Understanding the Construction Process

The construction process begins with the initial contact, during which the customer generally describes the work to be done and the contractor does his/her best to determine if the work is something he/she can help with.

Next a meeting is set to review the plans and/or the job site with the customer.
After the meeting, the contractor will have a better understanding of the scope of work and what will be required to determine a price for the project. If no drawings or specifications exist for the project, then it is up to the contractor to determine the factors that are most important to the customer. In order to provide relevant pricing information, the grade of work must be determined through discussion with the customer. This allows the contractor to make some assumptions upon which a price can be developed. This is where things can get a bit sticky. If the contractor assumes a higher quality point than the customer can or wants to afford, then the proposal price may seem high. Whereas if the contractor assumes a lower quality, and provides pricing based on this, the price may seem a good value. Don’t be fooled! Without specifications or plans, one can nearly through any price at a project and manage to get it built. The specified materials will then be discussed as the project reaches the required progress point, at which time it may become apparent that the products that the pricing was based upon are unacceptable. This leads to the selection of a product that will be to the customers’ satisfaction, often at a considerable increase in cost. (please see Change Orders subheading) In the end, the project may cost the same or more than the higher priced proposal. The key here is knowing your budget, getting your decisions made before getting pricing, and of course choose a reputable contractor. This is the only way to get relevant proposals from multiple contractors. In the end, the best choice is a reputable contractor that you can communicate with and has a good understanding of your needs as relates to the project.

The general sequence of events will typically follow this process:

1. Initial Contact
2. Plan & Specification Review
3. Proposal Development
4. Proposal Submission
5. Proposal Revision
6. Execution of Contract
7. Project Construction