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How to Avoid 6 Common Mistakes of Commercial Construction

Many owners and investors in commercial real estate projects are not full-time real estate or construction professionals, i.e. they have other jobs and participate in certain projects as investments. If you are considering a new real estate project, you’ll want to avoid these common mistakes.

Poor Communication: Set Expectations and Communicate

Sit down with your project team (contractor, engineer, architect, etc) and have an open and honest discussion about the expectations of each party. Agree on communication processes and frequency. Make sure you are comfortable with how and when you will be updated, what the expectations are of you throughout the project, and then hold everyone accountable to their commitments, including yourself.

Avoid Building the Airplane While Going Down the Runway: Plan Ahead

Construction projects involve a number of customized selections and finishes. By finalizing these items at the front-end of a project, you can avoid delays and surprise costs. Oftentimes, these materials may even be back ordered or challenging to procure. The best way to prevent these situations is to invest the time and effort to nail down the details early on in the project… it is for your own good.


Unrealistic Expectations: Plan for the Unplanned

Whether it is unexpected runs of bad weather or encountering unplanned site conditions, most construction projects face situations that cause delays that are simply not predictable. Keep these in mind when setting your timelines and expectations.

No Communication Process: Communicate Some More

Throughout a project lifecycle, there will typically be a number of plan revisions. Discuss the process for your architecture and engineering team to communicate changes out to the contractor. Understand how your contractor will submit questions they may have, who will answer them, and how the communication process will work.


Under-funded Projects: Contingencies are There for a Reason

While your project lender will likely require it, we highly suggest keeping a contingency line item in your project budget. Unexpected circumstances are an almost unavoidable situation in development and construction, and you want to ensure you have funds reserved and available for those situations where you encounter them.

Pennywise and Pound-foolish: You Get What You Pay For

Understanding how tight construction projects are, it is smart to push your contractors and service providers to be as cost efficient as possible. However, selecting an unproven subcontractor or a service provider proposing a price well below those of their competitors should give you pause. Without a doubt, it’s less expensive (in time and money) to pay for something to be done right the first time, than for more than one attempt to be needed. Utilize the experience and wisdom of your general contractor and key consultants to ensure you aren’t skimping on quality.

These are only a few of the considerations when beginning a commercial construction project. Come talk to us today, hassle-free, and leverage our 75 years combined industry experience to avoid these pitfalls and more.