Are you overwhelmed by the idea of starting your custom home or commercial construction project? Planning thoroughly is the best way to keep your future project within budget and on schedule. Let’s take a look at the most important things to determine in advance.
Decide what is most important to you.
One of our favorite parts of the construction process is learning what is most valued by each client. For some, it is the environmental impact of a home or office. Where are the materials sourced from? Is there passive solar design? Is there well-engineered insulation for efficient climate control? For others, it is the accessibility of the building. Is this an aging-in-place dream home? Can all visitors or customers access every necessary part of the church building or office?
The possible priorities for a construction project are endless, and determining them first and foremost can help guide your pre-construction planning.
Start an idea book.
Once you have brainstormed your priorities, it is time to get your creative juices flowing. If you have particular visions for your dream kitchen or your office lobby, draw or write them out! Wrangling your ideas into one location (like a scrapbook, journal, or even a simple notebook or typed document) can help you clearly communicate with your future contractor.
It is important to keep track of your ideas, no matter the size. Your future building team depends on these to help bring your dreams to life, and undocumented details can easily be forgotten or confused once the ball starts rolling.
This can be the most dreaded but arguably most important part of your pre-construction planning. Each potential project is unique, and so is each budget. For some, the budget must include purchasing the land or lot to build on. For others, the budget must include upgraded technologies to meet accessibility requirements or customer needs.
It is important to pre-qualify with a bank before starting your construction project. Once you have your budget established, you will be prepared to start looking at design plans and looking for a building contractor.
Project design is part of pre-construction planning. If you already have land or a commercial lot to build on, you will want to design your project in a way that fits it. Consider both well and septic arrangements if necessary, as well as a driveway and road access. Remember to have fun with this! Let your future home or commercial space both compliment your real estate and tell your story.
If you find a building plan online that speaks to you, it can be used as your guide. Online plans typically need to be modified in order to meet local building requirements, which will require the help of draftspersons, architects, and/or engineers. Working with one of these professionals to complete your project can take some time, but it is critical time to allow for (sometimes weeks or even months).
Finding a building contractor who wants to be involved in the design process can be very helpful. As a company that is deeply invested in each project, we at Herr & Co. are partial to this step of the pre-construction planning process. With our decades of experience, we can offer expertise to your designer regarding both the constructibility of design ideas and cost savings opportunities. It is important to keep your budget in mind as you design your project, and we can help you stick to it.
Stay-tuned for our next blog post, which will walk you through getting a construction estimate. This part of the construction process is important for both making final design decisions and choosing your perfect building contractor. We will give you a hint: be sure your comprehensive set of plans are as detailed as possible.
Since 1988, Herr & Company has proudly provided comprehensive contractor services for residential and commercial construction to Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and surrounding areas in the Shenandoah Valley.