What Do I Need to Know About the Construction Process?

Jan 24, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Miranda Stevens


As the project’s owner, what do you need to know about the construction process? 


You determine your degree of involvement during the project.

How much of the preconstruction and construction process you’ll want to be briefed on depends upon several factors, including your experience in the built environment, your time availability, and your comfort level in terms of scope and responsibility. Decide whether you want to be kept in the loop every step of the way or at specific project milestones.


Selecting a construction company and architecture firm go hand in hand.

Select an architecture firm whose work ethic, project goals, and personality align with yours and those of your construction managers. Once you’ve made your choice, set up a meeting between your architect and construction manager—prior to site selection, if possible—so these project partners have the opportunity to work together to bring your dream to reality and accomplish your project goals.

Your architect and your construction manager (CM) are invaluable resource partners in guiding you to an ideal project location based upon your specifications and other front-end considerations. Whether your objective is to buy land and build new from the ground up or to finish out a leased space, your architect and CM together can look at potential locations with you and provide their insights on which sites will best fit your project.

If you’ve not yet selected a construction manager, ask your architect for recommendations. Selecting a CM that already has a successful working relationship with your architect usually makes the overall construction process run smoother.


Share as much Information as you can during the preconstruction phase.

The more detailed information you share with your CM early on, the better your CM will be able to plan for and deliver your project on time and within budget. Involving your CM early on ensures that as many project specifics as possible will be assigned a cost, enabling you to make alternative choices if necessary. Early in the preconstruction phase, your CM will begin running budget numbers to determine the overall cost of what you’re planning on building.  It’s extremely important that your CM help you understand the true cost of construction. Once you’ve arrived at a realistic project budget, your plans will then go back to the architect to develop a comprehensive design package.


Your CM will share your complete design package with subcontractors.

The next step in the preconstruction phase is for your CM to share these budget numbers and specifications with a team of subcontractors. Your CM and subcontractors will work to flesh out any discrepancies between the design drawings and how it should be built on the jobsite and to make sure the labor and materials costs are in line and up to date. Any potential design changes and revised estimated costs will be brought back to your architect in an effort to nail down any unknowns and avoid costly changes later during the construction process.


Your CM is your resource for understanding the complete construction process.

It is incumbent upon your CM to give you, the owner, a clear-cut, comprehensive vision of what your actual construction process will look like before any work begins on site. Have all the utility locations on site been determined and the necessary permits acquired? Will your project require materials with a long lead time? Will construction occur during winter months and encounter potential weather delays? Will there be changes required along the way? If so, what amount of contingency should you build into your budget? Managing your expectations by letting you know the nuances of what you’ll be experiencing is the crux of wise project management.


If you still have questions about the construction process, contact Holland to learn more. Our experienced team has the skills, knowledge, and resources to help your project succeed.  


Holland. Built on Integrity.

Topics: Construction Process

Miranda Stevens

Written by Miranda Stevens

Assistant Project Manager

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