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BlogUncategorizedWhy You Can’t Skip Commercial Construction Planning (Plus Key Elements to Include)

Why You Can’t Skip Commercial Construction Planning (Plus Key Elements to Include)

A team of building contractors discussing a commercial construction project for proper planning.

Don’t go halfway on the planning phase if you’re considering a commercial construction project. Here’s why – plus the key elements building contractors must include in commercial construction plans.

Key Takeaways:

  • A solid plan is the foundation of every commercial construction project
  • Budget, location, and choice of General Contractor are critical considerations
  • The pre-design and planning stages may overlap due to similar concerns
  • Commercial construction plans must account for codes, regulations, and any potential risks
  • Partner with a reliable General Contractor for assistance in crafting an effective plan
  • With an efficient plan in place, your project will run smoothly and efficiently

Commercial construction is a complex undertaking that requires meticulous planning and foresight. From budgeting to understanding building codes and regulations, the stakes are high and details are prolific. Commercial construction projects present unique challenges and require experienced building contractors to ensure everything is done right the first time.

A comprehensive construction plan provides a roadmap for the project, detailing key steps and solutions that will lead to an efficient and successful completion. It outlines expectations, creates a timeline of tasks, and defines the scope and budget of the project. Commercial construction plans must also adhere to all applicable building codes and regulations. In addition, they must consider the current climate of material shortages and their impact on a project’s budget and timeline.

Building contractors must understand the importance of planning and be diligent in their approach. Projects are much more likely to run into problems when an inadequate plan is in place. Read on to learn more about the importance of commercial construction planning and the key elements to include when drafting a plan.

Importance of commercial construction planning

A well-crafted plan is essential for any successful construction project. Commercial projects, in particular, require a great deal of oversight, as they often involve multiple stakeholders and contractors, additional building codes, and the potential for costly delays or overruns. Benefits of proper, thorough construction planning include:

Establishing the project’s goals and objectives

Prior planning provides a road map for the entire project, outlining key steps and tasks while keeping the ultimate goal in mind. This helps to set expectations and objectives that all stakeholders, including the building contractors, must agree to and work towards. With everyone in the loop, the project can move forward with greater efficiency and guidance.

Identifying and minimizing potential risks

Risks are inevitable in any construction project, but an adequate plan can help to identify and mitigate potential issues before they become full-blown problems. Commercial projects present unique challenges requiring experience, attention to detail, and foresight to anticipate and prepare for potential pitfalls.

Prioritizing tasks and resources

With the growing construction material shortages, contractors must be prudent in their use of resources. Commercial construction plans help prioritize tasks and ensure the proper allocation of resources. This allows for more efficient and cost-effective use of materials, reducing the potential for project delays and budget overruns.

Helping in budgeting and determining timelines

Proper planning also makes it easier to budget for the project and determine realistic timelines. Commercial projects can be complex and often require a lot of coordination and oversight. An adequate plan allows for better budgeting and time management, helping to ensure the project stays on track and is completed within the established timeline and budget. 

Effective construction planning promotes productivity, reduces the risk of errors and delays, and offers a greater chance of success. Commercial projects require experienced building contractors and a comprehensive plan that includes all the relevant elements necessary for efficient, successful construction. 

Key elements to include in commercial construction plans

Given the complexity of commercial construction projects, there are several vital elements a construction plan must include to be successful. These generally involve:


The scope outlines the project’s goals and objectives, identifies essential tasks and milestones, and defines the required resources. It should be specific, clear, and measurable to provide the team with a realistic action plan.

Usually, it takes the form of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that outlines the project’s deliverables and assigns tasks to specific team members. It considers the team’s vision, customer requirements, and end goals for the project. You can also set performance goals and criteria for the project.


Commercial construction projects such as restaurants require a detailed schedule that outlines the timeline and milestones. It details how the project will move through its various phases, from planning and design to installation, testing, and commissioning.

The timeline should consider potential risks, bottlenecks, or delays and include contingencies. Commercial projects often require the coordination of different teams and may involve subcontractors. Managers should account for delays and accommodate time for planning, pre-design, testing, inspection, and permitting.


The budget will determine the resources available to the project and set a rough estimate of costs. It should include project estimates, labor costs, materials, and subcontractor fees. Commercial projects can benefit from a cost-plus approach that allows for greater budget control and transparency. Allocate contingency funds to cover unexpected costs. This will help protect against budget overruns and any potential cost-related issues.

Design specifications

This will dictate the project design and construction parameters, such as structural specifications, building materials, safety requirements, electrical systems, and HVAC. Commercial construction plans must also account for local codes and regulations, such as zoning requirements and building codes. You don’t want to be caught off guard by surprise regulations or laws.

Risks and mitigation strategies

Commercial projects are inherently complex and pose several safety hazards that can derail the project, cause cost overruns, or lead to delays. Project managers should identify potential risks and develop strategies for mitigating those risks.

For instance, material shortages can create unexpected delays and cost overruns. A mitigation strategy could include finding alternate materials, scheduling materials in advance, and having contingency funds available for unanticipated costs. Communication breakdowns and conflicts can also pose a risk, and managers should plan for regular team meetings, open communication channels, and outline clear processes for resolving disputes.

Skipping the planning stage can be detrimental to the project, but with a well-crafted plan, your project will run smoothly and efficiently.

Partner with a reliable General Contractor for efficient commercial construction planning

With the multi-faceted and complex nature of commercial construction projects, you need a reliable partner to help you craft an effective plan. Commercial building contractors bring the necessary knowledge, experience, and resources to ensure the job is done right from the start. 

RPC General Contractors is your invaluable ally, offering quality construction services from planning and development to management and inspections. We’ll help you create a comprehensive plan that meets all the legal requirements, adheres to industry standards, meets your budget constraints, and guides you through the entire construction process. Get a free quote today and start planning your commercial construction project with confidence.



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