RJ Martin Electric Blog

Establishing a Sound Pre-Construction Process – What’s Important and Why

Prior to undertaking any capital project, a general contractor (GC) or end user should have a firm pre-construction process in place—and they should rely on it without exception.

As the electrical contractor of choice for hundreds of projects around Northeast Ohio and the U.S., we at RJ Martin Electric have seen it all—from projects that proceeded without a hitch or hiccup to those that were fraught with missteps, delays, cost overruns and other maladies.

While some circumstances are extraordinarily unforeseen and thus, unavoidable, other unfortunate events can be prevented with proper planning. And that starts with a solid pre-construction process.

So, what does the term “pre-construction” actually mean?

Pre-construction planning involves preliminary planning, engineering and estimating activities that help to shape what the project actually is, what it will cost, what the timing is, what potential issues may exist, and whether it’s even viable. 

When does a pre-construction process occur?

Generally speaking, pre-construction begins prior to a contract, at a point when a contract is imminent. 

What does a pre-construction process entail?

In addition to the factors listed above, we believe a comprehensive pre-construction process should include the following:

  1. An open and honest dialogue with the GC and/or ownership about questions and concerns regarding the contractor’s scope of work. If you’re a GC or owner, and you’re considering an electrical contracting firm for your project, communication should be the number one factor that convinces you they’re a good fit. That contractor should have a full understanding of every element of the project they’ll touch—and if it takes asking questions to gain that understanding, they should be up front in asking them. The electrical contractor you choose should also work to understand your objectives for the project in terms of a full scope review. There should never be surprises in any capital project, and the pre-construction process is the ideal time to prevent them before they occur. As a GC or owner, this greatly reduces your risk.
  2. A full description by the electrical contractor of their plan of attack. Capital projects are unique, and while construction approaches and techniques may be similar from project to project, the electrical contractor you select should provide detailed plans and timelines for their scope. Ideally, their wheels should be turning in their heads during your initial discussion as they mentally assemble their game plan. If they seem disengaged, hurried or dismissive, count those as warning signs.

What sorts of issues can be resolved through thorough pre-construction planning?

As they pertain to electrical contracting, several issues and challenges can be addressed at the front of a capital project, including:

Are pre-construction processes only applicable to large-scale projects?

In fact, no. At RJ Martin Electric, we recommend that any capital project you undertake should include some level of pre-construction planning, and that should not exclude involvement with your electrical contractor.

Contact RJ Martin Electric to learn more.

We hope this blog shines a light on the importance of a solid pre-construction process. If you’re looking for an exceptional electrical contracting firm for your next project, or if you want information about RJ Martin Electric’s experience in industrial, health care, commercial, educational and retail markets, please call Robert J. Martin at 216-662-7100 or email rmartinjr@rjmartinelectric.com.

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