The Step By Step Commercial Construction Process

Posted by Ben Sparhawk on Jul 31, 2020 2:36:55 PM

If you've never been involved with a commercial building project, the multitude of tasks that are involved can seem pretty overwhelming.

However, if you follow them step-by-step, they can be much more manageable.

There are six general steps to guide you during the commercial construction process.

In the article below, we've outlined all six so you can approach your new project with confidence.

So if you're considering constructing a new commercial building, we've got you covered.

There's a lot involved, sure, but if you approach it systematically, you'll come out just fine on the other side.

Continue reading below to learn the six steps in the commercial construction process.


Table Of Contents

Planning Your Businesses Building | Design Your Commercial Building

1. Planning

Out of all the steps included in commercial construction, this one is the most important.

If you don't get this right, nothing else matters.

Choosing a site location can sometimes be the easiest thing you do, or it can be monumentally frustrating. 

Once you do have your location, you should introduce your architect and your general contractor as soon as possible.

Or, you could hire a company that specializes in design-build commercial construction services to streamline the process.

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2. Design

Schematic designs are the basic drawings of the layout for the architect and clients to iron out the detail of the scale and location of everything before a full rendering is done. This will help estimate the total cost based off of the scale and complexity of the design.  

Once the size and function of the rooms have been decided you will need to consider the building's orientation in relation to utility connections and development covenants to ensure that the project is feasible.

Lastly, contract documents are created to establish a project timeline and set the costs of each phase of commercial construction.

There are also several other steps that shouldn't be forgotten that fall under the design phase.

They are:

Construction Bidding

The construction bidding process happens during the design phase.

Every commercial construction project needs to include a construction bid.

Otherwise, you'll never be able to determine the total project cost.

Construction bidding is also when construction companies are hired to serve as the main contractor of your project.

The commercial construction process typically runs much smoother if the whole team is involved in the development of the project.

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Your building program allows you to get an idea of space, functional needs, and building flexibility. Programming is typically handled by the architect.

After the programming phase, you'll have a basic idea of the building size, number of rooms, who will use the space, and how the space is going to be used.

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Next, you need to consider your desired amenities and site requirements.

Feasibility concerns like these need to address the site access, building orientation, utility connections, along with many more items.

A great building will still fail if important items such as size and location aren't understood at the beginning of the project.

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Contract Documents/Working Drawings

The final specifications and complete set of drawings are included in what is known as contract documents or working drawings.

Contractors use these to assess their bid.

Builders will use them during the construction process.

The contract establishes timelines and costs for each stage of the commercial construction project.

The documents will guide contractors and vendors away from cost increases throughout the entire building process.

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building permits | pre-construction

3. Pre-Construction

During pre-construction, the owner gives the contractor the notice to proceed, and the materials list is sent out to vendors and commercial subcontractors for quotes.

All building permits and insurance requirements should be obtained.

A site investigation is undertaken to make sure there are no unexpected complications such as environmental hazards, and the soil is tested to make sure it is suited to begin construction.

Different roles are assigned during pre-construction, including:

  • Project Manager: Point-person for the project team.
  • Superintendent: Coordinates on-site construction activities and maintains time schedules
  • Contract Administrator: Helps project manager and superintendent with contract details.
  • Field Engineer: During pre-construction, field engineers investigate the site to determine if any steps need to be taken prior to commercial construction. 

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4. Procurement

All the items needed to complete the commercial construction project are purchased during the procurement phase.

In keeping with the contract, an agreement is created between the owner and seller.

The agreement is known as a purchase order.

The purchase order ensures that purchased products meet the required specs for the agreed price.

If your general contractor does all their own construction work, the company will be able to manage the procurement phase on their own.

Otherwise, they might use subcontractors, who will specialize in one specific part of the construction work.

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5. Construction

The construction phase of the process begins with a meeting organized by the superintendent.

During this meeting, decisions are made in regards to work hours, material storage, site access, and quality control.

Then the groundbreaking will be conducted.

The construction phase ends once the commercial construction has been completed.

Construction Phase | Building a Commercial Building

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6. Post-Construction

Before you can move in, there are several steps you have to take after you've completed commercial construction.

One of these steps includes completing a project punch list.

The list should include final walkthrough items like changing paint colors or replacing a broken light fixture.

Once this list is complete, you can finally move into your new building.

Now you can start installing equipment and furnishings.

Once every requirement has been met, the architect will issue a certificate of substantial completion.

This certificate represents the official completion of your commercial construction process, and it's followed by an inspection completed by the building official.

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Now You're Ready

Now that you know the step-by-step process of completing a commercial construction project, you are ready to get started.

If you're still in the planning phases, you likely haven't decided what kind of building material you're going to use.

The two main options are traditional timber or a metal building.

Metal buildings hold many advantages over traditional timber buildings.

If you'd like to talk to the commercial builder experts about it, the team at CDMG would be happy to have a chat with you.

Just click the button below to get started.

Contact CDMG Now

Check Out Our Other Articles:

Best Areas in the US to Save Money on Your Commercial Construction Project

How a Construction Manager Can Keep Costs Down on Your New Metal Building


Topics: commercial construction process

About The Author

ben-sparhawkI'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for CDMG. I write to showcase the work that CDMG does and everything related to the pre-engineered metal building industry as well as their engineering capabilities. When I'm not working on content, you can find me spending time with my wife and children. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.