Your business is expanding or maybe you are just starting out. Either way, you know it’s time for a new building. You want something designed specifically to your needs, but you don’t now where to start. The design build process can be daunting; however, if you follow these simple steps, it doesn’t have to be.

  • 1. Determine the size/needs of your project. Write down what you need from the building. These needs include: your special requirements, how many offices will be needed and storage space. Determine whether you will need a conference room or if this will be a manufacturing facility. If so, how large will this space be? Is there anything unique that you will need for this building? Questions like these will help guide you in the right direction.
  • 2. Decide on the site location of your building. Where would you like your new facility to be located? If you are undecided, pick out a few locations that will meet your requirements. Consult a local commercial realtor and search commercial real estate websites like LoopNet and CoStar.
  • 3. Secure your funding. If you don’t have a large pile of cash earmarked for the project, then you will need to meet with your commercial banker to determine how much money is available to you for the project. Ideally, you should meet with a few bankers to determine who will be able to provide you with the best financing package.
  • 4. Interview and secure a design-builder. Find a competent firm specializing in design-build in your market area. Review their websites and qualifications and then meet with them to discuss your project.
  • 5. Meet with your design-builder. Once you decide on the firm you will partner with on your project, it is important to have a kickoff meeting. At this time, you will further define your project and design requirements. From this meeting, a conceptual design will be formulated.
  • 6. Design development. Once the conceptual design is accepted, the design can move forward to the next stage, which involves providing the engineering to fill in the design. A preliminary budget can be produced along with a preliminary project schedule.
  • 7. Secure your property. Now that you know the size and layout of your building, it is time to select and secure your property. You may use your own commercial realtor or one of the realtors that your design-builder uses. The choice is yours. It is also good to use a transaction attorney for purchase of commercial property and project funding.
  • 8. Construction documents. After the engineering is added to the design, the design documents can be brought to 100% completion. After review and acceptance, the project is ready for final pricing and agreement on the final project cost, along with the final project schedule.
  • 9. Secure your permits and start building. At plan completion, your design-builder will start the permitting process with the municipal authorities and construction can begin!

If you follow these simple steps, your building will be completed in no time! Utilizing the design- build method ensures that your facility is constructed in a very streamlined and efficient manner with one point of contact and the least number of headaches as possible. All you need to do is watch as your dream becomes a beautiful reality.

Ken Welsh
President & CEO at | Website

Ken Welsh is the presi- dent and CEO of Welsh Construction in Melbourne, Florida. He has over 35 years in the commercial construction and de- sign-build industry. He and his wife, Gina, have enjoyed raising a family and living here on the Space Coast for over 40 years.