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Defining Pre-Construction

Pre-Construction is a significant first step in the construction process at Chesapeake Contracting Group. Our team of experienced professionals work hand in hand with our clients, design partners, and trader partners to ensure the project is set up for successful implementation.

Our department and processes are based on two types of services through the life cycle of the project before shovels hit the ground. The pre-con management team prepares budgets and constructability reviews based on preliminary information, while our estimators prepare final pricing from permit and/or construction documents.

Our budgets in pre-con progress with the design starting at preliminary parameter budgets, to conceptual budgets, then to schematic (SD) and design document (DD) budgets. These initial efforts are paramount to achieving the schedule, cost, and quality for the project in alignment with the client and designer’s goals. Early efforts are provided to help guide expectations for cost, provide feedback on current as well as forecasted market conditions, material and assembly components, as well as overall design options. Our team utilizes our extensive experience in the markets and regions, while also benefiting from our strong relationships with valued trade partners to ensure forecasted costs are accurate and the most recent construction methods are being contemplated for implementation.

When the design reaches the stage for final pricing, our estimating team ramps up to break the project design down to individual trade packages for final pricing and compile those components into a complete project cost. We develop comprehensive scopes of work for contractor communication to ensure all details are accounted for amongst the team partners and allow for a thorough price encompassing scope.

Why is Pre-Construction Important?

When our preconstruction and estimating teams review documents to prepare a budget or a final proposal, they are not just trying to provide a cost to build based on the information provided, they provide the client with important constructability, coordination, market and schedule feedback.

Constructability and coordination feedback is pivotal to ensuring a project goes smoothly. It is much easier to revisit a design to make sure it works when everything is on paper than after systems have been purchased and crews have been mobilized. Our team strives to catch potential issues ahead of time, to coordinate and solve them prior to the starting the project.

Market feedback has a real impact on a client’s ability to move forward with a project. Our clients work within a budget. Our goal in pre-construction process is to always work within or toward that budget.

Accurate schedule feedback is important to our clients. Understanding dates and durations from start to finish and milestones in between are critical to their success in the development. Our team builds a schedule based on past experience, trade partner feedback, as well as current and expected product lead times. Our goal in the pre-construction process is to provide our clients with a schedule that is accurate and adds value.

How to become an Estimator or Pre-Construction Professional

Do you:

  • Have a passion for figuring out a challenge?
  • Like continuously learning more about individual pieces of the industry and how they come together?
  • Like breaking complex work down into smaller parts, then putting it back together in a way that makes the most sense?
  • Like working in a fast paced collaborative environment?

There is no one way to start a career in Pre-Construction. Whether you have experience in the field or are fresh out of school, a role in pre-construction may be right for you. Many associates in the industry took different paths to get to their current role. One proven way is by enrolling in a Construction Management or Engineering program while seeking out opportunities to work in the industry during school or through summer internships to gain hands on experience. The curriculums of the programs will offer the foundational knowledge and skills for continuous learning that will be needed for a successful career to be successful as well as open up opportunities for internships. To find out more about Chesapeake’s internship program click here. Already have the education and/or background we are looking for? Submit your resume to or apply by clicking here.

Top 10 Tips and Skills to be Successful

  1. Attention to detail
  2. Time Management – Deadline oriented
  3. Inquisitive mind
  4. Logic Oriented
  5. Strong foundation in Mathematics
  6. Team Player – Ability to work together to get the job done
  7. Investigate, research and learn new subjects.
  8. Good Listener
  9. Relationship oriented
  10. Ability to learn from mistakes and move on

Inside look at the department at Chesapeake 

The Chesapeake Pre-Construction department is steadily growing to accommodate our expanding client’s need. In total, we have roughly fifteen associates in the Pre-Construction Department. These roles include Bid Coordinators, Associate Estimators, Estimators, Senior Estimators, Pre-Construction Managers, Estimating Director, VP of Pre-Construction and more. We have a range of experience in our department which creates a great opportunity for growth, while providing support along the way. Our department is designed to provide mentored growth that is supported by the company’s Leadership Program to better encourage advancement. The Chesapeake Leadership Program was designed to allow emerging and established leaders the opportunity to improve their skills, grow personally and become better equipped to lead their teams.

Our department is consistently evaluating and implementing the best technology in the industry to add efficiency to our processes. The Pre-Construction department is currently using Blue Beam, OnScreen Takeoff, InSite Sitework, Microsoft Office, and Google Earth. Learn more here.

When talking to our team, they mention their favorite part about working in Pre-Construction is the ability to be a part of the creative process, bringing the project to life and gaining new knowledge every day.

To see just how many projects they help bring to life, take a look at these numbers accomplished by our department in 2022; Chesapeake’s Pre-Construction team budgeted 45 and priced 62 projects. During that same year, they also helped turn 41 projects over to Operations for construction.


Let’s Build.