As we enter the end of the year, I wanted to write a quick note to everyone on planning for their projects in the new year. While most companies have annual budgets for construction projects, it’s important to remember that ANY construction project takes a lot of time to plan and execute. Let’s take a quick look at how this will break down. Now, I am going to use general terms of course because every project is different but I will use this as kind of an “average” timeline for what we see.

Figuring out the need. We call this scoping but others call it preliminary design, pre-planning, or several other things. Bottom line, this is where we work with you to “figure out the need”.

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • What kind of facility are you going to need?
  • How much property is required?
  • What’s the zoning and so many other items play into this?

This process can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 20 weeks depending on what the project is and how many parties are involved. Then we move on to site selection unless you have one already. The time to find and select the site is typically around 6-8 months from the start of the search to closing on the sale. Then we have to knock out the design which is anywhere from 10 weeks to 20 weeks, project dependent. After that, we are looking at permitting the facility. Construction permitting could be as short as a couple of weeks or as long as 6-8 months depending on the municipality you are dealing with. Then moving on to construction you are looking at 4 months to 12 months.

Adding all this together, a typical project life span can be anywhere from 38 weeks if the property is already secured to 2 years or more. It’s important to work with your design/build team as early as possible to identify this potential timeline so you can properly plan your cash spend on a project for each calendar year as required by general accounting practices.

Again, this is meant to be a general review and every project needs to be looked at individually based on its requirements, but the point is, when the calendar hits Jan 1, 2020, don’t expect to have a project come up and be able to complete it by Dec. 31, 2020, because it’s not very feasible for most projects to be able to do all this in one calendar year.

We at Cambridge want to wish you Happy Holidays and a safe and happy new year!

Jeff Eriks – President