Commercial construction is an industry that’s easily worth billions, considering its impact on the state and the country’s economy. Having a basic understanding of each aspect of this industry and realizing the in-depth details is paramount for this very reason.
The machinery, equipment, plans, contracts, bidding, and the technical work behind a successful project execution are only a few factors involving the commercial construction process. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this field with the help of a step-by-step guide, breaking down the construction process into seven simple sections!

Understand What It Entails

Commercial construction is the development process for buildings constructed for the public and private sectors. These properties can be used for different purposes from retail spaces to highrises for selling or leasing. Moreover, the companies that undertake such projects are referred to as ‘contractors’ or ‘general contractors.’

Some examples of commercial construction projects include:

  • Factories and warehouses
  • Institutional buildings
  • Shopping malls
  • Medical facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Retail stores
  • Sports facilities
  • Corporate high-rise

Initial Planning

Pre-construction planning is the first step towards the successful completion of any small-scale or large-scale commercial development projects. If this construction phase is skipped over in favor of initializing the building and designing process without proper planning, you’ll likely get stuck afterward because of a lack of solid foundation and laid-out plans. The initial planning stage for commercial construction constitutes basic jobs, like choosing the perfect site after doing detailed research. While some industry professionals know precisely what they require from their commercial project, it’s always wise to hire a company specializing in design-build services to streamline this process more efficiently.

The Design Phase

Coming up with the perfect schematic, an illustrative design or plan for a commercial development project is essential for three major reasons:

  1. It lays out the architecture for your project, keeping the contractors well-informed and updated regarding how the construction process will be executed.
  2. It allows you to iron out the project details with the client concerning the project’s scale, location, and structure before a full rendering is performed.
  3. Implementing this step makes it easier for you to make a cost estimate and timeline based on the project’s scale and design complexity.

The design phase also includes the following crucial steps:

  1. Construction Bidding – Each commercial construction project must pose a construction bid to determine its total cost based on the contract documents and schematic designs.
  2. Programming – The architect usually handles the programming phase, and it helps you establish an idea of your project’s space, functional needs, and building flexibility.
  3. Feasibility – The site requirements are also comprehended during the design phase. These include building orientation, site access, and utility connections.

Pre-Construction Stage

During the pre-construction phase, it is ensured that all the building permits have been officially acquired and the insurance requirements are being acknowledged. After that, the contractors are permitted to proceed with the list of materials sent out to commercial subcontractors and vendors for quotes. Moreover, a design-build services is conducted to establish whether any environmental hazards might complicate or delay the construction process. The soil is also tested to make certain the chosen site is suited for commercial construction purposes. Lastly, different roles and tasks are designated to separate team members during the pre-construction step. Such as:

  • Project Manager – They act as a point person for the rest of the construction team so that the project can be executed without any mismanagement.
  • Superintendent – They are responsible for on-site construction activities and maintaining schedules.
  • Contract Administrator – They assist the project manager and the superintendent with the contract details.
  • Field Engineer – They investigate the construction site to determine whether any steps need to be taken before initializing the construction process.


All the materials and essentials needed for the construction project are purchased during the procurement phase. An agreement is signed between the owner and seller, called the ‘purchase order.’ This contract establishes that the products purchased for the commercial construction meet the required specifications, both quality-wise and price-wise. Hiring professional contractors for this purpose can benefit you even further, as they specialize in managing the procurement phase proficiently.

The Construction Phase

The construction process for commercial development begins with a meeting organized by the superintendent. This meeting’s aim is to finalize decisions regarding specifics of getting the construction phase coordinated with all parties involved including on site logistics as well from storage units, site access, work hours, and quality control. Once a plan is developed, the construction process is initiated with the established ground rules in place. The construction phase continues until the construction requirements are met and finalized according to the plans and agreed upon scope of work and approval is obtained from all parties involved including property owner and project manager.


Lastly, a few steps need to be taken before anyone can officially move into the building, even after completing the construction process. This stage is referred to as ‘post-construction.’ This development phase includes finalizing the project punch list, replacing the broken light fixtures, painting or repainting walls, installing equipment and furnishings, and making sure the electricity and water lines are working adequately. Once all these requirements are met, and it is made sure that the architecture is 100% secure for commercial use, the architect issues the certificate of completion. This step is followed by a thorough inspection from the building officials, declaring the end of the project. These are the primary steps carried out by commercial construction companies for successful project completion. Following these steps help projects go from pre to post construction with as minimal issues as possible.