contractors in Kansas City

Is your general contractor capable of progressive construction?

Look for flexible contractors in Kansas City

By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder of Construction DesignWorks, LLC and Nationwide Commercial Inspections, LLC

As a building owner, your new investment property may not be feasible to build if you aren’t able to construct it in phases. Identifying a general contractor (GC) capable of progressive construction might be your only option. Whether your general contractor specializes in commercial tenant construction (white box construction) or ground-up projects, identifying flexible contractors in Kansas City that will be open to a phased approach is critical.

Lenders are always cautious in loaning money for 100% of the development and construction costs unless there are executed commitments and leases in hand. And even then, the tenants must be financially sound and pass due diligence to establish commercial credit that considers the tenants’ balance sheet, prospect of a long-term success, as well as age and history of the company.

In new building construction (ground-up), there are some logical starting and stopping points to consider whereby you will not be paying a premium for the overall building costs by stretching out the overall schedule. There is no arguing that producing a new building in one continuous phase is more economical and efficient. However, design, project management, construction, budgets and contracts can be uniquely created by progressive construction (phased project).

Discuss steps in progressive construction with potential contractors in Kansas City


The most logical step for your first contract is for design services. This will include soil testing, architectural, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering services. A fully revised and vetted set of design documents ready for construction is crucial for a smooth construction project. I feel the Design-Build and/or Construction Manager at Risk ([email protected]) delivery methods are the best choices when choosing a design firm, as the costs of the project will be continually evaluated and critiqued to establish the best value for the owner.
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Site work – part 1

Once land disturbance permits are granted and civil engineering drawings are complete, the site work contract can be considered phase 2 and work can commence. Scopes of work, such as demolition, excavation, balancing the site, underground utilities including storm sewer work and finally building pad preparation, can be provided.

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Footing, foundation, concrete

When most of the site work and building pad are ready, phase 3 can start. This is an easily defined scope of work and contract. All sub-grade utilities should be installed followed by foundation, footings and elevator pit (if applicable) installation. After successful inspections, the flatwork can be poured for either the basement or first floor of the building, depending on the type of building.
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Building structure

Phase 4 is considered the buildings structural components. This could be a multitude of materials and designs including structural steel, wood-framed, formed concrete, tile-up concrete and masonry. This might include concrete flatwork for upper floors, elevator shaft and the roof deck.

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Building envelope

It is imperative that you waste no time on the installation of the building envelope in phase 5 as not to jeopardize the integrity of all the previous work. Prolonged exposure to the elements will degrade all materials such as concrete, steel and wood. Even masonry that was not sealed and is exposed to freeze and thaw cycles will experience failure quickly. Installation of the roofing system, exterior cladding such as glass, EIFS, siding and joint sealants should be scheduled and executed quickly and efficiently to reduce risk of degradation of the building elements.
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Interior work

Based on the extent of the interior work, scope of work for phase 6 should include all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) work to properly condition the space and produce a space that is suitable to the landlord’s deliverables and/or plans. This may include common area finishes such as ADA restrooms, working elevator, paint and flooring install. In some cases, the interior work will include a white box finish or a complete finished building in accordance with the end user.
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Site work – part 2

Assuming the site’s infrastructure is installed, dirt work is complete to specified grades, the remaining site work elements should be completed in phase 7. This would typically include final grading, irrigation installation, landscaping, hardscapes, exterior sidewalks, patios, curbs, asphalt parking, striping and exterior signage. In most jurisdictions, a final certificate of occupancy is not issued until all site work is completed to meet the standards of the approved design and construction documents.
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There are no set rules or number of phases progressive construction should include. It’s all based on when the approved funds are available. However, there needs to be special consideration to critical milestones that will not be jeopardized as explained in phase 5, building envelope. Not all builders and/or general contractors in Kansas City will accept a multi-phased project as it affects the scheduling of their workforce. So if you formed a phased project due to funding restrictions, interview your builder to see if they are flexible and will consider progressive construction and the practical and financial effects it will have on your particular project.

About Construction DesignWorks, LLC

Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design and construction expertise to create and develop a winning design-build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey building solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, LLC is located at 6657 Woodland Drive in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking for contractors in Kansas City or for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727or visit their website


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