Teaming with You and Your Architect
Teamwork starts when you select the architect of your choice and the general contractor of your choice before any work on your project begins.
You select both based on their qualifications for your project, their quality of work, reputation, and after vetting them both. It is important that the two companies can work together. You also select them because you trust them to provide you a fair price and fair value.
This approach provides you many of the benefits of Design-Build but allows you to select a specific architect, if you have one that you would like to use.
It offers several advantages over Building from Existing Plans (Design-Bid-Build) because you have a general contractor as part of your project from the very beginning. General contractors are actively in the field, remodeling and building homes, so they have valuable practical experience that many architects may not have. This experience is beneficial for getting you the best project and value.
7 Key Benefits of Team Approach over Design-Bid-Build
You have the contractor’s cost information and field experience added to your project’s design process. This means you and your architect will have a better understanding of likely construction costs before you go down a path that won’t be affordable. You can’t get this construction information up front if you are bidding a completed design out to multiple contractors.
Your general contractor can also interject their experience of what works in the field and doesn’t. Which products and materials work as advertised and which they know don’t always. They can sometimes suggest alternate design or engineering approaches that will accomplish your goal, but can be built less expensively or more quickly.
Your architect can confer with your general contractor during design to ask them questions or get ideas they might not be get if a general contractor is not part of the project from the start.
Plans and specifications that are put out to bid don’t come close to explaining all the details, reasons, and nuances of why you designed your project the way you did. Having the general contractor in on the project from the very start includes them in the conversations between you and your architect, and allows them to make recommendations they would not otherwise be able to do. And during construction, if a change must be made, they understand your objectives and concerns, and are better able to get to the desired goal most cost efficiently.
Because your general contractor knows they will be working on the project, they are more likely to give you realistic cost information based on your priorities. They won’t have a reason to lowball the costs by estimating lesser quality materials or craftsmanship just to win the project with a low bid.
Because you’ll get a good idea of what your project will cost to be constructed by a general contractor you vetted, you won’t get to the bid part of design-bid-build only to find out that it costs more than you wanted to spend. This prevents a frustrating cycle of design/bid/compromise to get the project built within budget.
With this team approach (as with the design-build approach), there is no time wasted between the end of the design process and the start of construction. The general contractor will have a better idea of when the project will start and can be prepared to hit the ground running. Plus you eliminate the bidding process which always takes more time.