Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2015

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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5 8 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 5 How To BY AMELIA LEVIN, Contributing Editor Reduce Change Orders Patrick Kelly LEED AP, Vice President Berkeley Building Company Patrick Kelly knows about change orders all too well, having worked in various segments within and outside the restau- rant industry. His frst piece of advice: "The earlier you put together a team, the more predictable the cost of your res- taurant project." While many operators choose to conduct a bidding process for contractors in an effort to reduce costs, doing so can cut out an important player in the pre-construction planning process. In some cases, he says, contractors may offer to perform pricey pre-construction services at no cost if they're selected for the job up front. To minimize change orders Kelly recommends these other best practices as well: Defne a clear scope of work for all parties. It's important to deter- mine who's responsible for what, from installing the kitchen equipment and refrigeration to handling other follow- through needs. Retaining a reputable architect is part of this. "Limiting hours allotted to architects can cause the contractor to bid only what is specifed in the draw- ings, while everything else becomes a general cost assumption or is assigned an allowance," says Kelly. Allowances rarely cover the actual cost of fnal selections, and these omis- sions from the drawings force change orders that add to the original budget. On hard bid projects, an architect pro- ducing a thorough set of drawings will reduce scope confusion and the need for change orders, thus keeping the budget in check. "Fees for architecture and en- gineering are investments for achieving a predictable project," he says. Owners who work more closely with architects from start to fnish ensure they're on the same page when it comes to the cost and level of fnishes and oth- er design elements, reducing surprises and change orders. Invest time in planning and early project layout. By identifying and an- swering key questions well in advance of construction, projects can start off on the right course. "This includes the size of the bar, ceiling heights and rout- T ime is money. This is precisely the essence — and headache — of change orders, especially in the deadline-driven restau- rant construction world. Anyone who has ever built a restaurant will tell you that change orders are unavoidable. But they can be manageable as well. Research from the American Society of Civil Engineers indicates that about 40 percent of all construction projects face more than 10 percent change, leading to schedule delays, cost overruns and other problems. With only 5 percent change, however, productivity improves in about 60 percent of projects. Due diligence, communications, relationships, planning and accountabil- ity are key to reducing change orders during the construction process. Here rd+d taps experienced construction professionals from around the country for tips on dealing with these changes and mitigating their impact.

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