When to bring in your builder or general contractor—the best projects are a collaboration from the start.
So, you decide to build a custom home, perhaps a second home. You begin dreaming up your ideas and envisioning the space. You select an architect and together you start drawing— at which point, you should pause—and bring in your builder.
Building projects may appear to be linear in process; architectural design, interior design, creating construction documents, permitting… In truth, the best projects are a collaboration from the start.
Builders are incredibly beneficial as part of the design team. An experienced contractor can spell out associated costs whether it’s with structural, materials or increased labor. Utilizing this knowledge saves time and money in the long run. Labor and materials fluctuate based on current market trends and builders know the pulse of the market.
It’s easy to let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. “We see it over and over…the house suddenly becomes something much bigger than what was expected,” Shane Lago, partner in Bashista Corp. says. “Once the framework is in place, it’s common for an owner to say, ‘It’s awfully big,’ which is not unreasonable— it’s difficult to imagine until it’s on the ground.”
Builders can help mitigate this issue before the foundation is poured. Often 2d and 3d renderings don’t convey the true magnitude of the space but an experienced builder can help describe the design team’s vision.
When brought in after a basic set is drawn, builders can review the design and see if anything is odd or needs changing. Things such as where the mechanical room should be located to keep noise to a minimum or how to get service equipment in without dragging it through the whole house are given careful consideration.
“We also give the client our thoughts on spacing, feel and finishes. One thing we look at is the size of the rooms. Based on the clients intended use of the space, we may collaborate with the design team and recommend moving a wall for one reason or another,” Josh Glick, partner in Bashista explains.
These are just a few examples of how builders contribute valuable insight into the plans. All told, weaving your contractor into the design process creates a solid roadmap. An architect puts your vision into a plan, builders bring it to reality.