What Are The Steps to Build A Commercial Building?

There is a lot involved in the development of a commercial building. There is a long list of considerations, parties involved, and factors that need to come together for a successful commercial build. 

Having a more detailed understanding of the steps to build a commercial building will provide you with deeper insights into how you plan the project and the type of design team you want to use. Here we will give you more detail into the main steps in planning and developing a commercial building:

Planning & Development

Proper planning cannot be more overstated. This is the most important phase during the building process. You need to get the details right here in order to have a smooth transition to the other steps in the commercial building process. 

During this phase, you will determine the location of the build and establish the budget for the project. This includes finding a location that meets your zoning requirements and is ideal for your business type.


During the pre-design phase you will outline to overall objectives for the project. You may discuss and plan out loose ideas for the rooms and building structure. You will also discuss other specific design concepts and customized building elements. You will make sure all design concepts are in alignment with local building codes. Initial timelines and contracts are drawn up. All parties working on the project (architect and contractors) will meet to start the initial planning.


Architects will develop a complete set of drawings based on your specifications and information provided. Once a draft of the design is complete, they will outline the final details of the project, costs, and timelines to the different stages of construction. Trades will coordinate and collaborate to ensure all parties are on the same page.


All required building permits will be obtained. You will submit all building plans and comply with any suggested changes. All parties will get the necessary insurance. The initial construction can begin. Contractors will receive a list of materials required for the project and take bids from vendors. You will finalize the construction team and work out any other details required at this phase.


All building supplies, materials, equipment, and labour is procured for the project. This is generally the responsibility of the general contractor. Orders will be reviewed to ensure they are in alignment with the project specifications.


The construction phase is multi faceted. Before ground is broken you will determine how the construction will work. You will determine where materials will be stored, the hours work will be completed, who has site access, and how all other facets will be managed. 

The actual construction can involve many different steps. These can vary based on the building design and location. Some things that will take place during construction include the following:

  • Excavation
  • Installing of utilities and plumbing underground
  • Setting the concrete foundation
  • Framing and roofing
  • Exterior building work
  • Interior construction

All steps will be inspected by a project manager and a commercial construction inspector from your local municipality.


Once the construction process is complete, all parties involved in the building project will walk through the building and create a list of things that need to be addressed. You will develop what is referred to as a punch list. This is a list of components that require further attention. For example, an area was painted with the wrong colour or there are missing or damaged materials. Once all areas are addressed and satisfactory, a final inspection will be completed before the building becomes fully operational for its intended purpose. 

The above is a brief overview of the many steps included in the commercial building process. There are a lot of complex factors in play. Strong communications between all parties is needed to ensure a project is completed up to your specifications on time and on budget.

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If you are planning a commercial building build, we want to hear from you. At Fuhrmann, we provide all in one commercial building solutions. Learn more about our Commercial Building Renovations services by requesting a free consultation with our design experts.

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