The Importance of Preconstruction

Preparing for Your Custom Home Building Project in Minnesota

Designing and building a custom home can be a daunting task, but investing time in the preconstruction phase can help ensure a smooth and successful building process. There are many critical steps that occur prior to breaking ground that can add value to your home, and by having the experts pulled together at the beginning of your project can take the stress away from building, and actually make it fun!  In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the preconstruction process and how it can save you both time and money.  

The Importance of Preconstruction 

Preconstruction is the planning stage that involves defining the scope of work, discovering any potential issues, budgeting, scheduling, and an overall analysis of your custom home needs. This stage involves a strong team of people, you, the owner, an architect, and a builder. The sooner you bring your team together you can avoid design rework, lending delays, and maintain the value in your new custom home. 

Sitting down with a builder at the start of your planning process is extremely beneficial to give you a budget check. For example, the architectural design and level of materials you’re looking at in magazine clippings or Pinterest can really help a builder zero in on what you could potentially spend. Rather than get all the way through design and then have it priced, you could spend a ton more money on redesigning your home to get it within budget.  

Birch Bluff

Everyone on the team has a role to play in the preconstruction process. You as the owner provide the information about what you want, the architect works on the design based on your photos and lifestyle, and the builder determines what it will cost, how it will be built, and how long it will take to build. Any risk of your project not moving forward lies in this preconstruction stage.  

The Components of Preconstruction 

Preconstruction involves all the steps prior to breaking ground on your custom home. With the level of detail in a custom home, it is extremely valuable to meet first with a builder who can help you navigate the preconstruction process. Based on square footage needs, level of finished desired, and overall design style, basic budgeting can begin well before an architect takes pen to paper. As mentioned, the ideal situation is to have your designer and builder both at the table when reviewing your goals.   

Nor-Son Custom Builders has a Preconstruction Manager who helps guide the team through this process. With over 46 years of historical experience, it’s easy for us to pull up comparable pricing and compare it to today’s market pricing. There are many factors that can affect the cost of your home. Material selections, unusual site constraints, and mechanical systems to name a few. All of these factors are discussed at initial meetings, so everyone is on the same page.  

While architects will place your building on the site based on views, floorplan layout, and curb appeal, a builder can supply valuable input on potential added costs based on the topography of your lot. They also have a keen understanding of how the elements of nature can affect your home, giving you direction on maintenance needs based on exterior material selections.  

Oftentimes, getting a hole in the ground is the most difficult part of the project. Permitting has become a major milestone for every custom home builder. Open and honest communication on timelines between all team members sets up realistic deadlines. Tell your team when you want to move in, and work backwards to set up material selection deadlines, construction documents, and building permits. Nor-Son’s project management team works with municipalities across the metro area and understands timelines and requirements of all jurisdictions.  

At the end of the preconstruction stage, the entire team will have a clear outline of what will need to be done for your project, the expected cost, and how long it will take to build. This outline is the framework for a successful project with complete transparency.  

Collaborative Planning and Decision-Making During Preconstruction 

Give honest feedback to your architect, designer, and builder during the planning, design, and budgeting process. This feedback helps the team work hard for you to find ways to balance design creativity and fiscal management. With lines of communication set up by the team, everyone is on the same page, and everyone keeps working toward a common goal with fewer surprises.   

Ask for references! Past clients offer valuable information not only on the quality of their home, but what the overall experience was working with the architect and builder. Over 70% of our work comes from referrals, which is a testament to our process, team, and partners.  

“In the past 33 years, my husband and I have either built a house or done an extensive remodel a total of 7 times. Nor-Son is by far the best contractor we have ever worked with to create the home of our dreams. Their professionalism, attention to detail, and quality of work is unmatched.”

Nor-Son Custom Builders Client

Collaboration and communication are key for a stress-free build. Nor-Son Custom Builders uses an open book philosophy to keep our clients informed so they can make confident decisions. Our strong relationship with qualified partners helps ensure clients get the best price and best services from craftsmen who work to the level of quality Nor-Son and you expect.  

Managing Expectations 

A common misconception about the preconstruction phase is it’s too expensive. Prospective homeowners think spending time and money before construction is a waste. But what they don’t understand is that in the preconstruction stage is where there is the most risk of something going wrong. Building a new custom home has many moving parts (planning, design, financing, managing, constructing and everything between) but the process doesn’t have to be stressful, especially having a qualified builder in your corner.  

An expert builder facilitates every aspect of your project to ensure everything flows smoothly and according to your timeline and budget. Set realistic goals and expectations from the start so you don’t have any surprises along the way. We tell people to budget between 4 – 8 % of your construction costs on design and preconstruction, but this varies in size and complexity of what you want to build.  

Whether you are building a custom home, a luxurious estate, or a high-end renovation, let a qualified builder guide you through the process. Have conversations early to know if your goals and expectations are tangible. Nor-Son’s philosophy is to gather the best team to provide you with the best outcome with the best experience. Designing and building a home should never be daunting. It’s one of the most prized investments you’ll make, and it should be stress-free and fun!