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Why You Should Bring Your Builder in Early

Posted by: Cam Fraser

When you embark on a building project, collaboration is a critical element of a satisfying experience. When the owner, architect and builder are working together, everyone wins.

Bringing your builder or contractor in early in the design process is one of the best things you can do to ensure a well planned and executed building project, with as few surprises as possible. Sometimes, that may be as much as a year in advance of ground being broken.

There are important benefits to doing this. First, when you begin the team building process early on, you get buy-in from all parties on your vision, which ultimately saves time and makes a project run more smoothly.

Secondly, you get a much more accurate sense of pricing on your project. Your builder can help inform the design process by providing preliminary pricing as the project goes along. In addition, you will find that a lot of pertinent information comes out in the subcontracting/bidding process. For example, in the feasibility and bidding stages, an expert might take a look at a plan of one of the subsystems in a house and suggest a more optimized alternative based on their experience (eg, 2 tankless water heaters placed strategically, instead of one traditional set up). This helps create a better final result for the client, and a more complete final bid.

There are many ways of getting a contractor involved early. A common method is to bring the builder in for a flat or hourly consulting fee, which can be applied toward the construction phase if the builder’s final bid is accepted.

In either case, when you embark on a building project, collaboration is a critical element of a satisfying experience, and when the owner, architect and builder are working together, everyone wins.

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