A Comprehensive Guide to Pre-Construction Planning in Los Angeles

Starting new construction in Los Angeles is anything but simple. Whether you’re working on a small residential or large commercial project, it’s not uncommon to get bogged down by tedious paperwork and permitting. Anyone who has done construction in LA will tell you that taking time to do the right research and consolidate a basic plan or timeline is a necessary first step. At the same time, it’s always a good idea to expect the unexpected.

If you aren’t even sure where to start on the construction timeline, we did some preliminary research for you. Here is a (mostly) comprehensive guide to pre-construction planning in LA:

Beach, Los Angeles

Get yourself a Contractor

As with anything in life, organization is key. Working with a contractor you can trust who has pre-construction planning experience as your project manager can be a huge asset to your business, saving you time and money. A good contractor will take on the responsibility of outlining many pre-construction planning requirements. From there, it should be relatively easy to complete every step and be prepared for all that is to come when construction begins.

A hugely important step of working with a project manager is assessing feasibility. Do everything in your power to determine if a project is realistic before getting started on construction.

Building contractor surveying the site

Establish a realistic budget

Budgeting is a critical step in the pre-construction planning process, but numbers are only available after the necessary research has been done. Work with your contractor and vendors to determine estimates for supplies and labor costs. It’s good to be prepared that the actual budget might end up being more than initial estimates, depending on permit fees, building cost fluctuations, and unexpected surprises. Through years of experience, we’ve learned that trying to cut corners when it comes to cost usually backfires. ‘You get what you pay for’ is usually the case with construction.

Work out a timeline for your project

Once you have a budget in mind, work on an achievable timeline to take the project from start to finish. Be sure to include lead times for various equipment rentals and construction materials that might slow you down, and try to be as efficient as possible. If you’re remodeling a home in Los Angeles, account for lead times on Italian marble or custom hardwood flooring that might take longer than expected to arrive. Working with your contractor to create a solid home-building timeline can only help you finish a project as efficiently as possible.

Construction contractor

Complete your design

This step will require engineers’ architects’ or a design and build general contracting company’s work, so be sure to find the right people to fit your project goals and vision. Be sure to keep the design process collaborative and include everyone involved in the pre-construction planning process. Also, keep in mind that some government permits will require complete engineering designs for approval. The sooner you can get started on the design process, the better.

Home blueprint

Make sure you have the right permits

This step can be a bit tricky, and it’s why so many larger construction companies have entire teams of permitting and government relations experts. If you’re working with a pre-construction planner or construction company based in LA, they’ll have a thorough understanding of the permitting process and know exactly how to get the information you need. It’s never a bad idea to consult employees in the City Planner’s office or the Department of Building and Safety before starting a project.

Depending on the type of construction you’re doing, your contractor will also make sure to check for nearby utilities, pipelines, and soil conditions.

Work on procurement with your contractor and foreman

As with the lead-time suggestions, it may be difficult to procure equipment rentals and construction materials, so you’ll want to get ahead of any issues. The sooner you start working with vendors on rentals and supplies, the more prepared you’ll be when you do start construction.

Unless you’ve done huge construction projects in the past, many unforeseen variables come into play when renting equipment, so it’s a good idea to consult with vendors far in advance. You’ll need to think about delivery and lead-time, as well as staging, fuel, and operating requirements. Renting a crane, for example, requires a sturdy surface and a qualified crane operator. Don’t forget to consider these factors when going through each step of the procurement process and use your project manager and foreman as assets.

construction worker building a house

Where should you go from here?

If you don’t feel confident in your ability to get through a pre-construction planning phase, there are still plenty of resources to ensure you’re ready for construction. Bela Development is experienced in Los Angeles residential design and build and can help you through every step of pre-construction planning. Schedule a free consultation to start learning about how to seamlessly accomplish your next home build with help from the pre-construction planning experts at Bela Development.