Top 10 Construction Mistakes to Avoid #5

Give Yourself Some Elbow Room

We all like choices and the freedom and flexibility to change our minds and modify the direction of our companies. Running out of land with which to expand your operations interferes with your flexibility and limits your freedom.

The first reaction we all get when we realize we are out of room is to begin shrinking the amount of space our current operations need to accommodate new functions. Things like reducing the size of cubicles to fit more people in a room, pushing tables together in the break room to get more seats and narrowing the aisles between machines in the shop are all examples of what I have seen. I even have a customer who moved his desk into a mechanical room to free up his office for two other employees.

Don’t get me wrong, ensuring you are getting the most out of every square foot of building is important and a wise use of resources. That method works for one or maybe two cycles. Eventually space gets too tight, too uncomfortable, not private enough and can even become a safety hazard. If you are out of land, you are stuck with a difficult decision. You can do one of three things; leave it the way it is, sell or lease your current facility and build new, or open a second location often at the expense of efficiency. American can help you avoid that.

One more thing to think about is the value of your building if no additional land for expansion is available. Lack of growth really narrows the pool of candidates who will be interested in purchasing your asset. How likely is it someone will find your building to be exactly as they want it and never need to grow. You may find that dream person, but the number of possibilities is smaller than if you have room to grow.

I know full well it is easy for me to sit here and suggest you buy a bunch of property you may never use. I would also be’ full of it’ if I said every time I bought land, I grabbed as much as I could find. I don’t.

My intent is to suggest you consider additional acreage when looking at land and to consider alternatives if your last addition will only fulfill your needs for a couple years. You may be financially better off leaving the next guy some room to grow, allowing you to relocate to a new facility with the necessary land.

Part of our process at American is to offer you a ‘what’s the most I can fit on this land’ plan. This shows you the most parking and largest building that can fit. Allowing you to make a fully informed decision prior to buying a parcel.