If you want to build a new building to use for commercial purposes, you may not know where to start. The entire process can seem overwhelming. How do you go from an empty lot to a fully functioning facility? First, understand that this will be a multi-year process, and there are many small steps along the way. But basically, the process of constructing a commercial building can be broken down into these four big steps.
Step 1: Finding the right location.
This is harder than it might sound. You need to find a plot of land that is zoned properly for the type of commercial business you will have. You then need to make sure that land is serviced by the correct utilities. If not, you will need to make plans with the local gas or electric company to run service to the land. Make sure they are willing and able to do so before you buy the land! It's also important to have the land surveyed to ensure it's possible to build the type of building you need without it sinking into the ground or contaminating sensitive soils.
Step 2: Draw up plans.
Once you have the ideal location, you need to work with a team of architects to draw up plans for the commercial building. This process will take several months, and your architecture team will need to coordinate with various regulatory offices to ensure everything in the plans meets code requirements.
Step 3: Apply for permits.
Once the plans are completed, you can start applying for permits to actually start building. This is a little more complex than simply getting one building permit from the building inspector's office. You may need a permit to dig in a certain area, another permit to build your building taller than a certain height, and so forth. It's really important to work with an architect who has a lot of commercial experience; they can take the helm in ensuring you apply for the proper new construction permits.
Step 4: Start building.
During the plan drawing process, you and your architect should have identified a commercial building contractor who is going to do the actual work. Once the permits are obtained, they can begin construction. Expect some back and forth over the year or so that they work on the building. Some plans may have to change as the building comes together and new needs are identified.