Six Ways to Profit Using Preconstruction Practices

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Planning is a crucial part of construction projects. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Most construction projects have thousands or tens of thousands of intricate details, from the first line drawn on the design to the day the last piece of equipment is moved off the finished job.

Someone has to be responsible and accountable for the construction coordination and successful completion of each of those details, which range from design to detailing to onsite installation. If even one critical detail is missed or built incorrectly, the result – which might require a redesign early in the job, or a redesign, tear out and rebuild later on – can be catastrophic for the contractor and/or the owner. 

As discussed in a recent Bridging the Gap podcast, thoughtful and careful preconstruction practices can define the critical details of a project before it begins, avert potential problems early in the job and better control outcomes.


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One of the most important aspects is the project’s scope, and it should be coordinated by both the project owner and the contractor. This, in turn, informs the schedule and cost. The project’s scope can help an owner in advance decide if the project is achievable, including whether it’s financially feasible, too complicated or even too risky.

The eSUB article, “How to Write a Scope of Work for a Construction Project,” describes the scope, or statement of work, as . . . “the work to be done on a project, how the workers should complete the job, and who on the team is responsible for completing the different tasks on the project. A formal scope of work should be clear and concise, simple enough for a construction manager or worker to understand.” 

Features of the scope might include:

  • Description of the purpose and objectives
  • Land acquisition
  • Permit timeframes
  • Assumptions
  • Environmental impact studies
  • Risk analysis
  • Engineering evaluations
  • Key features of the design
  • Items included and excluded
  • Deliverables

When you involve the owner in preconstruction decisions, it can serve to frame expectations with specifics and build trust. Thus it’s less likely that the owner will suddenly remember mid-stream some feature they wanted on the project and request changes to a project that’s already underway.

Framing expectations can further ensure all the stakeholders involved are on the same page. Discussing these features in advance may also detect places where money can be saved or identify practices contractors could implement to achieve labor efficiencies.

The larger the construction project, the more likely there will be unanticipated issues. But putting preconstruction practices into effect will put you ahead of the game. From saving money and economizing on labor to deciding responsibility, accountability, achievability, and expectations, all the while averting problems, preconstruction planning and cooperation enable you to be more resilient to deal with issues if they arise.


If you need a partner to help you navigate through the phases of preconstruction on your next project, contact Applied Software today. The experts of Applied will help you investigate the solutions that are right for your company.

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