Pre-Construction Services – Hiring a Contractor for Consulting

pre-construction deal handshake

Pre-construction services, sometimes associated to consulting services, are used before any actual construction begins. These services are part of a necessary planning stages of any construction project and are critical to ensure any project can be successfully completed.

Pre-construction is typically the initial phase of the overall planning, risk assessment, coordination, and control of a construction project. Pre-construction objective is to identify and outline project planning and give the owner a clear picture for what their vision is going to look like, how it is going to get done, and how different aspects of the job will be completed.

This pre-construction analysis is completed ahead of any construction phase. Pre-construction is often associated to a modernized version of the “Design-Bid-Build” methodology. Pre-construction services are used to help meet an Owner’s vision as well as match their construction budget. Pre-construction deliverables will make sure a project is feasible on a given site, for a given budget and will enable owners to explore alternate options and / or  cost-effective ideas.

The traditional construction project methodology is known as the design-bid-build approach. In this method, widely used in the industry, any project would be completely designed before it is built. The plans and specifications created during the design phase would form the construction documents.

During a standard design process, pre-construction cost estimates are forecasted to help with owner’s decision making. These early forecasts are drawn from schematic designs and industry comparable. Once validated, the construction project would move to a design development stage to ultimately lead to the construction document state.

The owner of the project would subsequently request for bids for the project, and would award the project to a successful bidder or series of bidders, who then would get to actually build the project. The construction bidding process in the design-bid-build methodology is complex and intense, often time consuming.  Project cost estimates are formed by estimators would bid based on standard metrics such as square foot, linear foot, and other different surfaces pertaining to the construction site.

Pre-construction originally emerged from construction cost estimating to include multiple aspects of the planning process. The pre-construction process requires close collaboration with the owner, rather than planning off site.  Site Owner input is critical to and part of the pre-construction process, as it helps contractors creating a construction plan and estimate that meets the actual owner’s needs.

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