January 29, 2018
Annual Project Planning

Figure 1 – Project Planning

It’s this time of year when customers begin to reach out to us regarding projects they want to get completed in this calendar year. However, as many of you may realize, it’s about impossible to design, permit and construct a project in 11 months. The reason most people try to accomplish this is because accounting principles and capital budgeting often require that projects that are approved get completed within a fiscal year. While some smaller projects like remodels and such can be done in this time-frame, most ground-up projects need 14-18 months to complete the entire process, depending on the scope and complexity. What we typically recommend to clients is to budget design and permitting for one fiscal year and construction for the next fiscal year. This helps to spread out the funding needed for the project over two years and allows for the proper planning and contingency time needed to complete the design and permitting process. To be clear, you still want to start this process in May or so, and not wait until September, otherwise you will still have a time crunch in the next fiscal year.

Our process layout is pretty simply:

  • Step One: Scoping phase; work with the client to determine the parameters for the project, set up the basis of design, prepare conceptual drawings and finalize a budget and schedule. Typical time frame is 4-8 weeks depending on type of project.

  • Step Two: Design phase; prepare total design package per the scope and budget defined in step one. Typical time frame is 7-12 weeks.

  • Step Three: Permitting and Procurement; these run concurrently. Permitting can take anywhere from a couple weeks to several months, depending on where you are at. Procurement (bidding) takes about 4 weeks to complete.

  • Step Four: Construction Phase; as you can imagine this is a large window of time due to the various natures of construction projects. But assume 4-12 months.

As you can see, not including any internal client approvals, the schedule balloons to 12 – 20 months of total project timeline. You definitely need to make sure you plan projects accordingly.

For more information on our process and how we can help you, feel free to reach out to me directly!

Did you enjoy reading this blog? Take a look at our other blogs from 2018 and 2017. You can also view the Cambridge Infographic to learn more about the process we utilize from initial contact with potential and existing clients. You can also check out more on our website dedicated to the waste industry to see all the services that we have to offer.

Jeff Eriks – Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

Cambridge Companies is a design-build firm based in Northwest Indiana specializing in solid waste facilities and a lot of experience with commercial projects.  Click here to see current projects and our portfolio of commercial and solid waste projects nationwide such as transfer stations and hauling companies.  We also offer a variety of architectural and design services to facilitate your project from conceptual design through the use of the facility.


(219) 972-1155


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