Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding your operations with a new branch location, the time will inevitably arrive when you have to begin a commercial construction project. The first step of that process is likely to involve choosing a proper building site or location.
Countless variables may affect your decision, and if you’ve never looked at a commercial construction site before, it may be an intimidating proposition. Fortunately, there are a handful of steps to take and considerations to keep in mind which can all help you pick the best site for your development.
Factors for Choosing the Best Location
These are just some of the most important factors you’ll need to consider when you’re hunting for potential construction areas:
- Proximity. The real estate mantra, “location, location, location,” highlights the importance of a building’s locale because it affects a number of the firm’s attributes, as well as its functionality. You’ll have to consider the building site’s proximity to various useful establishments, including the homes of people who will work there, transportation facilities, appropriate roads and highways, and even local partners or shippers.
- Local businesses. In addition, you’ll need to consider which other businesses are currently operating in the neighborhood. If there are too many like yours, you’ll face heavy competition, and you may not be as successful as you might be in another region. On the other hand, if there are complementary businesses nearby, this could increase your sales and brand recognition. You might also note the types of companies you expect to do business with regularly, and whether any exist in the area.
- Logistics. One of the most important areas for consideration is the logistical feasibility of the property. A commercial site survey can help you identify whether a specific area is capable of supporting your vision for the development … but we’ll touch on that in the next section.
- Brand image. This is often overlooked, but try to keep in mind how your location could affect your brand image. If you’re a hip, energetic startup, you may not want to build in an older, industrial part of the city. If your customers have come to expect certain values and a particular image from your company, you need to ask yourself how well that image works with the location you have in mind.
- Cost. No matter what, you’ll have to keep the cost of the project in mind as well. Certain locations will cost more than others based purely on their location, and peripheral factors will also influence the cost—such as how much prep work the area will need before building can begin, and whether specific codes or regulations will significantly affect your plans. Have a budget in mind before you start planning, and research your chosen area as thoroughly as possible before beginning.
A Commercial Site Survey
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential candidates, you can start to take a more in-depth look. If an area looks promising, you’ll want to conduct a commercial site survey, either with the help of a third party or by relying on your own internal experts. Some of the features to look for here include:
- Dimensions. For starters, you need to know the dimensions of the site you’re examining. Some will be able to accommodate the building you have in mind, but others clearly won’t. Depending on what other buildings are in the area, you may also be bound by external restrictions.
- Topographical features. The topographical features of the area should also be examined. For example, is there a flat plane that allows for the easy construction of a new building, or will there have to be some mode of leveling before work can begin? Are there any natural features like trees or water that will need to be altered, and if so, is it feasible and cost-effective to do so?
- Land and soil composition. Next, you should thoroughly study the land and soil composition, which could set certain limits on the materials you may use during construction. Particularly acidic conditions may prohibit the use of certain materials, while certain types of soil may prevent you from designing a strong foundation for your building.
- Environmental factors. Finally, consider the potential environmental conditions and hazards you’ll be facing. For example, if you’re building next to a river or another massive body of water, will flooding be a potential hazard you might expect? If you’re building in an area with high wind conditions, how will the design of your building be forced to change?
If you’re not an expert in this area, we highly advise hiring a professional to guide you through this process. There are too many sensitive variables that could go overlooked otherwise.
Finally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with some of the building codes of the region, especially as you start planning the design of your building. Are there any limitations for what kinds of materials can be used, or are there restrictions for the walls, floors, and other features? Is your type of business acceptable for the area, and if so, are there any building regulations that could prevent you from constructing the project you have in mind?
Will these building codes increase or reduce the total amount of money you’ll have to spend on the project? Is that acceptable, given your original budget? It’s vital to know these potential limitations before you go any further with a location.
Setting Your Priorities
There’s no right or wrong place to build a business, since every firm has different needs, and almost any area you choose will have advantages and disadvantages. Your job here is to establish your priorities and choose a location that ultimately meets them.
Still, it can be overwhelming for an individual, or even a group of people if you aren’t familiar with the process of scouting for business locations. If you need help choosing the right location or planning your commercial construction project, contact us at Construction by Daniels. We’ll help you find the perfect location for your new building.