Pre-Construction Services Required for Construction

09:42 Oct 2023
Pre-Construction Services Benefits

When it comes to the planning, design and contracting of a building, there is no more important phase than the pre-construction process.

Houston new construction is a complex, time-consuming, and costly activity. There are many building stages that are required for both residential construction and commercial construction.

New construction entails the involvement of various professional players with expertise in specific skills cutting across multiple disciplines in each phase of the development process.

The building of a property does not start from the day the shovel is used on the site but precedes it to encompass the design, engineering and planning phase are considered pre-construction tasks.

The pre-construction phase delineates how a design idea is going to be transformed on the ground and involves the designing of the structure to be built, on paper.

Pre-construction solutions are designed to help in the planning process and save you effort, money, and time during the contracting project of a building and property.

During the early stages of the pre-construction phase of Houston construction project, the owner is required to select one of two common design and contracting delivery approach.

The traditional delivery method is called the design to bid construction approach. This is when the owner directly hires an architect and engineering firm to prepare the design & building documents so they can solicit general contractors for bids.

The second delivery method is called the design build construction method which simplifies the entire building journey for the owner.

This is when the owner directly hires the general contractor to hire and remain responsible for both the design and contracting process.

Here, the design team consist of a general contractor, designers, architects and engineers, collaborate to draw the outlines of the project.

Although pre-construction services take place at various levels of the design phase, it is advisable to leverage these services early in the design phase to streamline any potential bottlenecks.

These are the preliminary planning tasks that lay the groundwork for any successful construction project. The tasks to be executed in a pre-construction process are:

  • Site selection and feasibility studies
  • Site assessment and evaluation
  • Zoning and permitting
  • Budget estimation
  • Risk analysis
  • Utility and site mapping
  • Recommendations for men, equipment, and materials
  • Recommendations for supply chain
  • Recommendations for increasing the energy efficiency of the proposed building and cutting costs
  • Project scheduling

You may even read our resource on pre-construction services and find out what they offer.

Pre-construction process is required for any major construction project to succeed

Pre-Construction Services Benefits

What Happens in a Pre-construction Phase?

The pre-construction or the design-build phase ensures that the project goals and requirements are met within the constraints of time, budget, and quality specifications.

In this pre-planning phase, the stakeholders, namely, the owner, general contractor, architect, and engineer conduct a thorough review of all parameters.

These may include the quality specifications, plans, schedules, and others. Any design build contractor will prepare a strategic plan for construction to ensure any unforeseen event is managed properly.

Also, the plan will act as a guide for every stakeholder involved in the project to follow and complete his or her task within the thresholds of quality specifications, timelines, and budget.

Let us find out why pre-execution services are important, whether for new construction or remodeling an existing property.

Benefits of the Pre-construction Process

A detailed pre-construction phase and the information gathered therein can benefit the project in several ways:

A common vision:

As an owner, you have a vision for your property to be constructed in terms of its appearance, features, budget, timelines, quality specifications, and others.

To transform that vision into reality, you need to share it with the general contractor and other stakeholders in the project.

Based on their feedback, you may have to make changes to your vision or idea and make it more practical.

The tasks completed during the pre-execution stage ultimately defines the contours of the project, including its scope, cost, timelines, and schedule.

Any experienced construction company would understand the objective of the project and the ways to achieve the same in a workable and profitable way.

Moreover, with the definition of the project scope, a big picture emerges.

This includes determining the feasibility of the project, the required contracting services necessary and envisioning the finished project.

The design build contractor would schedule each stage of the project and the job everyone involved with the project is expected to complete.

For any new construction Houston, the general contractor is arguably the most important person with whom the vision should be shared.

This is due to the fact that the onus of completing the entire contracting project within the parameters defined in the plan lays on him or her.

Needless to say, that the general contractor should be chosen with due diligence. In fact, you may read our blog to know the best qualities of a general contractor and select one suitable for your contracting project.

Collaborative Approach:

In the pre-construction phase, several meetings may be held with members such as contractors, designers, and/or engineers who will work together on the project.

During such meetings, each member discusses ideas and obtains feedback from others. Any concerns or issues highlighted in such meetings are addressed by the members thereby preventing unexpected delays.

Since collaboration and teamwork are emphasized, the buy-in of stakeholders increases.

Cost estimation:

Setting up a budget is an important part of the pre-construction process, for it allows the stakeholders to decide what can be done or not.

Based on the budget, the general contractor can give his or her opinion on the features to be added or the quality of materials to be used.

For instance, whether the flooring is to be made of tiles, granite, marble, or wood, whether a large bedroom suite is to be built or a medium-sized one would suffice, or whether a smart home with all necessary electronics and energy efficiency mechanism is to be built, etc.

A budgeted cost estimate is created during the pre-planning phase of the project for the purpose of designing the building to these cost parameters.

This budgeted building cost estimates will be followed throughout the design process to be verified to be the actual contract cost when the permit documents are permit ready.

The cost estimation helps to ensure whether your vision and budget for the project are in sync and offers opportunities to implement any adjustments later.

Importantly, the cost estimation is extremely useful to secure funding for the project in the form of a mortgage.

Prevention of issues:

The pre-construction phase helps smoothen the project’s path by earmarking the likely issues and planning to address them before the shovel hits the dirt at the site.

These may include constructability reviews, permit requirements, site requirements, soil and utility evaluations, analysis of building material and selection of equipment, scheduling obstacles, and value engineering opportunities.

For instance, it is ascertained whether the structures layout and appearance should be similar to the ones in the neighborhood or when and how the permit for the building project is to be obtained.

You may view our video to know about the top mistakes in any residential or commercial construction process and the ways to avoid them.

Financial savings:

Conducting proper due diligence of the project during the pre-planning phase of any custom home building process can help maximize the return on investment by saving cost and time.

For instance, it can pinpoint problems before the commencement of actual building and suggest fixes for the same. Implementing these fixes when the project is at the planning stage can be less expensive compared to doing it after the initiation of the actual building process.

This is also the time when opportunities for value engineering are identified to cut costs.

These may include analyzing building features, equipment, systems, and material selection to achieve essential functions at a minimal cost but consistent with the required parameters for safety, quality, performance, and reliability.

Pre-Construction Process

Avoiding rework:

In the case of using the design build approach, the builder is ultimately responsible for design errors and omissions.

When the team involving all stakeholders works together in a cohesive way – from planning to completion, a platform for regular communication is established.

This helps in disseminating information across the team smoothly thereby eliminating the need for rework.

When a formal plan is in place with everyone’s buy-in, the chances for any team member to take a second guess on certain matters, especially in decision making, are minimized or eliminated.

As everyone is on the same page concerning every aspect of the building project, there is no scope for any misunderstanding.

Reduced Process Time:

This is due to saving time from eliminating the bid solicitation process with multiple general contractors.

That includes the time to interview, go through the short list creation, wait for general contractors to prepare bids and finally the time associated with bid review process.

There is also reduced time because the general contractor can submit for certain permits during the design process that allows the project to enter the building phase earlier than if the design build approach was not being implemented.


The value of any pre-construction process cannot be belittled or ignored, for it lays the outline of the project on paper with the concurrence of every stakeholder.

As the project owner, you should be a part of every meeting that is likely to take place among other stakeholders.

This will help you to get into the thick of things and find out if everything is going according to your vision.

To know more about the plan for new construction Houston, you may read a blog on the benefits of this process.

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