Builder or Architect First?

Designing Your Dream Home, Together. 

 

It is not unusual for the building process to begin with an architect and homeowner sitting down to discuss a potential project. During this time, there may be an exchange of ideas, draft sketches, and discussion about the preliminary specifics with the home renovation or build. The issue with this however, is that the concept of a ‘budget’ is often overlooked, or in actual fact, inadequately determined.

It happens all too often where a client puts forward their proposed budget, the architect designs their dream home, perfects the finishes, creates a wonderfully considered layout, adds in intrinsic detail to deliver a cleverly-creative outcome, and the plans are then ready for tender.

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It is shortly after this point that the client is heartbroken, and left deflated.

All this time, money, and effort put into creating their dream home, only to discover the cost to build it is well beyond their initial budget. Even after receiving numerous quotes from builders, it still seems so far away. But how did this happen? Wasn’t the budget provided at the beginning? Weren’t you clear on what you wanted?

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The answer: An architect is not a builder, nor an estimator.

 

The expectation that an Architect can deliver a masterpiece, whilst also understanding every dollar, every construction detail, engineering required, is outrageous. An Architect is engaged to provide function and form, artistic aesthetics, creative concepts, and distinctive detail. They know what works. So, what happens next is either a) a client is required to then spend far more than they anticipated, or b) a client must sacrifice a portion of the project, poor quality selections are made, the design is not delivered and the outcome lacks cohesion. Either way, the homeowner is not satisfied.

So how can an Architect design a home renovation, whilst actually producing a design that can be constructed for an estimated budget?

We believe the answer to this is to get your builder involved early!

A cohesive process between, home owner, architect, and builder, is the best solution to ensuring the homeowner has the most satisfying outcome. This way the team is able to assess things such as availability of materials, construction methods, site limitations, and site planning. This is actually called ‘Value Engineering’ and is extremely crucial to eliminate unwanted costs from the beginning of the planning process, while improving the functionality and quality of the build.

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It could come at a slight cost to engage your builder in these initial stages, but trust us when we say, it is worth every cent in the construction industry.

If the builder is involved early on in the design process, there is far less unknown with the build, and a far more accurate quote can be produced for the homeowner. Elements which may be unforeseen can be reduced greatly, and you will not be designing something that cannot be built within reason of your budget.

At BTM, we cohesively operate in this way. We ensure attention to detail and involvement in all steps of the design and build process alongside the Architect and home owner, which ensures that all parties are on the same page and are able to stick to the proposed costs.

This means our builders will take more accountability for the project, deliver a smoother process from start to finish, achieve a quality project that they are proud of, and, the most important of all, provide the best outcome for our client and a home which they love!

BTM x