It’s this time of year when customers begin to reach out to us regarding projects they want to get completed in this calendar year. However, as many of you may realize, it’s about impossible to design, permit and construct a project in 11 months.


The reason most people try to accomplish this is that accounting principles and capital budgeting often require that projects that are approved get completed within a fiscal year. While some smaller projects like remodels and such can be done in this time frame, most ground-up projects need 14-18 months to complete the entire process, depending on the scope and complexity. What we typically recommend to clients is to budget design and permitting for one fiscal year and construction for the next fiscal year. This helps to spread out the funding needed for the project over two years and allows for the proper planning and contingency time needed to complete the design and permitting process. To be clear, you still want to start this process in May or so, and not wait until September, otherwise, you will still have a time crunch in the next fiscal year.

Our process layout is pretty simply:

  1. Scoping phase; work with the client to determine the parameters for the project, set up the basis of design, prepare conceptual drawings, and finalize a budget and schedule. The typical time frame is 4-8 weeks depending on the type of project.
  2. Design phase; prepare the total design package per the scope and budget defined in step one. The typical time frame is 7-12 weeks.
  3. Permitting and Procurement; these run concurrently. Permitting can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on where you are at. Procurement (bidding) takes about 4 weeks to complete.
  4. Construction Phase; as you can imagine this is a large window of time due to the various natures of construction projects. But assume 4-12 months.

As you can see, not including any internal client approvals, the schedule balloons to 12 – 20 months of the total project timeline. You need to make sure you plan projects accordingly.

Jeff Eriks – President