Your Guide to a Smooth-Running Construction Project
Imagine walking into your newly built or remodeled home and seeing it exactly as you had imagined it at the start of construction: the windows are all in the right places, the flooring is the right color, and the kitchen cabinets are a perfect fit.
Now allow me to pinch you on the arm, because for most people, reality is often different from that idyllic scenario. You might see missing trim around the bedroom doors or wonder why that small change in the kitchen cost so much. Looking back, you might ask, “And why did we have to hire another subcontractor to finish the bathroom?”
Of course, there are things you just can’t plan for, but there’s plenty that you can. Costly changes and additional time-consuming work can be kept to a minimum if you fully understand what you are building before you start. By understanding the construction process, being part of the team and keeping a firm grip on the budget, your construction project can result in the home of your dreams.
1. Don’t Skimp on Design Help
Given the busy lives most of us lead, we don’t have the time to research every type of technology and material that might be used on a construction project. Use professionals to save some of the time that would otherwise be spent learning and perfecting the process.
Architects are trained not just to make a project pretty but to match building systems, thermal envelopes and other properties to the client’s needs. They have a broad, up-to-date knowledge of these systems as well as of materials and processes for a wide variety of project areas.
Now, I sympathize with the awful feelings associated with a project’s going over budget. I’ve been there; I’ve gotten that dreaded call from the contractor that the structural and mechanical designs are in conflict. And dealt with preexisting conditions that the contractor hadn’t anticipated.
A design pro can provide guidance on what team members will likely be required for the project. And not just for the big ones, like a full custom home construction. Smaller projects like additions and remodels also can benefit from a pro’s expertise.
Architects can usually recommend other team members, too, such as engineers.
Your budget might be tight, but I’ve seen time and time again that trying to save money on design actually can cost homeowners far more in the end, in dollars and frustration.
Homeowners often underestimate the cost and complexity of a remodel or new home. The cost of the design work on a project is something that homeowners may consider skimping on to save money, but we find that the best way to avoid problems in construction is to invest time with your designer or architect up front to think about the construction process during design. This takes far less time than fixing mistakes that happen when the walls are going up.
Although it isn’t often pointed out, a good designer or architect depends on the client throughout the design and planning process as much as the client depends on the designer.
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