6 Main Stages of a Construction Project (Explained)

Looking for the main stages of a construction project? Here we have tried our best to explain these stages in detail so that you can understand them easily.

 What are the main stages of a construction project?

  • Concept of a project
  • Design
  • Pre-construction stage
  • Procurement stage
  • Construction stage
  • Post construction stage.

Projects under construction may vary based on their size, number of stakeholders involved, budget and delivery date. Regardless of the case, the construction project is always a long and arduous process.

The good news is that with the continuous advancement of digital solutions, managing different phases of a project can now be done more easily and with greater precision. In addition, the collection of valuable data from the field can play a decisive role in improving, and standardizing the construction process for future projects.

6 Stages of a Construction Project

In short, here are the 6 stages of a construction project and what you should know about them:

1. Construction project stages: Project conception

Usually, project conception begins with the client. This is where the dream begins as well as research for the exact location and specifications / standards to be followed.

Depending on the project, the conception stage may be different. This can take anywhere from a few days to several months or more, depending on how close the need is to project completion.

Construction workers usually don’t have much input during this stage. 

2. Construction Project Stages: Design

Now that the project is closer to the outcome, it is time to sit down and talk design. It’s still an early stage, meaning nothing is guaranteed at this point. However, design is the stage where usually the bidding process begins.

The team in charge of design, led by an architect or engineer, will need to ensure that any regulations and country codes are met while respecting the vision of the project owner and ensuring that the newly constructed structure is usable.

There are usually four distinct steps in the design stage and they include programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development, and contract documents .

During the programming and feasibility steps, each of the project goals and objectives should be outlined. Many decisions are made at this stage, including how large the building will be, how much space will be used, and how much space will be required.

A schematic design is a sketch that will show space as well as materials, colors, and even textures. The sketches will be used during design development to research the equipment needed, along with the costs for them and the materials used.

After the contract documents are created, everything is almost done, as they contain the final drawings and specifications. These documents are used in the construction sector by those who bid to work on projects.

3. The pre-construction stage

The next phase of the construction project starts when the bidding is completed and a contractor has been selected to do the work. As soon as a contractor is selected, the project team is put together.

Typically, the project team has the task of preparing a construction site before work begins. As a rule, it consists of the following specialties:

  • Contract administrator
  • Project manager
  • Supervisor
  • Field engineer
  • Health and safety manager

Working closely with contractors, the project team is responsible for field visits to complete site inspections. Site checks will enable the project team to detect or predict any environmental challenges that may arise during the construction process. Soil testing is also an integral part of this step.

When all information is gathered, all plans and findings must be reviewed by city authorities. This is usually a lengthy procedure, as all issues and opinions must be heard and addressed.

4. Procurement Stage

Now is the time for the project team to order and procure materials, equipment and labor. This stage of a project can be more or less complex and challenging depending on the size of the project, available resources and the agreed start date.

Many large construction companies have their own procurement departments. In such cases, it is common that the construction company will simultaneously order workers, equipment and materials for a number of projects. This process may vary greatly in a smaller project.

All this work is usually carried out by a general contractor, however, there are times when the subcontractor will be responsible for certain parts. Subcontractors may be responsible for hiring their own workers or getting their own materials so they know they have what they need to get their part of the job done.

5. Construction stage

Before construction work begins, a pre-construction meeting is held to ensure that everyone is on the same page when construction begins. These meetings usually include information on the following topics:

  • how to access job sites
  • project quality control
  • how and where to store all the ingredients
  • hours everyone will work

Each worker can be assigned their own schedule. It is also important to note that each project agent’s schedule may vary depending on their role. This is especially true for subcontractors who need certain parts of work to be completed before they can start their share. It easily becomes clear that poor planning at this point can lead to serious delays and budget overruns.

After the meeting is over and there are no questions left, the first step of the project can begin. The goal at this point is to plan things very carefully so that things go smoothly. Of course, that rarely happens, because something always goes wrong during a construction project.

6. Post construction stage

Last, but certainly not least, the post-construction stage. Now that all the work on the job site has been completed, the project is coming to an end.

Even so, there are still some steps that need to be done before the building keys can be handed over.

In general, the final stage of a construction project is divided into three important steps:

a. Commissioning of new construction buildings

First thing, an inspection of the entire building needs to be carried out. If everything is done right, this inspection is quite easy to do.

The reason is that another inspection should have been completed during the entire project. It is during these previous inspections that problems should be found and fixed.

As soon as everything is checked, it is time for the project team to train the client in operating and maintaining the newly built structure. It is a very important step because it will contribute to the improvement of the project life cycle.

b. Handover

Now that the training is over, the owner can take over the building. This is when the warranty period is active. That way, the project owner can feel secure that there is sufficient time to examine all the different systems, equipment and materials that have been installed.

There are three main types of warranty in construction:

  • Express warranty: Usually the warranty stated in the contract
  • Implied warranty: Usually imposed by law.
  • Statutory warranty: Usually based on local laws or regulations

c. Closure (Closure)

It is the final step in the long process of designing and completing a construction project. The project team must carry out the overall contractual agreement and ensure that the project is free from any kind of legal burden.

At this point it is also good practice to conduct a post-project review which can help different agencies to detect any unfinished assignments, analyze why this is happening and compile a list of insights for the future.

Post-project reviews can also be the basis for generating in-depth project completion reports.