Why you Should Collaborate with your Builder During the Early Stages of Designing your Home
All too often, builders meet with clients who have been working (sometimes for nearly two years!) on their dream family home with their chosen designer, architect and/or draftsman. The client will give the architect a construction budget, expecting that they will know the costs involved in building their design. But many do not!
It’s unfortunate, as the client falls in love with the prospective home and mentally moves in. Then when they’re in the process of looking for a builder, they get dismayed by builders telling them that their design plan will not meet their budget.
Then, the client will question the builder’s margins and think they are trying to make too much of a profit. They rarely question the designer, and so continue to shop around for cheaper builders, until they find someone who will either work for no profit, complete a job that is substandard or will not complete the construction at all. All the while giving the original construction company a bad reputation.
We, at L. O’Grady Constructions want to change this.
We like to collaborate with a designer and/or architect during the early stages of planning. It makes much more sense than spending so much time and money designing a home without consulting a builder that has a better understanding of the costs involved. There are plenty of architects and designers out there that don’t always understand that the line they draw on a page represent a physical building material that is going to made in a factory, put on a truck, physically carried or craned into position, and then made to fit in the project. Builders can save clients potentially tens of thousands of dollars by being involved early on. They research the site access, ensure the material is suitable for the home, and most importantly, can assess if all the design elements will fit within a client’s budget.
At L. O’Grady Constructions we this offer consultancy services from the beginning. By doing this, we give clients confidence in us, as they understand we are trying to achieve the best outcome in regard to both cost and design.
We offer a complimentary meeting with our registered builder. At our office, we spend an hour with our client, going through their requirements, style preferences, layout options and, very crucially, their budget and how to stick to it. The client can then take this on board during their planning process with their architect/designer. For an additional fee, we can also attend design workshops, assist with design decision, liaise with engineers and provide a proposed price for the project.
Renovation / Extension Project
Included in our consultancy fee, our registered builder will visit the site and complete a thorough inspection and assess the existing property. They will inspect the existing home foundations and roof for leaks, as well as checking for possible asbestos. They will also sit down with the client to find out what their motivation is to make changes, what their client’s priorities are and if they have a budget in mind. Based on this information, our registered builder can recommend either an architect, draftsman or designer to draw up plans for them.
Estimation of Costs
It can be tricky if we’re asked to give an estimate on concept plans that have been drawn by a designer. These plans usually are just floor plans, elevations, sections and potentially an electrical plan (but often with no specifications!). This alone is not enough for us to know how much construction will cost, let alone enough information for us to provide an accurate estimate.
Also, without very detailed specifications it’s too hard to accurately gauge all the small costs involved. For instance, how are we to know if the client wants a $400 oven or a $7,000 oven? When this happens, we can only provide a non-binding rough estimate of costs (for instance a price that ranges from $500,000-$800,000). That’s why it’s far better to get builders involved at the very early stages. If you’re just starting to think about building your dream family home, get in touch for a consultation today!