6 Steps to Planning a Successful Building Project

Dreaming about new apartment.

Like every business, unless you make sure your foundation stages (the planning) are strong, it is unlikely to succeed. Unlike every business, a poorly planned and executed building project can seriously harm and kill people.

So when it comes to planning a successful building project, here are a few steps that you shouldn’t do without.

Design and Planning

While you can bring all of the ideas to the table, a qualified architect should be the one to put the design together. You can use CAD software to make sure that your idea will work in terms of the build. The load-bearing math alone is done incorrectly can have catastrophic results.

You’ll need to include:

  • Feasibility
  • Project brief
  • Concept design completed by a design team or contractor
  • Detailed design by a group or contractor

These stages don’t typically last too long; the contractors who do the initial designs might be carried over to the rest of the projects. Alternatively, the design might be given to another company.

Budget and Time Scale

Before you start gathering estimates, you will need to have a sold budget. All building projects have a budget and a timeline. If the project goes over the deadline, the costs stack up thick and fast.

Your budget might have a little bit of wiggle room – and that is fine, but you don’t want to go tens of thousands over the budget.

Once they are in place, do your best to stick to them – without compromising the integrity of the building.


The team of manufacturers, designers, architects, and contracts shouldn’t just be the first to bid on the project. Instead, you need to look for companies that have a strong reputation and plenty of reviews.

It is often possible to see their work in person and have several meetings before you decide for designers and architects. A strong manufacturer is an absolute must; you need to know that everything they deliver is of the highest quality.

To choose the right people, you’ll need to consider a few things:

  • How complex is the project
  • Are there any restrictions
  • Is it a new build or a renovation
  • How many buildings are there

Further to this, you need to have a then shortlist and ensure that you work through it like this:

  • Get quotes for all of the companies
  • Ask for references but also look for your own online
  • See how many similar projects they have done – are the specialists?


It is not uncommon for a discrepancy in the communication between project managers, contractors, stakeholders, and on-site workers. There are many different options for purpose-built construction communications software. You’ll need to check the options and see which suits your project best.

Construction software isn’t just about being able to talk. Instead, it is a comprehensive software option that offers a budget tracker, project coordination, material take-off, and even billing.

Anticipate changes

Even from the initial design stages, you need to approach the project in an agile way. The initial idea might not be possible when it comes to stability. Further to this, each stage will require multiple checks on materials and the ground. It’s not uncommon for the ground to be found unsuitable at a later date.

Here are some common issues that occur:

  • Material delays including equipment, machinery, and materials
  • Requirement of time extension
  • Pricing to change throughout the project – understand your contracts to avoid this
  • Conditions of the ground
  • Scope definition


Depending on the type of building, you might be waiting for some time for approvals for each stage. To get the clearance, you’ll need to go through these stages:

  • Land title
  • Land clearance
  • Zone clearance
  • Building approval
    • Building plan
    • Layout approval
    • IOD
  • Completion certificate
  • Utilities and services
  • Occupant certificate

Or course, it will depend on the size of the project, the location, and the purpose of the building.

Before starting your project, you need to know what you need at each stage and which inspectors will come to your project.

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