We’ve been building homes in the Bay Area for nearly 50 years now. One of the first mistakes we see Homeowners make is hiring an Architect without involving a General Contractor soon thereafter. It feels like we have all heard the common story “Our project took way longer and cost nearly twice as much as we expected!” Why is this often the case? Here’s why:
When most people begin project planning, they seek an Architect to design their project. Nothing wrong with that so long as the Architect is well established and has a good sense for what their projects cost… and how long they take to build. The problem lies with those who do not know current construction costs and don’t advocate for Contractor involvement early.
Architects develop a design, project specifications, construction details, and even suggest on which consultants to hire… all without feedback from a Contractor. More often than not this leads to project costs 2x or even 3x their client’s budget. We see this scenario play out all the time. The client receives initial pricing for the project and has sticker shock … their first big setback. From here, the project is over budget so the Architect must work backwards redesigning and decreasing scope. The client’s dream home gets smaller and their disappointment grows. In addition, this redesign takes more time and design fees from not only the Architect but the other consultants i.e. Structural Engineer, Civil Engineer, Landscape Architect, Interior Designer, etc. This brings us to that old saying “Time is Money”. If the client is living in the home they intend to renovate this may not be a big deal, but what about those clients who’ve purchased a new property and every single day counts?
The more time and involvement a contractor has in planning and pricing …. the less time and money it will take to build. It is truly that simple. In addition, projects run smoother and clients are happier.
Further Benefits of Choosing a Contractor Early:
The Contractor can advise on budget not only at the beginning but throughout the different design phases. We can also advise on which consultants and subcontractors are best for your build. We know the best professionals in the area, and we’ve spent years building lasting relationships on trust and accountability. We know the service you will get when you trust us to help develop your team. Building a home is a multifaceted process, and the more rapport you have with Architects, Subcontractors, and Engineers in the area, the quicker and more efficient the building process becomes.
Not only does choosing a Contractor early help speed up the process, reduce price and surprises, but it also has other benefits that improve the building process.
Additional Benefits to Early Contractor Involvement:
- Value Engineering & Subcontractor Involvement / Feedback.
- Specification Development
- Permitting Assistance
- Guaranteed Start Date and Proper Staffing.