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Building a bank is quite the undertaking. Before starting a bank project, it’s important to understand what the process looks like and outline a realistic timeline. The key word here being “realistic.” Sometimes, clients want a bank project started yesterday and finished by sometime next week. And while we understand the urgency, remember that building a bank takes time – especially a bank that’s going to perform well within its market.

How Do You Start a Bank?

First, working with a bank architect who you’ve built a relationship with is critical. If you’re still on the lookout for the right partner for your next financial project, try out these tips for finding an architect. Once you’ve chosen your architect, it’s time to get down to details.

What Impacts the Timeline?

Now, it might or might not come as a surprise to know that setting a timeline for a bank is not the first step. Even when clients come in with hard dates for when they need to have their project completed, building a bank doesn’t always land on that original timeline.

On average, projects take longer today than they have in the past. And that’s due to variables like:

  • Hiring with a reduced workforce
  • Longer lead times for materials
  • Property purchasing
  • Completing site surveys and soil borings
  • Project approval by State or Federal banking agencies
  • Navigating city processes

But in my experience, it’s much better to put in the effort at the beginning to define a realistic timeline than it is to provide a timeline that sounds good but will not work out in reality.

Setting a Schedule

While all architects will differ in their process, you’ll find some can provide standard time frames for their services. For example, a new construction project takes X amount of time, while a remodel or a tenant improvement project takes Y amount of time. However, to get a solid idea of a project’s timing, we advise sitting down with a consultant that understands the unique variables involved in a financial institution.

Construction Expectations

Ideally, during the construction phase of your project, you wouldn’t experience anything out of the ordinary. In our experience, thorough and extensive planning prior to the start of construction accounts for all those variables.

In terms of a remodel project, we know what process and which employee roles would be affected during certain times, and we equip our clients with details on how to best communicate this with their staff and customers, during construction.

We’ve found that proper communication is key to providing a smooth transition for both staff and customers. And when they are aware of the project schedule and see that things are happening on-time, they gain trust in the process.

When it comes down to building a bank, there really shouldn’t be any surprises during the construction phase – especially ones that aren’t communicated to you immediately. If there are, it might be a sign your architect doesn’t have enough experience and expertise in the financial industry.

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Published on February 26, 2019

Topics: Bank Construction