Small Business Brief


Building a Home for Your Business: A Guide to the Construction Process

Creating a building from scratch for you business is a big project. Read on to learn what goes into the construction process and how you need to plan ahead.

Curious about the building construction process?

Did you know it takes from 3 to 6 months to build a house? An apartment complex takes 11 to 15 months. The trend continues, as larger, more complex buildings take longer to build.

These numbers are only accurate if you already have the proper permits. They can take up to two years to get in some places. We say this not to dissuade you, but to ensure you plan ahead.

If you’re starting a business from scratch and want to learn more about the construction process, read on.

1. Planning

Of all your steps of construction, this is the most important. If you do it wrong, it’ll be a royal pain. If you do it right, the process will be effortless.

Begin with choosing your site location. Write a comprehensive list of what you need in a building and its location. Include things like the number of floors, parking facilities, and freeway access. Discuss your findings with your realtor.

Introduce your architect and general contractor as soon as possible, or hire a company which has both. It’ll streamline your process.

Also, set your budget. It defines limitations for your realtor, architect, and contractor. We recommend setting your budget ten to twenty percent lower than you normally would. It gives you wiggle room if errors should occur.

2. Design

Your schematic designs must include information about the following:

  • Materials
  • Sizes
  • Textures
  • Colors

First, decide the size and general function of each room in your building. Next, consider your building’s orientation and distance from utility connections, such as water and sewer. Then, have your architect draw up plans.

Speak with your contractor to create a project timeline and set costs for each phase of your construction.

3. Pre-Construction

Give your contractor the green light. He’ll send out your list of materials to commercial subcontractors and vendors, like Hanson, for quotes. You must complete all your building permits and insurance requirements in this stage.

Lastly, experts must investigate your site to ensure no environmental hazards are present.

4. Procurement

Your contractor purchases all materials, equipment, and labor necessary for your project. He should draw up purchase orders to confirm the products meet your specifications and price.

5. Construction and Post-Construction

Once your contractor has everything in order, he’ll begin laying the foundation. Then it’s on to walls, floors, roofs, plumbing, and finishing touches. Each must pass inspection upon completion.

Minor issues, like cracked tiles, are tallied on a project punch-out. They’re repaired before furnishings and equipment are brought in. Then, the architect issues a certificate of substantial completion.

After which, a building official performs one final inspection. Then the place is all yours.

After the Construction Process

Remember to budget accordingly. We speak not only of finances but also of time. It’s common for the construction process to take months longer than initially planned.

This means you can’t count on opening your new doors for business on a given date. Give yourself leeway. Anywhere from two to four months for most building projects.

If you found this information helpful, take five minutes to browse our library of other great articles.

So long and good luck!

P.S. If this process sounds too daunting, consider commercial renovation instead. You can buy a pre-existing building and simply redesign it to suit your needs.