Commercial Construction Process: The Complete 2024 Guide

Opening a new business or expanding a current business to new locations is as overwhelming as it is exciting. In addition to creating business plans and marketing strategies, business owners and their teams must also consider and plan for the entire commercial construction process. Learn the steps involved in commercial construction to prepare for the decisions and action items ahead of you.

1. Finding a location

a hand putting red pin on the paper with construction plan

Before you can accurately plan for the layout, design, and finer details of your new business, you first need to find a location. Narrowing down your location and lot search will involve getting clear about the size of the space you’ll need, how much you’re able to spend on the lot, and the part of town you’d like to build in. 

Finding the right location has everything to do with understanding your ideal clientele: where do they live, work, and recreate? Whether you’re opening a clothing store or an accounting firm, you need to find a location that is sufficiently visible and convenient for your target customer. Working with a real estate agent can be extremely helpful in gaining a thorough understanding of the different areas within your city.

2. Setting a budget

Roll of money, calculator, notepad, and a pen located on white table

Getting specific about the budget for your commercial construction project can help you prepare for clear decision-making as the project progresses. In this stage, consider the size and features your new building will require, then conduct research to understand the budget for similar projects in your area. This will help you to establish a baseline so that as you interview possible contractors and sift through various options for each project detail, you’ll have a ballpark number to compare prices to. Setting a budget will help you prepare financially and will also give you a chance to understand which features you will ultimately be able to prioritize.

3. Hiring general contractor

General contractor and a woman planning the commercial project

While a real estate agent can help with lot selection, location research, and understanding comparable projects, the vast majority of your project will be completed with the help of a general contractor. A general contractor is responsible for hiring necessary subcontractors, overseeing each small step of the project, scheduling work, and sourcing materials. In short, the general contractor will largely be in charge of your project, which means choosing the right fit for your commercial construction project is crucial.

In order to select a general contractor who fits your needs, ask for recommendations from local friends you trust. Check online to find reviews, licenses, and safety records for any contractor you come across, then set up meetings from there. With your budget, goals, and desired location in mind, ask specific questions to determine whether the general contractor is a good fit for executing your vision and fulfilling your needs. If you trust that they will align with your business goals and get your job done on time, at a high quality, and within budget, it’s time to get to work together!

4. Developing a layout and design

two people pointing to the construction plan

Next, you’ll work with your hired general contractor and appropriate subcontractors such as engineers to develop a layout and design for your new building. In this stage, you’ll think through the main business functions the building will need to accommodate, as well as any secondary functions and requirements such as equipment storage. For example, in this stage, a dental office might nail down details like the exact number of exam spaces to build, in addition to how many square feet of storage they’ll need, how large their waiting area will be, and how many staff and patient restrooms to include. Structural and electrical engineers will help ensure the design is safe and structurally sound.

5. Pre-construction phase

a drill, nails, commercial construction plan, and measuring tape on the desk

Once you’ve developed a clear understanding of the design and layout of the new building, it’s time for paperwork. You’ll need permits, insurance, and licensing specific to your project and location. This is also the phase in which the general contractor will begin to source materials, which may require input from you in order to make decisions around budget and timeline priorities. The general contractor will also find appropriate construction team members during this phase.

6. Construction phase

A person standing in the commercial space under construction

The next phase is among the most exciting steps: the construction phase! With all the materials acquired and the plans drawn up, it’s time for the construction team to build your new commercial building. From laying the foundation to building the framework to installing electrical systems, HVAC systems, and more, the construction team will bring your plans to life day by day.

7. Post construction

3 people looking at the ready commercial space post construction

The post-construction phase is the final step in the commercial construction process. This is the time for you and an inspector to walk through the new building with the general contractor and ensure every aspect is completed at the quality expected. Any unsatisfactory aspects should be noted down and addressed by the general contractor and their team. Once every aspect is satisfactory and the building passes a thorough inspection, it’s time to move in and get the location up and running!

Get Started Today!

With countless details to consider and a sizable investment at stake, starting out in the commercial construction process can feel stressful. Fortunately, the team at DeLeers Construction is prepared to assist you every step of the way to create a commercial building that meets your business needs seamlessly. Get in touch today!

Message or call our experts at 920-347-5830 with any questions about hiring professionals for commercial construction projects!