At BnK Construction, we place a large emphasis on making sure the construction process is simple for our clients. We want you to not only be thrilled with how your new space came out, but with the process that got us there
Even with this emphasis, for those experiencing a commercial construction project for the first time, there are bound to be some surprises. Below, we answer common questions and provide some information to keep in mind as you begin your construction process.
What should I know about the pre-construction process?
Utilities must be set up in advance
For first-time commercial construction clients, many don’t know that utilities and similar services need to be set up well in advance of the start of the project. This will ensure that the space has electricity, and that your project can hit the ground running.
Have us there when you meet with vendors and suppliers
A lot goes into building a highly functioning commercial space. This is particularly true if your commercial space will require restaurant infrasture like soda or beer lines, low voltage or data communications systems, or anything else that will be running through your building.
By having us there when you meet with these suppliers or contractors, we can alert potential issues, let you know if something will change the project, and help problem solve and create solutions.
Invest in an architect and good plans
Hiring a good architect that can create good plans will save you time and ultimately money. It will also lead to a better designed commercial space.
In our general contractor’s words: “Pay for a good set of plans. It will cost more but will save time in the long run. Also, a good architect is a must… again, costs more, but worth it.”
What influences changes in timeline?
COVID-19 has had an impact on lead-time for materials, appliances, and fixtures
A big issue that all builders (and really any business) has experienced since 2020 is longer wait times to get the materials, fixtures, and appliances that clients want. This is mostly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but these wait times may last far longer given the backlog of consumers on the waitlist.
Be aware that items that have to be ordered may take longer than expected and could impact overall timelines.
Permit times have never taken longer to be approved
In a similar vein, permit times are taking longer to get approved. With more projects than ever being undertaken in the Portland area, and government workers under restrictions and precautions, this has caused a large backlog in permit approvals.
This will likely be the case as we move into the future given the backlog, but will be accounted for when we lay out our initial timelines with you at the start of the project.
Change orders and unexpected issues affect timing and budget
The largest reason for project delays are unexpected issues with the project, and change orders mid-project. While we always meticulously plan to catch any unforeseen delays before they happen, to a certain extent they are a fact of building. Try to budget this into your expectations.
More controllable are change orders mid-project, which can delay projects months depending on what is being changed or switched. We work with a lot of subcontractors, and a delay of just 1 day for a single part of your project can set everything back.
What is needed from me during the project?
Approve things as quickly as you can (within reason)
As the project moves along, you will be asked to approve submittals. If you are not satisfied with something and do not want to approve it, we encourage you to speak up so we can fix the issue to your satisfaction.
That said, limiting delayed responses and providing quick answers will keep the project moving and not cause unnecessary delays.
If you are providing anything for the project, coordinate with your general contractor
If you are providing anything to your commercial project (fixtures, materials, appliances) or have hired an additional contractor for work on site, always coordinate with your general contractor and superintendent.
We are always happy to work with our clients to integrate items they source on their own to help them achieve their vision, but unexpected contractors or items can lead to delays and sub-par results. By giving us a heads up, we’ll be able to coordinate with any other contractors and provide the best possible result.
Be proactive with your general contractor during the final site walk through
While we offer our clients a 1-year warranty, the primary opportunity to let your general contractor know that you are unhappy with something is with the end-of-project punch list.
One of the final steps of your project is to walk through the space with your general contractor to find any things you’ll want fixed or adjusted. In this walk through, if you see something, say something. This is your opportunity. Take advantage of it!
What will create a more seamless construction experience?
Communicate with your general contractor about space access
Job sites can get hectic in the middle of a construction project. Giving your superintendent or general contractor a heads up that you’ll be coming into the building will make your experience better and ensure that you’ll be able to safely enter your space.
This is particularly true if you are coming with a potential vendor or contractor, as we’ll be able to accommodate you safely and productively.
Always work with your general contractor and superintendent to solve issues
If you have a problem that has to do with your project, we are here to help and want to be a part of solving the issue. Whatever you’re experiencing, and the adjustments that will have to be made to solve it, we need to know about it.
Keeping us a part of the process will lead to a smoother construction experience. Plus you will have 2 experts on your side helping you solve the problem.
Be involved with the weekly conference calls with your general contractor and architect
For clients who are trying to become even more involved with their project, we encourage you to join our weekly or biweekly conference calls between the architects and the general contractor.
These meetings get pretty technical and you might not understand everything, but you will have your finger on the pulse of the decisions that are being made and the status of the project.
Are you ready to experience the easiest commercial construction process around?
At BnK Construction, we work with business and commercial property owners to build highly functional spaces beautifully. Better yet, we deliver a pain-free experience that executes your vision flawlessly.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you fulfill your vision.