The Phases of Construction Projects

Horacio Garcia

The different phases of a construction project are overseen by a project manager who ensures all phases are complete before moving onto the next phase. The project manager also ensures that each phase of the construction project is within budget or below the projected budget.

The different phases of a construction project are overseen by a project manager who ensures all phases are complete before moving onto the next phase.

Each construction company and federal agency has different names for each phase, but all companies and agencies follow similar guidelines for the construction project.

Planning and Development

The first stage of a construction project is the planning and development stage. This stage includes the identification of the location and pre-design of the building or facility. The planning and development stage includes the budget estimates and financing of the construction project. Approval of the final building design will allow the project manager to move onto the next stage of the construction project. Once all the these initial steps are complete, the construction project manager establishes the contractor and vendor criteria.


The pre-construction stage involves the preparation of the materials list and sends these lists out to different contractors and vendors for quotes. Most construction project managers get three or more quotes on the same materials to establish a budget analysis and determine the best contractor or vendor to use. Working on contracts with each contractor and vendor is another part of this stage of the construction project. Contracts establish the costs and time line for each stage of the construction project and prevent costs increases from vendors and contractors throughout the building process. Preparing and receiving all the necessary building permits and insurance requirements is also a part of this phase of the construction project.


The construction phase starts with the groundbreaking of the land and building. This stage runs from the preparation of the building site to building completion. Each step of the construction phase is inspected by the appropriate state construction inspectors as well as the project manager. The foundation, plumbing, framing, electrical and other construction inspections are complete once each part of the building process is complete. For example, after completion of the foundation, the state building inspector reviews the foundation's installation and determines if the base of the building meets all state codes. Once the state inspector approves the installation of the foundation, the contractors begin framing the structure. After framing of the structure is complete, the state inspector reviews the frame of the building to ensure it meets all state guidelines, and this process continues throughout each step of the construction phase.


Once all construction is complete, the occupancy phase of a construction project begins. This stage includes the installation of all equipment requiring calibration and furnishings such as furniture, blinds, desks, etc. The project manager turns the completed building over to a property manager or management company for the selection, sale and rent of the building by consumers or businesses. Utilities companies are chosen and established by contract as well as the final budget is complete or finalized for review by the board of directors or business partners.