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6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Construction Site

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6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Construction Site

You need to build a commercial property and want to get it right. Before you discuss building design or a build schedule, you need to find the right property. Selecting the right site is critical to the success of your building project. So, when choosing a construction site, how do you know what to look for?    

There are many factors to consider, from location to soil composition. While some may seem obvious, others might not cross your mind until you are up against them, with a project on hold until you have them resolved. Here are six things to consider when choosing a construction site for your project:


Location may sound like an obvious start when choosing a construction site, but it may be important for more reasons than you realize. Not only does the location of a property matter for its local weather conditions, its access to customers and suppliers, and its visibility but for many reasons that might seem more subtle, as well.

Let’s say you plan to build a large-scale bakery to sell wholesale baked goods to stores and restaurants. When you’re first choosing a construction site, you might think about proximity to your customers, if you have enough space for your bakery facilities, enough space outside for delivery trucks to move easily, etc. But there are other things to think about, too. 

Is the property close enough to highways and major roads, so product delivery can be efficient? Is it close enough to suppliers that you can easily boost production with a jump in sales? Where is the property situated, with respect to your competitors? What are the local traffic patterns like? What is the nature of the industries of neighboring properties? 

Once you realize how many factors impact the location of your business, you’ll likely make ‘location’ one of the top priorities when choosing a construction site. 

Environmental Factors

A subset of location, when choosing a construction site, are environmental factors that could impact your decision. To start, is the property big enough for the type of building you will need? Is it the right shape for your needs? When thinking about size and shape, remember to factor in enough space for parking and storage. 

What about the topography of the site? Is there a slope you’ll need to work into your construction plans? Is it possible to build on the property as-is, or will you need significant blasting or reshaping of the land? Is the area prone to flooding? You’ll want to know before making your final decision. 

Of course, there are other environmental factors to consider, as well. Is the air quality good enough that your employees can safely work there every day? Is the soil quality both safe and suitable for building? Will you need to factor in extra cooling, if the site has direct sun exposure?

Finally, when you’re choosing a construction site, it’s critical to make sure your work doesn’t harm local habitats or water safety. An environmental impact study can help you better understand the impact you might have on local surroundings and any building restrictions in place to protect the environment.   

Zoning and Regulations

Just as you could face restrictions for environmental concerns, the property you have in mind could have zoning restrictions or other regulations that prevent you from building the facility you need. Local laws and ordinances can cause delays or prevent you from building the way you envision.

When you’re choosing a construction site, make sure to ask the right questions about regulations. Is the land zoned for industry? Are there restrictions on the number of floors you can build? Are there limitations on traffic or noise? 

Going back to our example of the bakery, what if you decide to open a storefront on-site? Are there regulations that would prevent you from combining wholesale production with a retail storefront? 

As you go about choosing a construction site, it’s important to estimate the ways you may one day want to use the land. Zoning, bylaws, and regulation restrictions can significantly limit the way you build and use your property.  

Facilities Available

As you explore potential properties for your business, be sure to consider the facilities available. While there may be roads and utilities nearby, if a lot is not directly wired, plumbed, and connected to local infrastructure, it can be expensive to make final connections happen. 

When choosing a construction site, it’s important to know if your business needs can be met right away. Will you have immediate access to high-speed internet? Is the local water supply safe and suitable for your business needs? Are the roads substantial enough to support traffic to your site? 

The availability of facilities is an important thing to keep in mind when choosing a construction site. Even if they are planned for the area, you’ll likely need access to them right away.   

Neighborhood Fit

Beyond zoning requirements and bylaws, it’s important to make sure your new building fits in with neighbors. Does the purpose of your building fit with neighboring buildings or industries? Will you meet objections from the local population, or will you struggle to work in their midst? 

Going back to our bakery example, when choosing a construction site, you wouldn’t want to set up next to a chemical manufacturer, or another business that might give off fumes that could be absorbed into your baked goods, or that customers might have to inhale if they come to your storefront.

When choosing a construction site, your neighbors matter. Be sure to factor them into your decision. Consider variables such as the size and layout of their facilities, their noise and air pollution, the traffic patterns they create, and more.   

Room to Grow

Of course, one of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a construction site is whether or not you have room to grow, should you need it. An oversized lot may not be in your budget from the get-go, but future growth should be on your mind. 

Is there room for your current bakery needs, as well as office space, parking, and overflow? Do you foresee building another space for future production, down the road? When choosing a construction site, future growth can feel like a balancing act—you want room to grow if you need it, but might not want to pay for more land than you need at the moment. 

One way around this issue is to buy a lot with additional development sites attached. Hopefully, you will have the option to buy adjacent land down the road, should you need for more space.

As you go about choosing a construction site for your build project, make sure to cast a wide net. As you explore and evaluate multiple properties, you’ll quickly compare the pros and cons of each, while building a list of must-haves for your specific project. Find a realtor you trust to understand your wants and needs and consult your builder, who may have additional thoughts or a helpful perspective on your construction site.   

At J.B. Donaldson, we are a premium design-build contractor with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of industries. With extensive in-house expertise, we collaborate with our clients, helping you navigate every aspect of your project, from pre-construction to delivery and post-mortem reviews. 

We value quality, consistency, and predictability – allowing you to count on schedules, costs, and project integrity. Our commitment to excellence allows us to provide creative designs, practical solutions, and innovative ideas while keeping your goals and objectives as top priorities.

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J.B. Donaldson

A Premium Commercial Development & Construction Company.
37610 Hills Tech Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48331

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