August 2021 - Lakewood Construction

3 Things to Know Before Planning a Building Expansion

Guest Post: Amanda Murray, Lakeshore Advantage


Last month, a few of us at Lakeshore Advantage commented on all the local construction in progress and recently completed. Ottawa County was recently named the fastest growing county in the state, so it’s no surprise to see the tangible growth all around us. Expanding, or growing your company’s physical footprint, is both an exciting and time-intensive process. With so many moving pieces, it can be easy to hit a roadblock.

We heard the challenges our investor community was facing in this area and decided to host an event where their questions could be asked and answered by industry experts. Last week we hosted our So You Think You’re Expanding event at Haworth. We brought together construction, real estate, and public sector partners, who provided key insights in how to expand your business. Below are the top three takeaways you should know before you begin an expansion project.

1. Get started early

I cannot emphasize this enough. Before you put a plan in action, engage a construction company or real estate partner, and us at Lakeshore Advantage as soon as possible. Some of the common challenges I see companies face are issues that come up in due diligence process. Let us help you with resources and partners so the construction process goes smoothly for you and your team.

2. There may be tools available to support your growth

These tools range from grants, workforce training dollars, and/or tax savings at both state and local levels. These incentives could help cut costs. Can your company capitalize on this opportunity? Email to see if there are tools available to support your project.

3. Material shortages and an influx of projects at the local level are real and causing significant delay

I’ve heard from many companies facing extreme sticker shock on building costs, construction timelines that are delayed due to material shortages, as well as delay in project review, site plans, and permits from local units of government. So again, start the planning process early and consult with the experts. Lakeshore Advantage engages amazing partners, like Lakewood Construction, that we recommend as you look to expand.

For a more in-depth look into our conversation at our event last week, view our recorded panel discussion HERE.

Lakeshore Advantage serves as an extended member of your team, and we would love to help you! Reach out to us at today.

Common Obstacles in Commercial Construction

And how we overcome them


If you are in the process of starting your commercial construction project, you likely don’t want to be thinking about the obstacles your project may face. But what are the consequences to not thinking about the potential obstacles?

You don’t want to find out, and neither do we.

That is why we work closely with you from day one to work through all of the details and ensure that there is no room for any surprises. No stone left unturned.

So what are some of those common obstacles that we help you avoid?


Whether it is working through design decisions or lead times on materials, things always take longer than you think. That is why we are transparent from the very start to ensure that you know exactly what needs to happen when. We begin with the end in mind so that we can work to ensure your desired timeline is met. In addition, our team will guide you through every step and every decision to make sure that we are hitting those deadlines while also creating a space that you can be proud of for many years to come.


With many moving parts of any given commercial construction project, lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings and disagreements. We eliminate that problem by having bi-weekly project team meetings, at minimum. We also ensure that our clients are informed early and often of any potential changes. This results in a project team that is on the same page every day and a more enjoyable project experience overall.


Delays aren’t fun for anyone. Which is why utilize our strong relationships in the commercial construction industry to stay on top of news, what is coming, and what effects that may have on our project materials. While we do our best to know about longer lead times ahead of project starts, sometimes there are unforeseen situations (like a global pandemic) that don’t allow us to do so. In the case that unknown delays happen, we work closely with our own team and our subcontractors to see where we have opportunities to accelerate or re-sequence the schedule in order to make up for lost time and still meet the desired end date.


We know how important your project is to you, which is why we do all we can to anticipate any unknown challenges. Things happen. And when they do, we have the right processes and people in place from the start of your project to minimize any impact to the project.


With the right partners in our community and the right expertise in our building, we are ready to turn potential challenges into lasting results. When great minds work together to solve complex construction challenges, the sky’s the limit.