Denver commercial construction has been on a stride by setting records in the market. It is no surprise, for the last couple of years, the Denver market has been breaking records for new construction despite even the most serious of economic factors. Even now, we can see how much new construction in Denver is going by watching the cranes going up at active construction sites. There is no shortage of newcomers and entries into the space with such high demand. But the process for developing Denver Commercial construction is very nuanced, with any other type of construction here.
Many developers can find themselves learning a great deal about the processes, lessons, and nuances of Denver Commercial Construction. But at the same time, they can experience many pitfalls and complications that will cost money and time.
Even the most seasoned veterans in Denver Commercial Construction are still learning. They retain a great deal of working knowledge that builders can turn in relevant experience for future projects. Sustainable Design Build is no outlier in this concept either, which is why SDB would like to extend some rudimentary knowledge for those interested in developing in Denver. Most of these tips and information presented here are common pitfalls and pain points we encountered on previous commercial development projects. To help our community’s future developers, here are the top four mistakes that can happen in Denver Commercial Construction and Development.
Do not close on land before meeting with the City of Denver
One of the most nuanced and time-constricting parts of Denver Commercial Construction is often the first step, closing on a property. By itself, closing on a property for development already has many factors and deadlines to consider. Moreso, a proposed development will have additional deadlines and criteria to fulfill compared to a traditional closing.
When closing on a property for Denver Commercial Construction, upon placing earnest money on the property – Always schedule a concept meeting with the City and County of Denver immediately—organizing this meeting with city officials before closing ensures that your project is feasible and allowed by the governing municipality. In particular, with Denver, Commercial Construction projects will go through a gauntlet of reviews and comments so that the proposed build will adhere to community guidelines and building codes.
Having a development team already pulled together will significantly aid the process with this step. Before placing money down in earnest for a property, this means that you have assembled a team that consists of a Civil Engineer, Land Surveying Engineer, Soils and Geotechnical Engineer, and of course, your General Contractor or Design-Build company.
It is important to remember that the conceptual meeting has no requirement for technical drawings. A conceptual sketch and application that your civil engineer has prepared will get most developers in Denver off on the right foot Denver. A conceptual meeting with the City also ensures that whatever property the developer has will not be a pricey mistake.
All Denver Commercial Construction Requires Geotechnical Reports
As mentioned before, developers will need to assemble a team to handle the pre-design phase of commercial construction. Among their ranks, a Geotechnical Engineer is an often overlooked or even forgotten part of the pre-conceptual steps of development. However, a geotechnical report is invaluable at the starting stages of a project because it identifies possible complications associated with the ground on which construction occurs.
Without a geotechnical report, a simple foundation construction can change into a structural nightmare costing unforeseen costs upwards of thousands later in the project timeline.
A geotechnical engineer will arrive on-site to take coring samples of the earth beneath the lot. These samples will be analyzed to determine what materials are present and, in turn, will create a ‘Soils Report.’ This report will provide important information regarding the quality of the site and its conditions when constructing a new building. In addition, this information will assist in giving a direction to specific design recommendations or requirements to meet the strict building code standards.
Colorado has a unique quality of soil or sediment peppered throughout the state. These areas can have an impactful quality on the building and its construction costs! Expansive clay can is all over, a problematic characteristic that many developers for Denver Commercial Construction have had to deal with. The expansive clay does what the name implies; with the wide temperature swings in the local climate, moisture locked in the soil will cause the soil layers to expand and contract, which causes implications to the structural integrity of the building. Identifying these conditions upfront will save Denver Commercial Construction projects unforeseen structural requirements that could tank a project entirely!
Denver Commercial Construction Needs A Land Survey
The land survey is another area that developers in the Denver commercial construction scene overlook. The Land Survey is compiling the pre-conceptual requirement of a commercial construction project. Even though it sounds simple, a land survey can provide additional information apart from the square footage, grade, and slope of a site.
A land survey is a crucial component of Due Diligence in Denver commercial construction. Purchasing a design-level survey that includes title research may seem expensive upfront but ultimately can save developers hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost from possible complications. A land survey can also identify potential project-hauling aspects, so it is critical to have one done immediately.
In short, once you have a lot in process to close on, order an Improvement Location Survey or Land Survey Plat with title research.
Denver Commercial Construction Consulting
When it comes down to it, developing any type of project in Denver requires a lot of teamwork and assistance from numerous types of disciplines and trades. That is why consulting is a valuable tool for developers, and hiring the right team or resources to aid you can be instrumental in your success. Denver design-build firms or builder companies can help developers connect them to all the necessary resources. In addition, they can help navigate that notoriously tricky process of obtaining build permits. Preceding that route, just remember to assemble a capable team that you can trust and communicate with before purchasing any land for development. Acquire the help of a civil engineer, land surveyor, geotechnical engineer, architect, structural engineer. All of these members of your team are necessary to get through due diligence and the initial stages of any Denver Commercial Construction project.
This article initially appears in https://www.raptor-civil.com/post/4-common-mistakes-when-developing-in-denver
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