Preconstruction services are a modern outgrowth of cost estimator services in the construction industry. What are Preconstruction Services and why do you need them?
Preconstruction takes place during the design phase, where owners, designers, and the construction project team collaborate, and collectively make proactive, informed decisions to maximize overall project success. These days, in addition to estimating costs for the project, pre-planning involves many more essential services that help get the project off to a good start.
What Is the Difference Between Design Bid Build and Preconstruction Services?
One of the main differences between typical Design Bid Build projects and projects that include preconstruction services is the communication between the architects, engineers, and the general contractor. Projects that include preconstruction services have open communication between all parties during the design phase, giving opportunities to change the design before construction begins. Meaning there are fewer RFI’s (Request for Information) or Change Orders construction, saving valuable time and money for the owners.
What Are Typical Preconstruction Services?
Site inspections during preconstruction consist of surveying the chosen property and surrounding neighborhood. If the project is a renovation, site inspections include looking into the existing condition of the building. Site inspections can involve obtaining initial measurements, investigating potential requirements for remediation or site prep, and drawing up a very rough draft of the intended project. In a worst-case scenario, the findings may indicate that the site in question either has unsuitable conditions or that preparing the site may be too costly for the owner.
Preconstruction Services Help with Long Lead Time Items
Projects often include elements that involve long lead times. Identifying which items will require long lead times, developing procedures and plans for getting them in a timely fashion, and even pre-ordering can all be part of the preconstruction process.
Acquiring permits is an essential part of any construction job but getting all the necessary permits to build can take time. Researching and applying for all necessary permits before the project starts helps minimize potential delays that could delay the schedule or push back construction.
The preconstruction phase can include creating an estimated schedule for the project. An estimated schedule during preconstruction can serve as a guide for owners to know when certain parts of the scope of work will start and end, as well as when the whole project could be completed. It may also entail listing the various trades that will be involved, and potential subcontractors and vendors, and their timelines.
Cost Savings / Value Engineering
One of the benefits of preconstruction is working with the client and architects to modify the scope of work so the project remains within the owner’s budget. This could mean a variety of things including recommending changes to the design or utilizing different materials to best meet the client’s goals and price point. The overall goal is to keep and achieve the vision of the client while optimizing value and adhering to the budget.
While architects design what clients envision, often, no matter how great the drawings, there are some issues associated with whether aspects of the scope of work are feasible to construct. Identifying potential issues and working to adjust designs so projects can be built as intended allows for fewer construction delays.
Getting a Jump Start
Preconstruction services can allow teams to begin construction without having a fully completed design. After working with the client and architect to determine any essential scope of work, teams can start things like site work, soil remediation, and other immediate needs while some of the details of the design and drawings are still being finalized. For a large or complicated project, getting work underway promptly can be vital in staying on schedule or finishing ahead of schedule.
Why Do You Need Preconstruction Services?
Many projects can benefit from preconstruction services, especially those with large or complicated scopes of work and tight firm deadlines. In particular, where there is potential for cost overruns in a tight budget or unexpected complications, it’s wise to seek such services.
Conclusion – Forrester Can Provide Your Preconstruction Services
Forrester would love to help make your vision a reality! At Forrester, we offer a wide range of preconstruction services including:
- Phasing and Scheduling Alternatives
- Site Logistics
- Cost Estimating / Budgets
- Cost Savings Solutions
- Constructability / Risk Assessment Reviews
- Alternative Design Solutions
- Sustainability Strategies
- Bid Final GMPs
- Purchase Subcontracts
To learn more about how preconstruction could benefit your project, contact either of our preconstruction managers.
Forrester Construction Company’s Senior Preconstruction Manager
Forrester Construction Company’s Preconstruction Manager
Want to learn more basic construction knowledge? Check out our other blog posts!