Planning a Construction Project Budget
Construction project budget planning is a vital piece of the construction project and process. This applies whether the project is a renovation or a new build. As a customer, a good first step is to gather your team (it should involve more than one person to determine the construction parameters and budget). Of course the size of the team depends on your company’s structure and size. Construction projects can be pricy. Since the financial aspect to the project is so important, the CFO or representative should be involved - the financial funding is going to be critical.
Project goals and requirements are very important for construction projects - so you’ll want to document and revisit these regularly. Make sure you understand the “Ws” of what you’re building here - what is it and why are you doing it? After the initial thinking and documentation you’ll be ready for planning specifics. For example, location conditions should be carefully examined to fit within the planning parameters of the project. Be aware of project limitations and resources. You’ll also need to be aware of code requirements, safety specifications and permits - a consultant can help you with these.
Scope is very important to a construction project budget - the scope parameters help keep the budget within check. Architects and design build consultants can help you understand and define your scope and identify how it applies to your budget. Architects, consultants or designers can at this point also provide renderings or models for your consideration. Nailing down the design will also help nail down the cost to build.
Designers aren’t the exclusive requirement for this stage of the project however - engineers should be involved to understand the total costs of the construction project budget. And at this point you can revisit and affirm your budget, set your timeline and seek bids from construction providers - and ensure the contractor covers costs for all details of the project.
After the design process, you should make sure approvals occur for the final design and budget. All decision makers should at this point fully understand the project and be on board with it. Breaking ground will be an important upcoming step, but before that you should have a stakeholder meeting involving architects, builders, engineers, etc. to go over the project and fix any challenges to reduce project risk.
By this time you should have all your permits, regulations documents and signed contracts - and you’ll need to keep them organized and in a known location. This paperwork should be submitted early to be ready when you need them (such as permits). You don’t want delays to occur due to missing or unfinished paperwork. Likewise, meetings and progress during the pre-construction stage should be attended and documented, and the site progress visited, to ensure the project will move forward according to plans. All of this mitigates uncertainties and questions.
Of course the actual construction aspect will take the most time for the project. If you have customer change orders, keep careful documentation of this, before and during the execution. Always keep aware of all the stakeholder roles and ensure they are in the loop and doing their jobs as scheduled - from utilities to builders. And keeping track of deliverables and materials is very helpful to keep aware of costs and accuracy. This is also helpful for purposes of warranties and any inspections.
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