Pre-Construction Planning

The right team for the right job

Once funding is approved, the Smet process begins with an initial team meeting to discuss your design and functionality goals, budget and timeline. We take time to understand unique aspects of your business and your environmental workflow before we begin the bidding process.

Our clients appreciate our pre-construction planning and independent perspective on single-sourcing subcontractors through our tested evaluation interviews. Whether we source the subcontractors or you have a subcontractor that you want us to work with, we always assemble the right team for the right job. Plus, with total transparency, we share all bids with our clients and discuss the merits of each supplier. Pre-construction planning is Smet’s true point of differentiation.

If you’re like most business owners, you likely want to know early on precisely what your project will cost you. Also your project may be under a tight time schedule and a pre-construction agreement allows you to get your project off the ground without committing to a full construction contract until you have all of the information such as costs, constructability and the ability to solve potential code issues prior to committing to the full project. By meeting as a team with the architect, our client and the Smet team, we’re able to extract all of the information needed for your project.

A pre-construction agreement is a document that outlines what is included in the planning process of your new project. It typically includes site selection, architectural plans, engineering, structural plans, elevations, site plans, specifications, value engineering, state and local approvals, and the actual cost to build your project. At the end of the pre-construction phase, you’ll have the information to be fully prepared to move into a full construction agreement if you wish.

Site Selection

You may have purchased the land for your project ahead of time, but if not, the site selection process can be crucial. Availability of utilities, topography, soil tests and location can have a significant impact on your project cost. Not knowing what these impacts could be, it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to extend utilities, balance a site, or bring in additional fill because of poor soils.  We’re more than happy to help you through that process.

Architectural Planning

Architectural planning starts with an architect that has a good amount of experience in your type of project. Every project has different nuances and having the right architect is key to a successful project. He/she may bring up things that you haven’t thought of and having the right construction management team at the table can help steer the ship during this critical stage with input on the most cost-effective methods and constructability. The best way to save money on your project is during the planning stage.


As we move through the planning process, we assist the architect in defining material selections, budgeting, constructability and more to be sure we’re staying within budget. After plans are completed and ready for state approval, we hard bid them to multiple vendors of every phase of the project to get you the most qualified price.

A pre-construction agreement requires scrutiny of the designed construction plans for a better understanding of what to expect throughout the project and the reason for a Smet team member to be a part of the planning process. This process can flush out potential change orders early in the planning process to avoid them during construction.

The transparency that comes with more exact estimations for labor and materials may provide you a better peace of mind knowing exactly how your dollars are being spent. In addition to labor and materials, our transparency also includes an open book that shows all costs in detail of your entire project. We also welcome you to join our team as we glean through all of the bids to determine the best qualified price.

If you want to save money on your project, it starts with good planning because once your project has been started, any changes made can be very costly.

Take the next step

Start your next project with Smet
Design-build construction company