Urban commercial construction brings a whole set of challenges that contractors in the suburbs and rural areas never have to consider. But revitalization is extremely important for urban cores to survive and thrive, so these projects can be quite lucrative. Here are some common difficulties, along with tips to overcome them and remain on good terms with the neighbors.

Tight Spaces

In urban areas, there simply isn’t as much space to move around. You might have difficulty getting some of your heavy machinery to fit, or your subcontractors could be trying to paint an apartment the size of an average broom closet. Rise to the challenge by thinking outside the box. Carefully survey the entire space before you get started, and develop a detailed project plan in advance. Be sure to include entry and egress routes, alternative ways of getting things done, and even subcontractor schedules that minimize the number of people working in the same space at the same time.

Local Regulations

Many urban areas have byzantine construction regulations that are confusing and hard to follow. Take the time to research these regulations and understand what you need to do. Then, boil it all down into a simple, easy-to-read document that you distribute to everyone involved. Get to know the local authorities and find someone whom you can call whenever you have questions or concerns. Make sure your team members are ready to pivot if you find out that you missed or misinterpreted something significant. Always have a backup plan.

Community Engagement

Transparency can go a long way toward getting the local community on your side. Let people know what you’re working on and how it will benefit them. Explain why the project is happening, how long it will take, and whether it will impact their costs (such as taxes). If you’re redeveloping a historic building, be especially sensitive to the concerns of preservationists and meet with them separately to explain your plans.

Noise Control

You won’t endear yourself to the local community if you’re making a lot of noise when residents are trying to sleep. And remember, even if you’re working on an office building, there could be luxury apartments right next door. Use sound baffling measures to reduce noise. Whenever possible, work during daylight hours.

Minimizing Disruptions

No matter how careful you are, urban commercial construction projects are inherently disruptive to the neighborhood. But you can mitigate this with careful planning. Try not to block streets during morning or evening rush hours. Be considerate of any upcoming local events. Do your best not to interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic patterns. When you do need to create a blockage, be sure to put up signage and work as quickly as you can without compromising safety.

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