Like any other significant construction project, building a dental office from scratch is a serious undertaking that can often take far longer than expected. It’s not simply the construction itself, but the planning, budgeting, and approval that adds onto and determines the overall build time of the project. In order for a dental construction project to be completed properly—on time, and within budget—it is essential to understand the various stages of this kind of project, and their general timeframes. Here’s a breakdown of just what this process entails:
Design Stage (2-5 Weeks)
Once the contract is signed with the design-build company, we can begin with design. The design stage entails basic architectural questions like space planning, technical (and practice-specific) considerations like equipment selection, finish and material selection. All of these details are necessary to proceed, so that the build can be planned and executed with minimal setbacks or changes down the road. While such changes are inevitable in projects of this scale and magnitude, a thoughtful and detailed design process can eliminate most questions that could arise at inopportune moment.dental-office-floor-plan
At Siegel Construction, we break this process down into four discrete meetings, which must proceed in this order:
- The first meeting examines the office layout (also called a floor plan). This introductory meeting usually takes 2 hours, with input from architects and equipment providers present.
- After the floor plan is approved, a designer will start preparing 3D models of the space and selecting materials. The second meeting is where we discuss and review the visual samples of your ideas and begin to apply them to the actual space.
- In the third meeting, we review the models and drawings with you to determine the feasibility and potential cost differences between different designs.
- The fourth and final meeting of the design stage is where we adjust the design per your recommendations, review the terms of the final package, and sign off on the project.
- Having the design of the project sketched out as exhaustively as possible also helps with the permit approval process. At the end of the design stage, we submit your permit to the city for approval and zoning and city ordinance review.
Permit Approval And Pre-Construction Stage (4-16 Weeks)
This stage is one of the longest and most contingent stages of the whole process. The timeframe of this stage is largely dependent on how quickly the city or village can issue a building permit based on the permit application and drawings we submitted. If the drawings are not thorough enough, it can introduce setbacks well beyond the 16 weeks estimated above. However, the speed of this approval process has little to do with the scale or scope of the drawing itself (since it is only a single office), and more to do with how many other permit applications were submitted around the same time.
03-13-12-121946So it’s always a bit of a waiting game. But we don’t waste this time. We use the extra time in this stage to prepare the space for construction by getting the owner to sign off on the proposal, notifying other tenants of impending construction work, and working with the building staff to coordinate schedules and keep shared spaces and pathways available during the actual build. This also serves as a procurement stages, where we begin to select a team of specialty subcontractors who will install things like plumbing, air conditioning and distribution, electrical and fire protection, etc.
Construction (8-16 Weeks)
The real work begins! As a general rule of thumb, we usually estimate the timeframe of this stage according to the square-footage of the space we are working with:
- 1,000 SF = 8-10 Weeks
- 1,500 SF = 10-12 Weeks
- 2,000 SF = 12-14 Weeks
- 2,500 SF = 14-16 Weeks
This is the estimate we provide for our own work, based on our own experience in the field of 02-28-13-132200dental office construction. However, if the above guidelines are not followed properly, and the design and pre-construction stages are rushed or abbreviated, you can expect up to add another 8 weeks to your construction time to due setback, changes, and miscalculations. With an experienced and organized builder like Siegel Construction, you are not only guaranteed a smooth and efficient build process—you will also be needed on the site for only 5 project meetings during the construction process. When the plan is strong, you can have confidence that we will ensure the plan is fulfilled to your utmost satisfaction.
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