My mind has been on self storage construction because I am trying to start and build two new self storage additions before the snow is here. Typically most people planning construction today are now planning for next spring. With winter just around the corner it is so tempting to cut corners to get started. BUT DON’T! It will only cause delays later and problems later.
Here are 5 very important items that make a big difference you don’t want to cut corners on.
1) In addition to have construction plans it is important to have specifications to go with the plans for both bidding and construction. If you do not have specifications the least you can do is put together a list the major items to be included in the contractors estimates. For example you could give your foundation plans to a contractor and he could give you an estimates $$$ to build per plans. But did the plans clearly outline the – saw cuts every 10 feet in both directions – rebar & wire mesh- single pour foundation – foundation seal -concrete psi- remove lip forms same day as pour to inspect/repair step. And even if they were included some where on the plans did the contractor see them and include them in his proposal? These may seam like small or obvious things but are easily over looked and can lead to cost over runs and delays. For example saw cuts are over a $1 a foot and can be over $1.000 for a 30′ x 200′ foot building.
2) Everything should be in writing. Especially plan changes and associated fee changes. This helps insure there are no surprises plus it helps remind the contractor of the changes when construction is under way. It is also wise to remind the guys in the field of plan changes and to confirm they are working off the latest plans and specifications – things don’t always make it down to the guy with the impact hammer in his hand.
3) The contractors payment schedule should be included in each proposal. Any hold backs should also be included. Remember you often have a bank inspection before release for bank funds – so the contractor may bill you at certain milestones or monthly with payments to be made in approximately 45 – 60 days after the bill is received. You either have to have the cash for deposits or get the contractor to accept bank payments as you go.
4) All contracts should state the contractor shall review and accept any existing work related to his work prior to starting. If the site contractor foundation prep is off by 1 inch and it can easily cost a couple of extra thousand in concrete costs. If you do not have the experience or time to check the work as it proceeds it may be worth it to have an engineer or surveyed check critical items.
5) Include a 15% construction contingency in your overall estimate. This is typical of all construction not just self storage. Not only should you include it in your construction estimate but make sure you have the money because you will need it, especially if this is your first project. There are so many things that can be forgotten, overlooked or unforeseen construction issues.
My Your Self Storage Planning-Site Location-Desing – Constructionbook will give you many insights on getting started. And you can down load it now for less than 10 bucks. If its not worth every penny – I will give you a 100% refund no questions asked. And If you have any question during the development process you can email me at marcgoodin@gmail and I will be happy to help out.