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What to Know

Before Building a Commercial Building

By Joshua Smiles
November 18, 2022
commercial building construction project

Constructing a new commercial building is a large project with many commitments and responsibilities, both for the project owner and the employees working on the construction site. The end product needs to deliver in terms of safety, quality, and many other requirements that the client needs. With that in mind, we want to discuss everything you should know before building a commercial building. Here is your go-to list for all essential questions and answers.

What is the building type you are building?

There are many different types of commercial property buildings:

  • retail industry buildings (stores, malls)
  • banking industry buildings (banks)
  • hospitality buildings (hotels, motels, resort buildings)
  • office buildings
  • entertainment industry buildings (movie theatre)
  • recreational buildings (gym, sports facility)

These are just some examples, but there are many more. That is the first step because the rest of the planning depends on this factor.


When it comes to choosing the right location, it greatly depends on the type of commercial building. Second, it needs to be zoned for commercial property. That means the structure needs easy traffic access. For example, if building an office building, you have to worry about how employees come to work. You must also consider the constant influx of customers daily if it is a large mall.

On top of that, if there are any other projects in that location or the vicinity, you need to be aware of that. They might affect this construction process, both positively and negatively.

choosing a location

Planning the construction process

When we talk about the planning process of building a commercial building, this includes more than the technical construction process. We already mentioned how important the type of the building and location are. They are a part of strategic planning. During this stage, you need to look at the construction process from a couple of different angles:

  • customer perspective
  • employee perspective
  • business needs

Furthermore, you need to consider the features of the property, the technology it will use, the number of rooms, layout, floors, and so on.

Zoning and permitting process

All commercial properties must align with required zoning laws and permits to avoid construction work accidents and not only. It is best to get all the permissions at the beginning of the project so you don't have to worry later. There are examples of buildings that went into construction but never got the necessary permits. That resulted in a complete construction stop and a massive loss of time and resources. 

How to set the budget and finance the construction project

commercial building construction budget

It goes without saying that building a commercial building will cost a lot of money. With that in mind, it is crucial to ensure that the construction process costs only the profit it should bring. Let us imagine a scenario where a company constructs a large mall with hundreds of shops, parking spaces, recreational facilities, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. The construction process was complete, and the cost was high. Now the owner needs to rent all of the shops at high prices and increase the prices of all products. As a result, it becomes challenging to lease commercial space at those prices or to find customers that will pay much more for products they can purchase at lower prices elsewhere.

That is an excellent example of how budgeting and financing play an essential role. Therefore, to ensure you don't overspend, it is best to consult with a financial advisor before starting the project. As a bonus tip, always have 10% more money at your disposal. It often happens that unexpected expenses show up.  

Picking a contractor and the architect

Currently, all construction labor costs have gone up. Furthermore, material costs almost doubled, if not tripled. Even with that, construction companies have more work than ever. Finding someone available who will fit your schedule becomes very difficult.

Even though a business might have a management team to work on the construction planning, it is best to hire an architect and a contractor. They will take care of the job while the business continues to run. Even though this means you have to pay more money, it is still a better solution. Hiring professionals will secure the success of the project.

At this stage, you need to compare prices and availability. It is better to speak with multiple candidates for the project, assess their experience and costs, and only then decide who to hire. When contractors advertise themselves, they also create a portfolio of previous projects. Always look at it to get more info about the contractor.

Meet the team

Once you hire a construction team, meeting them all is a good idea. Every business owner should get to know the team who works on constructing the commercial property. They will help you understand better deadlines, the project flow, potential issues, and any additional requirements.

Business owners should always want to know what the construction plan looks like. That is the easiest way to keep in touch with the progress and predict potential problems that might cause delays.

Be realistic with the timeline

The entire construction process is very challenging. Understanding that there could be unpredicted delays at some point is crucial. With that in mind, you must be flexible regarding the timeline. Understand that changes might happen, and go with the flow. If there is an urgent deadline, you must consider that in advance and start the construction process earlier.

It is best to be proactive and create some buffer if you need to prolong the construction process.

Building a commercial building explained

These are all the essential things you need to consider before building a commercial building. Arm yourself with patience, and understand there are no shortcuts you can take. As a final piece of advice, double-check your financial budget and make sure to calculate all decisions. Once you spend money, there is no going back. If you have any questions about the construction process and any parts of the plan, it is best to discuss that with the contractor and the architect. Best of luck!

About The Author

Joshua Smiles is a professional writer for Bright Futures Treatment Center, FL. With a history in the construction industry, he uses his planning and organization knowledge to help construction businesses and their customers understand the construction process.

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