Insights and Advice for Enabling More Efficient and Sustainable Construction

What Is Preconstruction & Why Is It Important?

14 October, 2021
5 mins read

Preconstruction is a critical stage in construction planning. It contributes to fewer delays, better resource management, and happy customers if done correctly.

Getting preconstruction right is essential, as this stage is what sets the tone for the rest of the project to follow. So, what is preconstruction? This is the phase that involves planning, analyzing, and understanding the different needs of the project.

Preconstruction planning brings together all the different parties involved in order to establish a clear path forward. This includes architects, engineers, contractors, and owners. It brings everyone together on the same page.

To lead a smooth operation, everyone involved needs to have a thorough understanding of the project ahead. This allows every aspect of the construction to run according to plan – without any speed bumps along the way.

What is Preconstruction Planning?

Many people simply look at the construction phase of a project, but the preconstruction is just as essential. So, what is preconstruction in a project exactly, and what does it involve? During this phase, a strategic plan is created and put in place.

This plan needs to cover every element of the project ahead. This includes:

  • cost estimations and budget
  • a finalized design
  • a building timeline
  • the permitting process
  • and arranging the necessary labour and materials.

Basically, preconstruction planning is about laying a clear pathway for the project ahead to follow. This phase is about strategizing and implementing the plan in order for the construction to run smoothly without surprises.

Understanding Preconstruction Planning

Preconstruction covers a pretty broad area of planning and organisation. Here are some of the main elements in preconstruction to consider.

The Project Scope

During the initial planning phase of the project ahead, it’s important to obtain a full understanding of the project scope. This should involve a total review of all the project plans, specifications, and data. Any possible constraints around the project can also be very helpful to note here.

The very first planning stages are about creating a vision of the construction process that will lead to the end result. This allows the contractors and clients to understand the kind of timeline and resources required for the project. It also provides a better understanding of the risks involved, the site planning, and design specifications.

Everyone involved in the build and design should start to become more familiar with the project and gain a better understanding of what is to be expected ahead.

Estimations and Budgeting

To really understand the project scope, you will need to have a realistic budget to work off. Creating accurate construction estimates is vital in preconstruction. This will help you to understand everything that you need for the project to go ahead and what kind of limitations there may be.

The best way to reach accurate estimates is with specialised construction estimation software like Candy. This helps you to create estimates faster and allows everyone on the team to access the relevant information. Having accurate estimates helps you to set a budget, from which proper resource planning and management can follow.

There is no way of being able to understand the full scope of the project ahead without a realistic budget. This is an essential aspect of the construction project for both the contractors and the client. Therefore, focusing on getting estimations done as efficiently and effectively as possible is key in the preconstruction phase.

Scheduling the Project

Once you understand all the project requirements, you can create a complete schedule of all tasks and processes that need to take place. This is not only important for outlining the flow of the project for the team, but it also helps to track the progress of the project during construction.

Having a clear and accurate schedule is also a necessary tool for controlling and staying in line with the budget. Schedules help to keep timelines on track, maintain deadlines, track progress and coordinate processes within the construction project.

Making sure that you draw up a clear schedule in the preconstruction phase is necessary for a streamlined construction operation to follow.

Final Thoughts

The question, “what is preconstruction?” is often asked by people who overlook the importance of this stage. Yet, preconstruction planning can contribute significantly to the success of your project.

This all starts with creating accurate estimates and budgeting to enhance construction management. Implementing good preconstruction planning will help to ensure a smoother project with fewer unforeseen constraints along the way.