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Construction Management general contractor discussing design phase building blueprints
Architecture & Building, Construction Consultant

How to Save Money By Consulting With A General Contractor During the Design Phase

No matter what type of construction project, consulting with a general contractor during the design phase allows for a more efficient and affordable design experience. Because most general contractors have worked on many different types of construction projects during their careers, they’re able to spot potential missteps that could throw the project off schedule or exceed the budget. From the site’s soil quality to potential flood or wind zones, having that expert insight can improve a project’s successful completion rate.


Controlling Costs

It’s usually not practical to put in all of a project’s potential design phase ideas without first seriously considering the budget. After all, materials aren’t cheap and are seemingly more expensive every day. In fact, the average cost of commercial construction is up 20% since 2021. Beginning the design phase by consulting with a general contractor can not only help you achieve the perfect building design but also cut costs in overlooked areas without sacrificing the building’s resilience or visual appeal.

Think of the general contractor as a great chess player; They’re thinking of the project’s implementation well before ground is ever broken, including the best team structures, safety procedures, and what sort of ongoing maintenance your project will require once it’s over. And this is usually before the design phase is even complete. If and when a design change happens, they’re also considering how to include those changes while keeping the entire project running smoothly. By thinking several ‘moves’ ahead, they’re hyper-aware of the end result — successful project completion on time and within the budget.


Efficient Design

Continuing with our cost-saving benefits of entering the design phase with a general contractor, efficient design principles from years of experience will allow the building to look and perform as intended while not wasting budget resources on unnecessary aspects.

For example, consider the Aon Center in Chicago. The original construction began in 1970, was completed in 1973 at the cost of $120,000,000, and currently sits as the fourth tallest building in the city. This building was unique in that the entirety of the building’s surface was covered in Italian Carrara marble. Due to a lack of understanding by the designers of how the material would handle the harsh windy conditions of Chicago, the marble began to crack and bow all over the building, with one piece detaching and crashing onto a nearby rooftop.

This design choice would result in an $80,000,000 cost to replace all of the marble panels with a more practical granite.


Functional Design Over Functionless Design

No one wants to be the new Aon Center, at least from the construction failure standpoint. That’s why it’s so important to have a results-minded general contractor during the design phase. Being experienced with the actual construction process will greatly reduce the potential for mistakes or misappropriation of the construction budget.

If a client has a $1,000,000 budget to construct a professional services building, the same building could come out of the design phase as a $2,500,000 project, both with the same footage. Because the costs of materials can vary so much, everything needs to be considered when drawing up the schematics.

And we assure you, that “construction guy” has handled more exotic and common materials than you might believe.


A Safer Approach During the Design Phase By Consulting With A General Contractor

In the end, the client (and banks, if financed) will know their budget better than anyone. Beginning the design phase with a general contractor allows for huge upsides regarding budget and design consistency. Government builds, for example, may have predesigned plans well before any construction crew is contacted. Likewise, it’s very common for private projects to have plans already created. And while some plans work out flawlessly, it’s very rare since actual terrain, job sites, and fluctuating costs in materials tend to vary the output of a project, even if only in less noticeable ways.

Trusting the general contractor on a construction project to give value-based and budget-minded advice is almost always the best choice for a smooth and hiccup-free build.


Still deciding which construction management company to go with?

Target Builders has over 30 years of experience successfully completing projects that help our world move forward. Schedule your free consultation today to discover why we’re considered Southwest Florida’s top construction management firm.
Southwest Florida construction management climate effect on construction industry
Construction Consultant

How Environmental Factors Affect Construction Management

How Environmental Factors Affect Construction Management 

There’s more to construction management than simply managing the process of a construction project, although that’s a big part of it, too. And in Florida, construction can be tough!

From the design of a building and its materials to planned property landscaping once construction is complete, there’s a lot to consider with the overall design and build process. One of the biggest factors that literally guides every design and construction decision is the environment. Of course, we try our best to utilize as many sustainable materials as possible where appropriate — in this case, however — we’re talking about where the building will be constructed. 

Southwest Florida Construction and Hurricanes

We don’t know if you’re aware, but Florida is home to some of the most ferocious hurricanes on record. 🌪

In fact, according to, the Sunshine State was affected by approximately 40% of all hurricanes that have ever hit the United States. And while we think Florida is the best, being number one for hurricanes really blows us back. 😪

The Power of the Wind 

Bad jokes aside, a hurricane is no laughing matter. When building out the state’s beautiful infrastructure, especially here in Southwest Florida, everything that we build is designed to withstand 170+ mph winds. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the construction industry was reeling with more than 25,000 homes being lost and over 100,000 other structures being damaged. And, unfortunately, many lives were lost. It became apparent that we needed to make a change, especially since Southern Florida is usually on the frontline of the hurricane’s initial impact. Across the state, new building codes were produced and mostly agreed upon throughout the state. In 2015, the Miami Herald reported that those new stricter building codes have led to a decrease in hurricane damage despite Florida’s population growth.

How Storms Affect the Gulf Coast of Florida

Fast forward to 2022, we’ve already been shown that the wind still has little mercy. The strongest tornado since 2016 ravaged Lee County and Collier County on January 16th, 2020, destroying 28 homes and damaging many others.

All this to say: constructing strong buildings is a top priority in Florida. 💪

While there’s certainly little comparison between a concrete government facility and a mobile home, the point needs to be made that building in Florida is unlike any other state in the country.

How Does Florida Construction Compare to the Other States? 

Unlike states such as Florida or Texas, other states have to consider different environmental factors during the construction process. California has to consider earthquakes, with recent legislation being pushed to combat the infrastructure damage along with recovery fund proposals to aid in the aftermath.

In Wisconsin, temperatures can reach a jaw-dropping -40°F! 🥶 With this in mind, both commercial and residential structures have strict requirements regarding the R-Value of insulation.

And places like Louisiana have to consider constructing above the minimum levels of flood-prone areas to help mitigate the risks associated with parts of the state being below sea level.

Building Within Nature’s Confines

Honestly, we could probably write a book about how different Florida is from other states, at least regarding the construction industry. While there are definitely similarities, we’d argue that Florida offers one of the most challenging environments to build in, especially when you consider the heat and rain in conjunction with all of the other environmental factors.

Still, despite the weather, we’re always moving forward. While the state’s environment can sometimes prove unpredictable, as a society we’ve learned the best ways to adapt to these situations in order to address mounting challenges head-on.

Except for anacondas — we’d like them to stay on the East Coast of Florida. 🐍

Still deciding which construction management company to go with?

Target Builders has over 30 years of experience successfully completing projects that help our world move forward. Schedule your free consultation today to discover why we’re considered Southwest Florida’s top construction management firm.
Construction management excavator southwest florida choosing the right construction management company
Construction Consultant

How to Choose the Right Construction Management Company

How to Choose the Right Construction Management Company

When deciding to undergo any construction project, especially with an outside construction management firm, there are several things that need to be considered well before you even begin to worry about the design of the building or the materials that’ll be used to build it. Choosing the perfect location, finding the right people for the job, and figuring out how to manage it all can be a massive undertaking especially if you’ve never done it before.

And not to toss more coal in the fire but there’s even more to consider. How will you make sure the contractors and subcontractors are OSHA-compliant? Who is in charge of making sure that the construction is following the initial design? What’s the process for handling problems that occur after your project is finished?

If you’re reading this and are thinking this all sounds a bit complicated, you’re right. Construction is a very complex industry. Things are being built every day and you’d be forgiven for not thinking about the sheer amount of things going on that you can’t see.

When deciding how you’ll get your project completed, a construction management company is usually the best approach, especially for bigger jobs like schools, government buildings, or large retail shopping centers. These critical pillars of our society cannot be haphazardly thrown together by any old construction company — they require experience, expertise, and execution.

Construction management companies offer an ‘all-in-one’ solution to completing construction projects. From the initial design phase to after-sales support, a construction management company will handle each and every aspect of the project to ensure completion on time and on budget. But how do you know which construction management company to choose? After all, there must be a difference between their capabilities, right? How do you know the company you hire is going to do a great job?

The Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Construction Management Company

There are many aspects of any construction project, but they’re typically broken down into three main phases: design, bid, build.

If the company you’re considering hiring can easily answer these three questions, there’s a good chance that they’re worth the price of admission and you should place them at the top of your list of considerations. For those that can’t, they’re probably not the right construction management company for you,

1. Do you have the right experience to take on my project? 

This is the easiest question because it will help you quickly eliminate experience mismatching. For example, a construction management company that primarily builds nuclear power plants may not be the best fit for your upcoming school project. While it seems like an obvious answer, many companies don’t have a particular niche or specialty and will take on many different types of projects. This may be great for that company’s bottom-line but could leave a lot up to chance when considering how well they’ll perform on your particular job.

In business and in life, it’s usually best to find someone who specializes in solving your particular problem rather than a generalist.

Start by taking a look at their portfolio and determining the types of projects they usually complete. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • The average size of the project completed
  • The type of structure that was built
  • If the project was a ‘from scratch’ construction or a renovation or add-on to an occupied building

Following these considerations will help you make a better, more informed choice and should give you a good idea about how your experience would go. It’s also a good idea to consult with the company’s past clients to gain a feel of their overall project satisfaction.

2. What will be required of me during the construction process? 

Construction management companies are involved in each aspect of the construction process. While they typically handle the bulk of the work, there will still be some aspects of the project that will require the owner or client’s attention.

Knowing this information upfront will help you plan out any times when you or your team need to be directly involved and when you can continue handling your other priorities. A good construction management company will usually provide an estimated schedule of events to help make this a bit easier for you to manage.

This should be clearly communicated by the construction management company to you. You should always know what will be expected of you and what you can expect from them. You should also receive quick communication should either of those expectations change.

3.  Who will handle issues that arise before, during, and after construction? 

Knowing who the ultimate responsible party is will make things a lot easier.

In the event of a design problem, who will be responsible for getting it resolved?

If a problem surfaces during the build, will the construction management company be able to handle it?

Does the CM have a good closeout and warranty process, or will you be responsible for handling those issues on your own?

Having a good strategy for when things don’t go according to plan is the sign of an experienced construction management company with its clients’ best interests in mind. Additionally, you should also receive timely status updates on the progress of your project. This helps keep you as the owner informed while keeping the CM accountable.

The Right Choice 

While there are many more questions that you could ask, these should serve as an excellent guide to choosing the best construction management company for your upcoming project. By asking these questions, you’ll arm yourself with the ability to quickly weed through companies that may be a mismatch for your specific needs.

Still deciding which construction management company to go with?

Target Builders has over 30 years of experience successfully completing projects that help our world move forward. Schedule your free consultation today to discover why we’re considered Southwest Florida’s top construction management firm.