TICON General Contractors focuses on new medical and dental office construction. We offer wide skill in commercial construction and tenant improvement in Orange County.
17602 17th Street, Suite 102-199 Tustin, CA, 92780
Phone: (657) 218-4835

Minimizing Building Ownership Mistakes in Construction


Simple steps can be taken upfront to mitigate potential added costs in the construction phase.

I’ve been in the construction business for over twenty years, and spent seven years in the commercial real estate brokerage side of the business.  Over that time I’ve worked on hundreds of commercial construction projects in the renovation and tenant improvement categories, and a few in the ground up category.  Mistakes happen in any business, but the most common mistakes I see by owners in construction are ones that could be easily mitigated, and would save them on their budget.


Most contractors are brought into a project at the bidding phase in commercial TI construction.  At this point the architectural and engineered bid set of plans have already been submitted to the city for approval, and are sent out to the contractors for pricing.  The design phase is what causes the most amount of costs in construction. It’s the missed communication and coordination in the design phases that are critical. The old saying the better the plans the better the price is true in construction.  In most cases landlords are scrambling trying to get a tenant into their building to meet lease obligations which shortens the communication and coordination time needed by the architects and engineers to weed out the items that don’t line up properly or aren’t discussed for construction.


A few common simple errors that occur in this design phase are subtrade tasks not getting on the correct trade’s engineered sheets, appliances or specialized accessories not getting identified or listed on the correct MEP sheets, evidence that no engineered site visit was made prior to design, incorrect sized materials due to building access limitations, incorrectly listed design elements, specified engineered components with no like kind substitute listed, and design elements that conflict with realistic engineering for operation.  There are other items that arise, but most can or could have been avoided with the proper communication and coordination.


There’s an assumption by the design teams that many of these items will get weeded out in the pricing and or construction phase.  The unfortunate part is that the pricing costs won’t reflect these elements, or the added time needed for clarifications from design and engineering can drive up costs and extend construction times.  I would estimate that 70-80% of these items could be corrected upfront by the design and engineering teams with some time, but I also understand everyone is limited by budgets and timing of putting together a deal.  


The challenge in getting a tenant into a new space always starts upfront with the brokerage side of the business and the unrealistic statements that are made to potential tenants in order to swing them into a property or to even just get a client to work with them.  Good education and information would mitigate much of this with setting realistic expectations upfront, and allowing the proper time to review and correct the design errors or misses that don’t get seen or discussed due to expedited process expectations that are set upfront.