Why do some owners ask their architect or designer how much their project will cost and then use this project cost advice as a ‘cast in stone’ budget? Keep reading to discover why it is best to see your contractor first before relying on others for advice.
Architects are not construction estimators. You wouldn’t ask your landscaper for advice on air conditioning, or your carpenter about building a swimming pool.
Many projects never move beyond the estimating phase because the design would bring the project in over budget. Some owners go back to their architect to revise or completely downscale the scheme to suit affordability, and some take it no further because of not getting what they want when removing so much of the design. Budget is most often the most important driving factor so don’t let the flashy design elements take your eye off of the ball!
Remember your priorities.
What if the drawings could be drawn faster and within budget the first time around? Well that’s what you get in the design-build(DB) construction process when you visit a contractor prior to an architect. The contractor who performs design-build projects can pinpoint exactly what you need with multiple field tested options for your specific project. After understanding which overall path you want based on ballpark numbers then we visit an architect to provide the narrowed-down vision. This way, the project drawings take a much more direct path to a cost effective and field tested overall design. The process of how you arrive at your final vision is what the design-build contractor spends his time perfecting. The DB contractor speaks the language of the architect but also understands the owner to be able to bridge the jargon gap. The DB contractor is like the master chef that also owns the restaurant.
One of the areas that a DB contractor really helps is exploiting all of the gray areas, or hazy details in a set of drawings. You don’t want gray areas in your drawings which leave room for interpretation because everyone’s interpretation of a given task may be different. We understand very well exactly how materials are constructed in the field because that is our skill set. We notice when drawings on paper don’t match the real world application so we immediately notice it and bring it to the owner. However, in a DB construction process, we don’t let architects create gray areas because we are both constantly coordinating methods so gray areas are not born.
While the construction process can seem like a challenging process, remember that the DB contractor provides you with one point of contact for the entire project. When you have questions about design, engineering, construction methods, scheduling, permitting, inspections, and even financing advice, your DB contractor is the one stop shop for everything so you only need to communicate with one company. This process makes your life stress free and all accountability is on one company so you do not have to hunt down several companies for answers.
Do it right the first time and hire a competent design-build contractor to make your life easier. You save time by having your project drawings designed faster, more accurate, and with a more economical budget -from the beginning!
Have more questions?