Congratulations. Your office building construction is nearing completion. You made it through the pre-construction and construction phases without a hitch, and you are ready to cut the ribbon and move in. While we understand your excitement, there are still a few things that must be done prior to finalizing the project. In fact, the post-construction phase is just as important and should not be neglected.
Let’s take a look at the post-construction process to ensure you know what to expect once the building is complete.
How and When Should Post-Construction Begin?
Despite what the name implies, post-construction actually starts prior to completion of your commercial construction. In fact, your contractor can start preparing you early on in the building process, so you have a good idea of what to expect during those final days.
You may remember a pre-construction checklist from those early days of the project. This is when the scope of the build is defined, and when a budget and schedule is set. Most commercial builders will have one to review with you after work is finished on the building. You can review this checklist throughout construction and make changes as any concerns arise.
The Punch List
Before your contractor hands over the keys, you will be expected to complete a thorough examination of the building. Any areas of concern should be brought to the contractor’s attention at this time. This is your opportunity to ensure your new building fulfills the terms of the contract and helps ensure a smooth transition into your new space.
So, grab a clipboard and the contract specifications and start jotting down everything you see that still needs attention. Once you have done so, you will need to do another walk-through with the contractor as he creates the punch list. While your contractor may have another name for it, a punch list is simply a list of items that need to be addressed before the builder can hand the reins over to you.
The Final Paperwork
Once everything has been checked off the punch list, you and the contractor will do a final walk-through of the building. If everything is to your satisfaction, you will receive the keys to your new office, along with a binder of paperwork. This should contain all relevant warranties and pertinent details from the project and should be kept on file, in a safe place.
Contrary to popular belief, the construction project does not end here. Next, the architect will contact you regarding any concerns. The architect will then issue a certificate of substantial completion. This signals that construction is complete and the contract has been fulfilled to your satisfaction. An inspector from your local government can now do a thorough inspection of the property. If the building meets all local building and permit regulations, the inspector will issue a Certificate of Occupancy. You are now ready to move in.
Building Schematics and Operations Manuals
Throughout the construction project, your contractor works off of building blueprints to ensure everything goes as planned. Once complete, the final schematics should be handed over to you for your files. This, along with an operations manual, will ensure you and your team have a clear understanding of the building and its mechanics.
Training and Follow-ups
While many contractors believe their responsibility ends with the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, a contractor with quality service won’t stop there. They should do a complete walk-through of the building and provide you with literature and training on any special features.
Additionally, you should expect a follow-up meeting with the contractor. This is an opportunity to see how everything is performing and uncover any issues that need to be addressed. A quality contractor will stand by their work, the subcontractor’s work, and the supplies used in the building’s construction. Any concerns or issues should be addressed swiftly and honored under the warranty.
Your contractor should check in with you periodically over the next year or two. These check-ins offer several benefits. Any questions or concerns you might have can be addressed at that time. The contractor can not only use this as a learning opportunity, but also as a chance to gauge how well the building meets your needs and what your future needs may be.
A Final Word
Anyone who has had a new home or commercial building constructed knows there is a lot that goes into a project of this magnitude. Careful planning and attention to detail is critical. We understand that the entire process can be demanding at times. However, these procedures are in place to ensure quality service and a safe building. One that you and your team will enjoy for years to come. Contact our experts at MH Williams Construction Group. We will help you with your project, no matter the size, no matter the phase.