Finest Commercial Contracting Construction in Houston

10:37 Jun 2023
Commercial Contracting Construction in Houston

Simply put, commercial contracting is the science of managing the materials, labor, and equipment to build or improve a commercial property. Commercial contracting is the actual execution function of a commercial contractor.

Although there is far more in the required details of executing commercial construction and performing the responsibilities, the commercial general contractor is ultimately accountable to the property owner for all construction results.

Commercial contracting is a complicated construction process that requires skills and an understanding of the means and methods of implementing the available resources to perform the general contractor’s job.

The role and responsibilities of the general contractor are developed through a detailed scope of work for their services and ultimately approved by the property owner.

These commercial construction companies’ primary objective is for the contractor to guide the owner through the building process maze and manage the projects from building design through completion.

Learn about commercial contracting for various commercial contracting services in Houston

Building Design Process

Commercial contracting begins with defining the needs of the subject property, and developing a building design and supportive documents to construct the building.

This is the beginning of the architectural design process. One of the most important decisions the owner must decide before they commence the building design is to determine which of the two construction delivery methods they wish to use.

We will discuss the two alternative design and building delivery methods shortly, but a few more thoughts on the commercial architectural design process.

The commercial architectural design process consists of multiple progressive phases that develop plans and construction documents for the building of the property.

Additional to the architectural design plans, this process also includes creating engineering plans, such as structural engineering, MEP engineering, drainage plans, fire protection plans, and parking & traffic documents, etc.

The goal is to assemble these building documents to submit for building permits and for the detailed constructing activities for completing the property improvements.

For further information on this topic visit our hyperlink on the commercial construction architectural design process.  

Commercial Contracting Construction in Houston

Design to Delivery Approaches

The two designs for construction delivery methods for owners to select from are the design to bid and the design to build approaches.

There are many similarities between these two methods, with the distinctive difference being the design risk responsibilities.   

Design to Bid Method

There are two delivery methods available to the property owner; a) design to bid and b) design to build.

The design to bid method is the traditional method of hiring an architect and the required engineering disciplines to develop the building documents.

After the architect and engineers have completed the documents necessary for permitting the structure, the owner then selects a short list of commercial construction companies to prepare a bid.

The downside of this delivery method is that if there are errors or omissions in the building documents the owner is responsible for the cost of the corrections.

Secondly, the design bid approach typically requires a greater amount of time than the design build approach.

This is normally due to the project building cost being more than the predetermined preconstruction budget.

In these cases, the building plans will require to be value engineered and redrawn to reach a lesser total building cost.

Design to Build Method

The other available delivery method to the owner is called the design build approach.

In this approach, the owner hires a general contractor to facilitate and take ownership of the building documents.

The design build contractor directly hires the architect and engineers and guides the owner through the entire design process.

When the plans are close to completion, the builder will develop a schedule of values for the building cost.

If the building cost is acceptable to the owner the owner will enter into a design build contract.

If the building cost is outside of expectations, the plans are value engineered and brought in line with the targeted cost.

The advantage of the design build approach for the owner is that they have a single point of responsibility.

They can avoid the conflicts between the architect and the contractor that commonly occur because of the natural conflict of interest.

Under the design build approach, if there are building plan errors, they are the responsibility of the general contractor.

To learn more about this topic visit the design build construction approach.

Commercial Construction Services

Commercial contracting offers an owner a variety of commercial construction services.

Commercial construction services include a variety of new building services like; design to build services, interior build-out services, and shell contracting.  

In addition, general contractors offer both project management services and construction management services.

In addition, commercial contracting includes a variety of remodeling and renovation services like; office & retail remodeling, exterior façade remodeling, structural change in use, and energy updating.

New Commercial Construction

  • Design to Build Method – Is a design & construction delivery approach where the owner hires the general contractor directly to prepare building design plans and required building documents.
  • Design to Bid Method – Is a design & construction delivery process where the owner hires the architect and engineers independently to prepare building documents for the purpose of soliciting bid proposals.
  • Shell Contracting – The general contractor is chosen to build the building’s finished structure and for interior build out at a later date.
  • Interior Build-Out – The builder is selected to build out the tenant finishes for occupancy.

Commercial Remodeling

  • Interior Gut & Remodeling – This common type of commercial remodeling is used when either the tenant space changes leases or becomes outdated and in disrepair from its service life.
  • Exterior Façade Remodeling – This is also a common remodeling practice when the building ages or warrants a face lift to warrant additional rental income.
  • Structural Change in Use Remodeling – The owner finds a tenant that requires significant strengthening of the structures load capacities for a different purpose than the building’s original design.
  • Energy Updating Renovations – This is common for older buildings with little insulation, older doors & windows, and older electrical fixtures that are not energy efficient.
  • Maintenance & Product Replacement – Common practice of replacing products and equipment that are obsolete or in disrepair.

Visit our hyperlink to get a better understanding of the commercial remodeling process.

Project Management Services – These commercial construction services are customarily used as a contracting alternative to traditional contracts such as fixed price or cost-plus contracts.

This commercial contracting service offers a full turn key approach to building while the owner often remains at risk for the final building cost.

Construction Management Services – This commercial contracting service is similar in risk and operational responsibility but differs in the administration of building services. In this service, the contractors’ managers are paid a few but are not responsible for the back-office administrative task such as financial matters. 

Commercial Contracting Responsibilities

Commercial contracting is the leadership and management to build or renovate properties.

Commercial contracting primarily has two role functions which are contracting management and contracting administration.

On-Site Construction Management– Are the on-site management activities that are required of general contractors. The principal on-site construction management mission is coordinating the movements of labor, material, and equipment in accordance with the schedule and execution plan.

This general task requires compliance inspections of the subcontractor’s performance, material testing, safety process audits, materials handling & storage, and the day-to-day problem solving associated with a building project.

  • Construction Scheduling is what most people think of when it comes to building management. Coordinating the movements of labor, materials, and equipment to the demands of the building’s progress.
  • Quality Controls are the physical inspections and testing of material and labor placement in accordance to the permitting document specifications. These include material testing reports, engineering observations & surveys through-out the contracting process.
  • Compliance Inspections are the required third-party inspections of completed work. These are measured for compliance with the building codes as well as with the documents.
  • Document Controls is maintaining as constructed plans, logging the design plan omissions, tracking requests for information, and processing change orders.
  • Problem Solving is an everyday event for a general contractor. These are activities that develop regarding inconsistencies in the building documents, conflicts in scheduling, material movement needs, and general non-performance events that require a lot of supervision.

Administrative construction management is the activities associated with back-office tasks. These tasks are financial services, contracts & procurement, quality control, compliance inspections, document controls, and problem solving.

  • Bid & Proposal Services include the services required to study the building documents and prepare material and quantity take-offs, solicit subcontractor payments, and prepare qualified bid proposals.
  • Financial Services are items related to the construction financial matters of the project. These are items such as bookkeeping, accounts payable, cash flow management, and preparing progress payments and the associated supportive documents like liens releases & waivers.
  • Contracts & Procurement includes the task associated with estimating, contracting, and procurement functions. These include the preparation of labor contracts, material purchase orders, the development of scopes of work, and securing and maintaining insurance certificates.
  • Construction Cost Controls are the tasks related to the preparation and management of the construction cost.

If you would like more information on hiring a contractor, we would have you visit the following link for a collection of questions to ask your contractor.

Commercial Contracting

Commercial Construction

Commercial construction is the design, ground-up construction of shells & build-outs, and renovations of commercial properties.

The need for Houston commercial contracting is vast and covers a great many types of properties.

These include office buildings, restaurants, strip centers, churches, warehouses, and multi-family apartments.

Due to the non-standard shapes, sizes, and public assembly use, the actual construction varies significantly.

The common materials used to build the structures are steel, concrete, and lumber.

Steel and concrete are the most commonly used materials for medium to larger size structures because they are cost-effective, have fast applications to use, and sustainable.

Lumber is typically used in small scale buildings with lower ceiling heights and lower than 3 stories.

The most important driver in selecting which materials to use is building cost. This is not always the case, but in most cases is the most relevant determining factor.

The actual structure built is driven by the owner’s sense of customer appeal or by the function of the business that will occupy the property.

The actual construction means and methods are dictated by the type of building, access to the property, and construction time requirements. For a further conversation about commercial construction, visit the hyperlink.


Understanding how commercial contracting tasks can facilitate your building project. As well as, gaining insight in why it is essential to efficiently prepare an execution plan for your Houston project.

Commercial contracting should be left to professional general contractors.

When looking for the right commercial construction companies to evaluate their services, take the time to learn how they can fit personal and building needs.

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