Any business owner or facility manager knows that there are considerably more steps that go into building or renovating a commercial structure than there are for residential construction projects. The complexities of commercial construction typically make it untenable for a project owner to coordinate every aspect and serve as their own general contractor and project manager.
Working with a full-service construction firm has many benefits, not the least of which is cost savings. Here, we’ll outline a definition of what it means to be a full-service commercial construction company followed by why it might be in your best interest to use their services.
What is a Full-Service Commercial Construction Company?
The term “full service” can mean different things to different people, so it’s important to compare services when vetting various firms. From our perspective at The Samuels Group, a full-service construction firm should be able to manage a project from start to furnish.
Here are some examples of services that a comprehensive commercial construction company can provide:
Construction Management: Overall management through all phases of a project. This includes planning, budgeting, scheduling, phasing, bid packaging, securing subcontractors and vendors, risk management, and oversight of day-to-day operations during construction, etc.
Pre-construction services: Cash-flow analysis, logistics planning, cost estimating, subcontractor pre-qualification and selection, land acquisition assistance, etc.
Pre-referendum services (for public projects): stakeholder interviews, funding analysis, estimating, developing communication plans and materials, assisting with the referendum process, holding community meetings, etc.
Architectural Design: Concepting, budgeting, LEED assessment, zoning and compliance review, schematic design, design development, and construction documents, etc.
When a construction firm develops a bid package, they may also participate in the bidding process. For this reason, some commercial construction companies self-perform work, meaning they also provide general contracting services.
7 Benefits of a Full-Service Construction Company
1. Project Efficiencies and Time Savings
One of the most notable benefits of a comprehensive approach to construction is that everyone works as a cohesive team and is focused on the larger picture, not just their individual tasks. When the architect has a collaborative relationship with the project manager and furnishings team, potential issues get caught early and can be addressed before they become bigger problems.
A project owner’s time is valuable, too. There are many moving parts in commercial construction and keeping them all straight is a full-time job in itself. Relying on a construction partner that can holistically manage every aspect eliminates the inefficiencies of dealing with multiple companies.
2. Better Communication
Having every team’s eyes on a project from its inception fosters transparent communication and a symbiotic approach to construction with less chance of oversights.
In addition to better alignment among its own team members, there’s also streamlined communication and alignment with the project owner. That’s because the project owner is part of the team and participates in planning meetings and status updates, able to get answers practically in real time.
3. Greater Accountability
Since all parties are part of one team and work is controlled by the construction manager, they can keep a tighter rein on the work being performed. There’s also less chance of conflicts or adversarial relationships. If an issue needs to be resolved, there isn’t another company or stakeholder to point fingers at. The construction firm alone is accountable and needs to find a way to resolve any issues.
4. More Accurate Scheduling
One of the best ways to control costs is to ensure a project stays on schedule. Full-service contractors are more aware of their team’s availability and can keep them on schedule more easily. If there is a delay, they’re more able to get things back on track because of their vast network and relationships with other team members.
As a project progresses, it’s not unusual for a project owner to want to make tweaks and changes. The holistic nature of full-service construction management helps to identify potential changes early in the process when it will have less of an impact on the schedule and budget. The further along in the process those changes are made, the more expensive and disruptive they will be. If change orders need to be made, the entire team is there to address them quickly.
6. Cost Savings
There are cost advantages to having a single source for planning, designing, constructing, and furnishing a new facility or renovation. Keeping a project on schedule has inherent cost savings, but it goes further than that. From the start, there is a clear plan and strategy for the entire project so that a project owner can make informed decisions on where to spend their dollars. With everyone at the table, all parties can work together to develop estimates, find cost savings, and minimize scope creep. A true construction partner may even be able to assist with securing funding.
7. Reduced Stress
All these factors combined lead to a less stressful experience for the project owner, which has a value all its own. When fewer things go wrong and communication flows, the building process can actually be an enjoyable experience for the project owner from start to finish.
Special Considerations for Furnishings
As noted, various construction companies will have their own definitions of “full-service,” and many do not consider furniture as part of their offerings. However, it can’t be stressed enough how beneficial it is to include commercial furnishings as part of the initial planning process. When furnishings, fixtures, and equipment are treated as afterthoughts, they will likely not be budgeted for properly and project owners will have to make compromises on what they envisioned the finished product would look like.
Working with a furnishings specialist in the planning phase can also bring additional savings in ways one might not expect. Proper layout of furnishings helps to inform how a building’s floor plan should be configured for maximum functionality and may even save on square footage. A commercial furnishings expert might recommend a furnishings solution that takes the place of permanent walls or cabinetry, creating a flexible workspace that allows for future expansion or reconfiguration without having to do demolition. Furniture placement and selection also help to determine where electrical drops, outlets, and data ports need to be installed.
Another consideration is including furniture and fixtures procurement and installation in the schedule to avoid delays. Lead times for commercial furnishings can vary widely, especially for healthcare, detention facilities, and other specialty industries. Imagine how disheartening and frustrating it would be to have a completed structure that can’t be occupied because you’re waiting for furniture.
The Samuels Group: True Full-Service Construction
Explore the difference that a comprehensive commercial construction company can offer and the unique breadth of services that The Samuels Group can provide. Contact our team today to talk through your project needs, and be sure to access our Commercial Building Construction Checklist for more insights into the construction process.