Construction Process, General Contracting

Construction Project TipsHow to select your project delivery method, contractor, and construction method.

A construction project can be a long and arduous process. But there are three things you can do today to get started in the right direction. These basic steps, with some research and planning, will prepare you for future success.

Every construction project begins with these three decisions:

  1. Selecting a delivery method
  2. Selecting a contractor
  3. Selecting a construction method


Project Delivery Methods

The three most common project delivery methods available include:

  1. Design-Bid-Build – The owner solicits proposals and pricing from architects and/or engineers to design the project. Once design is determined, the owner bids the project to contractor to construct the building. The owner must manage two separate contracts which often creates an adversarial relationship between the designer and contractor. The process is time-consuming and requires the owner to be involved in day-to-day project management.
  2. Construction Management at Risk – Construction Management at Risk is a delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price based on the construction documents and specifications at the time.  An adverse relationship between the construction manager and the architect can lead to some of the same issues that arise in the design-bid-build method.  Incomplete and/or inaccurate drawings can result in changes orders that exceed the guaranteed maximum price.
  3. Design-BuildThe design/build method is simply the fastest, most efficient, most cost-effective building process you can use. The owner selects one company, the design-builder, as the single source for design and construction. The designer and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing project recommendations that fit the owner’s schedule and budget.  Any changes can be addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem solving and innovation.  More than half of all projects today are built using the design/build method.


Selecting a Construction Contractor

The most important criteria for selecting a general construction contractor are a good reputation and the use of high-quality construction methods and materials. Consider construction companies that can handle every phase of your building project, as well as offer complete design-build expertise.  Your contractor should be able to balance risk and responsibility appropriately and clearly define expectations regarding costs, schedules, quality, and safety compliance.

With decades of experience in successfully completing design-build projects in Pennsylvania and surrounding states, Galbraith is your single-source solution for commercial, industrial and institutional construction projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Here are some of the reasons our clients appreciate working with Galbraith/Pre-Design, Inc.:

  • Over the past 25 years, we have developed systems and processes to deliver projects on time and within budget.
  • We adapt to your schedule and workflow to minimize disturbance to your operations and your bottom line.
  • We focus on preventative problem-solving.
  • We have experience in working in 8 states and are familiar with local regulations.
  • We use primarily our own in-house crews and do not subcontract every aspect of your project
  • We focus on building relationships, not transactions.
  • We use quality assurance checklists throughout your project.


Selecting a Construction Method

There are three construction methods available.

  1. Conventional Construction – Requires the building components to be cut, fitted, welded, and assembled on-site. This process is time-consuming and can be more expensive.
  2. Systems Construction (Pre-Engineered) – The steel building components are pre-engineered at the factory to fit together precisely. Systems construction components include structural, roof, and wall systems. The pre-engineered facility is designed to your exact specifications and delivered to the job site ready to be assembled.  The process is quick, efficient, and usually less expensive.
  3. Hybrid Conventional – Uses the best advantages of both the conventional and systems construction to provide the flexibility and efficiency needed to meet the needs of the project.

GALBRAITH partners with Butler Building Systems, the world’s leading producer of engineered steel building solutions. For more than 100 years, the name Butler has been synonymous with building innovation. Every Butler Building is designed, engineered, and manufactured to exact specifications, assuring fast assembly and long-term performance. Here are some of the highlights of our partnership:

  • Materials made from 30%-70% recycled steel
  • Minimal waste with made-to-order building systems
  • Energy-efficient roofing and wall systems
  • Durability from a 60-year roof system (MR-24®)
  • Reduction of the heat island effect with cool roof colors
  • Streamlined construction schedules
  • Design flexibility to accommodate any wall system
  • Hybrid building solutions combining conventional and pre-engineered structures

For more information, contact us today at 717-776-6337 or email