What are the 7 Steps in the Planning Process?
What are the 7 Steps in the Planning Process?
Constructing a building consists of several steps, much more than simply hammering a nail into a piece of lumber – although that is important too, obviously. However, creating or renovating a structure is made of seven phases, or steps, beginning with the crucial planning stages. In the construction industry, nothing begins without a well-developed plan to ensure the best possible outcome at the end of the project and the least amount of hiccups along the way.
Step 1: Planning and Development
This very first step is critical because it sets up the project to succeed. This step lays the groundwork for the entire project. During this step, the location, budget, and general contractor are laid out, which sets the trajectory for the project.
Location is a significant driver of the overall cost of the project. Other important elements that are inspected during the planning stage include utilities, roadways, and infrastructure, such as distance to fire and police stations. A geological and boundary survey is also usually completed during this step to determine if additional structural reinforcement will be needed and ensure the property’s easements are accurate.
Another critical element during the planning stage is setting a budget. Additionally, the materials needed for a project can vary in cost based on the type and amount needed. The last element during the planning and development stage is choosing a general contractor. This individual is well-versed in all stages of the construction project and keeps it on task.
Step 2: Pre-Design
The pre-design stage has some elements that overlap with the planning stage, such as bringing in the general contractor. Additionally, some construction planners may choose to combine the planning and pre-design stages into one stage. Either way, the pre-design step outlines the project’s specific needs, such as the size of the building, the required materials, cost estimates, and a general timeline.
Step 3: Design
In the design stage, engineers create detailed drawings of the building to determine the integrity of the structure. During this stage, engineers also ensure compliance with city building codes, verify plumbing and HVAC plans, determine the layout of electrical wires, and create the plan to connect to local infrastructure, such as roads and parking.
Step 4: Pre-Construction
The pre-construction stage involves obtaining city permits for the project and the workers, insurance, and bids from vendors who will supply labor and materials. This stage also involves establishing the team who will be responsible for the job site.
Step 5: Procurement
During the procurement stage, the planning team balances the cost of labor and materials versus the quality of these elements. The goal is to stay within budget, of course, but also to ensure that the build is high quality and long-lasting. The general contractor usually handles this step but should communicate with the entire management team.
Step 6: Construction
Finally, time for the building to actually begin! Steps 1 through 5 are all about making sure the construction process goes as smoothly as possible. The construction stage is comprised of site preparation and construction. Before actual construction begins, the building location is turned into a job site where work can take place.
During site preparation, the construction management team establishes rules and guidelines for the job site. Then groundbreaking begins with the delivery or construction of the temporary buildings that the workers and engineers will need as they work. During this step, vegetation removal, water drainage, and site excavation also occur.
Then the building construction begins with pouring the foundation, followed by framing, roofing, and siding. Once the outer walls are up, the internal work can begin, and the building begins to really take shape. The electrical systems, plumbing, and ductwork are installed. Then the drywall, lighting, painting, and doors and windows. As the outer structure is completed, the temporary structures for the construction crew are removed, and landscapers plant grass and other foliage.
Step 7: Post-Construction
The final stage – the building has been completed, and the final inspections can occur. The general contractor walks through the completed structure with the client. This is the opportunity to note any problems. After correcting any problems, the client can move furniture into the building and begin using it.