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Although there is no hard and fast rule, we have found over the years that most projects proceed through these phases: Contact, Preliminary Conference, Estimating, Bid Presentation, Contract Negotiation, Scheduling, Construction
Contact: The construction process is started with the General Contractor ( GC ) and Owner getting together to discuss plans and possibilities. Often, this process is initiated by an Architect whom the Owner has hired to complete the project design and then recommend one or more GC's for the Owner to interview and / or solicit an estimate from based upon the final design. Other times, an Owner will contact a GC first who will ascertain the scope of work and may recommend one or more architects for the Owner to interview for design purposes.
Preliminary Conference: This is where everyone gets to know one another a bit and a sense of confidence, comfort and trust is cultivated. If a set of plans is available they will be briefly reviewed, usually in conjunction with a site walk through. Other topics typically include general work procedures, approximate construction time frame, GC availability, the Owner’s work & family schedules, the impact of the work on the family, the Owners anticipated start time for the project, the possibility of the Owner needing to move out and if so, for how long.
Estimating: During this phase the Contractor pulls together all the various costs for the entire project. Any discrepancies in the plans that the GC may discover or other design questions that the GC has will be brought to the attention of the Architect and/or Owner and discussed.
Bid Presentation: Once all the pricing is completed, another conference is held where the cost of the project is reviewed and discussed in more detail.
Contract Negotiation: At this time the definitions and responsibilities of the working relationship between the Owner and GC are mutually agreed upon.
Scheduling: Once a Contract has been agreed to, the GC will then put together a detailed work schedule of the project. A progress payment guideline will be also be provided that will reflect approximate expenditures through out the course of the project.
Construction: Actual work on the project will commence once a start date is agreed upon and those involved in the performance of the work have been scheduled and notified as to when their portion of the work will begin. Weekly job meetings will occur between the Owner and GC during the duration of the project.