By: Bob Flury
It always surprises me that there are homeowners out there who still believe that the traditional approach (of hiring a design team to develop their projecton paper (plans), then engaging several contractors to bid the construction) is the only way to execute a project cost effectively.
In my experience, the option of building a team consisting of both the designer and builder at the onset of a project creates the ideal setting for a successful project. The combined processes of the design-and-construction teams create a powerful result!
In our practice we have, over the years, developed a successful design process that we follow with every client, regardless of the size of their project. While the complexity of
each step in our process may vary from project-to-project, every one of them must be taken to insure success. The specific steps are as follows:
I . Exhaustive research of applicable zoning and building regulations for the area.
2. Accurate documentation of existing job-site conditions.
3. Schematic design with proactive client and builder participation.
4. Preliminary design and construction budget development.
5. Generation of construction documents.
6. Management of the approval and permitting process.
With the active participation of a seasoned builder/partner throughout the design process we can
maintain real-time budget monitoring, giving the client a greater ability to make accurate decisions as the design evolves. Our builder/partners are invaluable resources that enable us to create design strategies with relevant fiscal confidence, and structural strategies with pragmatic confidence.
An organized designer/builder team for a project, who remains in close communication with the client and with one another, typically enjoys a higher rate of success and client satisfaction per project than the traditional model.
The real beneficiary of the powerful design/build process is the client. They get the best of both worlds right up front; a designer empowered by a support team (the builder) to create and detail a project with fiscal responsiveness, and a builder who is intimately familiar with the details and design intent, and thus empowered to exercise symbiotic, cohesive judgments throughout the entire construction process.
For the homeowner who will live with the final results, it just doesn't get much better than that!
Bob Flury is an architect with Flury & Bryant Design Group and has collaborated with SEA Construction on a number of highly successful projects.