Project Derailed: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Commercial Construction

The majority of commercial construction projects are rarely straightforward and offer plenty of opportunities for cost overruns and other potential problems which could prove a setback when you are working to a deadline.

There are ways to avoid the stress and financial implications associated with an unexpected derailment of your project.

Worker at a construction site

Here is a look at how to manage expectations and build a strong team, the importance of budgeting, and why you need to address legal compliance issues as a priority. There is also an overview of negotiating a fair price and bringing all the components of the project together.

Harmony within the project team

There are going to be a number of different key people and companies who need to be able to work together and work as a team when it comes to commercial building projects.

Your first task is to get everyone together in one place and have an honest and open conversation about how you are all going to play a part in making the project a success.

It is important that you not only manage expectations and agree on how to delegate tasks, but you also set an agenda relating to communication processes and the frequency of progress reviews.

If everyone knows their specific role and responsibilities within the project team and understands that they will be accountable for ensuring that they meet their specific commitments, this will set a good agenda for harmony within the project team right from the beginning.

Get your numbers right

A large percentage of project problems tend to come down to initial errors made with budget calculations.

Any unrealistic expectations or unforeseen costs are going to blow a big hole in your budget and create some cost overruns that might be unpleasant to swallow, and can even threaten the viability of a project when the original numbers prove to be inaccurate.

It is impossible to understate the importance of a proper construction budget.

Your aim is to try and account for all potential variables and to have a financial contingency plan so that you have the ability to meet some unexpected costs and reduce the prospect of jeopardizing the project.

Work with all key members of the team to confirm and verify that they agree with your estimations and that the numbers are realistic. Also, check that you are on track with a review of the budget figures on a regular basis once the project is underway.

Cover all the legal angles

You don’t have to search too hard to find stories of commercial building projects that have run into legal problems and caused havoc and considerable delays as a result.

Nobody wants the stress and hassle of encountering some local compliance issues that should have been resolved before work even got underway. This is why it is important to consider all the legal implications attached to your proposed building project.

Make sure you check out what you need to do to comply with any local and state laws that are applicable to the location of your proposed project.

Getting all the required building permits in place and addressing any potential technicalities right at the beginning, will allow you to get started with a greater degree of confidence.

False economy

Everyone is trying to keep building costs down to a minimum but there are times when accepting the lowest price might just turn out to be a false economy.

Negotiating with contractors and suppliers to drive the price down is a smart strategy in one respect and will help with your budget, but if you cut too many corners and end up going with an unproven supplier or contractor, you could actually end up paying more when you have to spend extra money to put something right.

It is often far better to try and develop a good relationship with a number of external resources who you can trust to deliver. You can still try to negotiate the best possible price but at least you will be more confident that the price you pay will ensure that the work is to the standard you demand.

These issues are some of the most common pitfalls that you are likely to encounter when undertaking a commercial building project, and what you also find is that a lot of these problems are likely to overlap.

The message is clear. If you are able to successfully address these potential problems at the very beginning of the project, it is more likely that everything will hold together and the job will be completed on time and on budget.


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