedule
7. Contract/Proposal for Signature
8. Provide Owner with Lead Time Info and Decisions required
9. Permit (if necessary)
10. Work Start
11. Field Review for Conflicts, Confirm any Changes
12. Provide progress schedule, Updated Completion Date
13. Punch List
14. Project Completion/Closeout
Some of these items can take time to resolve and some can happen very quickly. A lot of it depends on how well prepared the Owner is for the project including what they want to do, what type of materials and design they want, and what the time frame for the project will be. The more info and decisions an Owner can provide will assist the contractor to prepare an accurate and cost effective proposal. It will also expedite the entire process from start to finish. I find that many Owners underestimate the time it takes to make all of the design and materials specification decisions. There are so many different options for every part of a project, it is important to be proactive about preparing for a project and/or allowing time for these important decisions to be made.
I hope this helps you understand the process a little better from a contractor’s perspective.