3 Questions to Ask Your Construction Partner Before Your Retail Store Buildout - Sachse Construction
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3 Questions to Ask Your Construction Partner Before Your Retail Store Buildout

The idea of juggling the many moving parts of a retail store buildout while keeping your budget intact and schedule on track is enough to make any head spin. Finding the right construction partner, however, doesn’t need to be a stressful part of the equation.

When considering your options, use these three questions as a guide to evaluating the best construction partner for helping your brand grow.

1. Where has your team completed projects in the past, and how have they been successful?

Ideally, your construction partner will be experienced and licensed across multiple states as rules and regulations vary state-to-state. Choosing an experienced partner well-versed in the nuances of each marketplace can minimize unexpected delays in the project schedule and offer a multitude of other benefits to your project.

Customary to the retail industry, rollout strategies are often a top priority for brands seeking long-term success. When expanding your retail footprint, it’s imperative to find an experienced construction partner who can efficiently build out each space according to brand standards. Fostering an early relationship with a national contractor provides the advantages of a national footprint, including brand compliance consistency, strategies for multi-location rollout logistics, consistent project teams, and ability to ensure on-time deliveries. With this established relationship in place, your national general contractor can ensure an accurate representation of your brand across locations due to their heightened familiarity.

Even though a construction partner may be licensed nationally, it’s essential to know where they have been geographically successful. Asking the right questions could help determine whether your construction partner has the resources and experience necessary to deliver your project in a particular market effectively.

Amidst your search, don’t overlook the structure of the firm. Specific internal departments can indicate previous market success and add value by sourcing qualified trades for your project.

In a heavily saturated market where skilled trades can be scarce, a firm with an in-house call center can assemble trusted trade partners to bid a project. Conversely, the call center may draw upon previous experiences to ask the right questions and get them pre-qualified. With expansive knowledge for leveraging labor, a national contractor provides a well-established national trade database to ensure the most qualified trade partners are on your project.

2. What are the project team’s qualifications?

The keys to success on any retail project are both thoughtful planning and viable schedules. When evaluating a construction partner, it’s important to note the qualifications of the project team, including the project manager, superintendent, and estimator. Listen carefully to the questions they ask to ensure they are digging deep to anticipate potential problems and deliver solutions accordingly. Verifying transparency in communication in the early stages of your project can save both time and money (and headaches) in the long run.

Look to see that your partner is mindful of the details, such as long-lead-time materials. For example, you may be aiming for a 12-week schedule while your light fixtures have a 14-week lead time. An experienced and trusted partner will bring these concerns to your attention at the forefront. During this discussion, they can suggest cost-saving solutions, such as pushing the construction start date back by two weeks to avoid paying for the superintendent during that time. From a broader lens, ask yourself if they’re valuing the partnership or merely winning a job.

While evaluating the qualifications of your project team, you should also make a note of the superintendent’s relationship with the construction company. Full-time superintendents bring peace of mind as it ensures security for the entire duration of your project, verses contracting superintendents on a project or consultant basis.

3. How do you effectively manage the project budget?

Overlooking budget details in the early stages is a surefire way to derail your project. Ask your construction partner to prepare a preliminary budget that outlines the unique features of your store buildout. A national contractor will be able to pull a comprehensive list of market comparables from around the nation and offer value management solutions from both a materials and labor standpoint. Depending on the client and market, a non-signatory firm can use either union or non-union trades, allowing for a more competitive bid.

When completing the preliminary budget, a construction partner can help potentially save time and money by reviewing drawings and identifying potential design pain points before construction commencement.

Open communication and transparency prior to construction commencement and throughout a project are signs of a trustworthy long-term construction partner.

Choose Wisely

Most construction firms are well-qualified to build your project, so selecting a general contractor or construction manager comes down to identifying the best partner for you.

The bottom line comes down to trust and risk: maximizing the former and minimizing the latter. When taking on a retail store buildout, working with a trusted and respected national construction partner is the best way to achieve your goals. With a strong relationship and undeniable trust in your partner, the project buildout will be a success, and you’ll be able to focus on your brand expansion.

Contact Ron Henry, senior vice president, at rhenry@sachse.net to learn how Sachse Construction can help you expand your store footprint.

About Sachse Construction

Sachse Construction was founded in 1991 as a general contracting and construction management firm. Over the past 28 years, Sachse Construction has built millions of square feet of retail, commercial, multifamily, and institutional space throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Licensed in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico, the team has completed over 2,000 retail projects and served over 200 brands.

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