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Everyone wants to save time and money on renovations of their home or office. And, everyone wants to save time, money and headaches during the building of their new home or office. Design/Build is the answer!

Many people who have undertaken an architectural or construction project have had one of the following bad experiences: 

-    The contractor runs over the owner's budget by a large percentage.
-    The architect's estimate of construction costs was off by a factor of two.
-    A minor change in the scope of work delays the project by two weeks.
-    Trouble arises towards the finish of a project due to misunderstandings about what was and what was not included in the original bid package.

The above are all-too-common occurrences in the age-old relationship of Client/ Architect/Contractor. 

There is a better way! 

Design/Build is the uncomplicated process of combining the architectural services (for example, WRIGHT ARCHITECTS) with general contracting services (an example, WRIGHT BUILDERS, INC.) to offer a complete package of both services to the Client. Time and money and headaches are saved because the architectural process and the construction process are integrated and overlapped. 

It sounds so easy! And it is for the Client who chooses the Design/Build process. However, Design/Build is not easily accomplished. It requires a professional who is an architect with "hands-on" experience as a builder. It also requires knowledge of civil engineering, structures & systems, design issues, style issues, the entire construction process, hiring trades, estimating, etc. And, it requires a team of professionals who work with the architect and the Client to provide quality craftsmanship in a timely manner.


Why is Design/Build advantageous to the Client during renovation? 


A)    No designs are finalized until all demolition is completed on site, thus exposing all "hidden", preexisting conditions that would alter the original designs. (Subcontractor's bids can be high sometimes due to unclear conditions on the site, especially during renovation of an old building.)

B)    The need for full architectural drawings and specifications, normally required for a project, is eliminated. (This saves time and clerical headaches and offers flexibility for any changes. The only drawings needed are those for the main subcontractors to base their bids on and any needed for Building Department filings.)

C)    Payments to the subcontractors (trades) are scheduled on a weekly or biweekly basis (convenient to the Client). Architect/Builder is responsible for advising Client how much is owed and to whom.

D)    Architectural fees are charged on an hourly basis, in the event the Client wishes to explore many design possibilities.

E)    Construction management (Builder) fees are charged as a lump sum, based on the amount of time projected for the renovation or new construction. Additional services are charged by the hour, therefore the Client knows the exact fees and costs.

F)    After the Client has approved the final design, an estimate of construction costs are submitted by the Designer/ Builder, based on market prices. (The accuracy of these numbers offers a very good indication of how competent and knowledgeable the Designer /Builder is.)

G)    During the construction process, the project designer is on the site every day to work out problems that may arise.

H)    All sub-trade bids are administrated by the Design/Builder. Contracts, however, are written directly between the Client and the subcontractor. (The Client has the option of replacing any element of the project without harming the total construction package.)


The following is a breakdown of a completed project:

Gut renovation/ 1,200 sq ft/3 bed./3 bath. apartment

Project estimation: $100,000 construction cost 

Design/Build Method                                    Typical Method


Architect's fee:                          $2,500 (hourly)                                               $10,000 (10%)

Builder's fee:                             16,000 (lump sum)                                         20,000  (20% O & P ) 

Sub-trade cost:                         81,450                                                              89,595   (10% mark-up on sub-trades)

Total costs:                                $99,950                                                            $119,595

Total project time:                    8 weeks                                                            20 weeks

Not only was the above Design/Build project completed for 20% less than the Typical Methods; but, by overlapping the architectural process with the building process 12 weeks were saved. (In the above case, time was extremely important, the Client had to move out of one home which they had sold. The new apartment renovation needed to be ready for them to move in ... and it was.)

Design/Build is a comprehensive service to the Client and definitively the most efficient and cost effective way to build a quality designed project today and in the future. 

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