I have recently discussed the importance of appointing a design “power” team and also given a heads up on why it’s important to allow time for the multitude of applications that are often needed to obtain permissions for development work. In this article, I’m sharing why it’s crucial to manage the process over the course of months of preparation leading up to the project being ready for contractors to start on site.


  • Failing to proactively manage Pre-Construction WILL delay the start of your project. A delayed start will most likely cost you money with additional project holding costs such as bank loans and investor interest which will both affect the profit margin.
  • The start date of a project may impact marketing strategy due to timings of project completion IE. marketing for sale.
  • A well prepared project with design detail, specification and most importantly a Scope of Works (or Bill of Quantities) WILL save thousands through a competitive and structured Tender Process.
  • Banks require specific information to be completed during Pre-Construction before approving development finance, it is therefore fundamental to have a management plan.
  • Investors and Joint Venture partners WILL also expect to see a pre-construction management plan as it shows structure, forecasting, indicates target start date and allows finances to be planned accordingly.



The most efficient way to manage multiple tasks over a long period of time (often between 6 and 18 months) is with a Gant chart.

This allows for a clear representation of tasks to be carried out, who delivers the work package and the time each requires. The objective is an achievable programme that those involved have an input into so their responsibilities can be met. Added to the programme are critical path events, a few examples that might be relevant to the project are:

  • Submit application to discharge planning conditions & anticipated response date
  • Submit application for new service installation, survey date & anticipated connection date
  • Complete temporary works design
  • Issue Party wall notices & anticipated date for publishing awards
  • Submit drawing for Building Regulation plan check and anticipated response date
  • Issue invitation to Tender & required response date
  • Complete tender analysis
  • Programme for building phase
  • Sign JCT building contract
  • Issue Commencement Notices (Building Control, H&S, Planning, Surveyors etc)
  • These are just a few examples and every project is unique, it is important to understand that the process may also evolve where consultants or external parties require additional surveys/work to be carried out to facilitate the design and consent process.


The Pre-Construction programme provides a snapshot of the project at any given point in time to provide updates to the design team, banks, investors, clients and JV partners.

The Project Manager will co-ordinate and pro-actively manage everyone involved in the design and consent process. This is essential and often where projects do not have the direction of a Project Manager the process can drift for months with no cohesion of those involved and that can have knock on consequences.

The objective, to meet all milestone dates leading to an efficient start date on site.


  • Prepare a Pre-Construction programme as soon as the property or site is secured (IE. either exchanged contracts, JV agreement or secured by Option) it’s an excellent management tool that will always help you save time and money.
  • Tweak the programme, show completed tasks, add in new requirements, update timings and deliverables as necessary and use it as a working document and check in with your Project Manager who will be on top of the process.
  • Managing the Pre-Construction design and consent stage of projects is crucial, a well prepared project will serve well when the project is on site. Quality design and consented works will reduce the risk of site delays and costs due to work variations.


Steele-Perkins are experienced at leading building projects through the maze of requirements at all stages. We help individuals, property investors and developers for projects that range in size, complexity and location.

If you have a building or development project that you think you would benefit from a professional project management service then we can help you at any stage of the process.

I look forward to connecting with you, Oliver Steele-Perkins.

07976 339 339


Tender Process. The period where carefully prepared project documents are assembled and issued to contractors with an invitation to price the works in a competitive environment. The process also involves detailed analysis. In future articles I will be covering this topic.

Scope of Works. A document that lists the project works to be carried out to ensure that tender responses can be compared like for like, it is also a cost control document during the build.

Bill of Quantities. A similar document to above that includes quantities for materials required on a project. I will be covering both documents in future articles.