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Realistic Budgets Drive Project Success

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   January 08, 2016
Realistic Budgets Drive Project Success

This is the first part in a two-part series explaining how engaging a general contractor with an experienced preconstruction team in early project development will propel a project forward, and greatly benefit all parties with a realistic budget.

Many projects that were shelved during the recent recession are coming back to life in Austin’s booming economy as detailed in this report by the Downtown Austin Alliance. The challenge facing some projects is that their budgets remain based on a past-life construction market that featured a large labor pool, low material costs, and subcontractors eager for work. Today, these market conditions have drastically changed. 

To keep up with the current status quo, engaging a general contractor with an experienced preconstruction team early in the project development propels the project forward and greatly benefits all parties with a realistic budget.

Having a knowledgeable general contractor onboard during preconstruction to produce real-time pricing, feasibility studies, and constructability reviews reduces the amount of design rework associated with pricing challenges. Redesign inevitably causes delays for value engineering efforts and alters possibilities for building systems and materials, schedule, and financing.

The best advice is to engage experienced preconstruction professionals early in the project development process, and the earlier the better. Things to look for in a preconstruction team include:

1. Recent experience in the product type being constructed
2. Knowledge of the systems being considered
3. Current presence in the local market
4. Experience with the local subcontractor community

Recent project experience provides the information needed to price complex systems. Knowledge of considered systems reduces the learning curve in understanding the system. Current presence and local subcontractor relations is the final and most important piece in selecting a preconstruction team, particularly in today’s busy subcontractor marketplace. A local team, with established subcontractor relationships, limits the risk associated with current labor shortages and current market conditions.

Stay tuned for the second installment!