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Collaboration in the Built World

Renovation is a Team Sport

Teamwork. Collaboration. Partnership. Working closely together—client, designer and contractor—throughout a home renovation project simply produces better results.


collaboration

Shannon Corr, STA contracting working with Angel Shockey, Jones Pierce and clients Ellen Dossett and Ann Wade on their recently completed Lake Martin AL home.



collaboration

Piles of lumber make the most satisfying conference tables.


Renovation is a Process

In the traditional project delivery model the architect develops a design working with the client and “draws it up” to produce a construction drawing set. At that point the contractor takes over to translate the drawings into a renovation that meets the original needs. Works great, assuming the project is in budget, there is enough information on the drawings to communicate original goals and the client has the time and ability to communicate to the contractor concepts developed with the architect. Only problem is, this is seldom the case. Instead, it is a process that is emotional, inefficient and time consuming for all involved.

Is there a better way? The answer is Yes, Collaboration.

The contractor should be involved in the early stages of design to help establish a realistic budget, provide pricing midway and help assure the budget stays in check as detail is developed on the construction drawings. By the same token, the architect should be involved during construction to push for more value during bid and negotiation, keep the project aligned with original goals as unforeseen problems are solved, and be present to assure complete and successful translation of desired design into construction.

Tips for assuring a successful renovation:

  1. Get the best design talent and best construction talent.

  2. Match the architect and the contractor with your personality and working style.

  3. Keep the architect as your agent during the process rather than allowing design and construction to” shack up.”

  4. Build the most “bang for the buck” by having the architect push the design and contractor push back on price. As the client, you will ultimately benefit.    Identify specialty consultants, vendors and craftspeople needed for the project early in the process and involve them in the design.

  5. Have your team in place during construction to collaborate if unforeseen issues or opportunities appear.

Keep in mind that renovation is a team sport. All players need to be on the field at the same time—collaborating, working together, and helping you gain the benefits of their collective minds and talents. Once you’ve decided to take the renovation plunge, don’t cut corners. Let these professionals work on your behalf and enjoy a smoother process, and a better result.


The contractor should be involved in the early stages of design to help establish a realistic budget, provide pricing midway and help assure the budget stays in check as detail is developed on the construction drawings. By the same token, the architect should be involved during construction to push for more value during bid and negotiation, keep the project aligned with original goals as unforeseen problems are solved, and be present to assure complete and successful translation of desired design into construction.

Tips for assuring a successful renovation:


  1. Get the best design talent and best construction talent.

  1. Match the architect and the contractor with your personality and working style.

  1. Keep the architect as your agent during the process rather than allowing design and construction to” shack up.”

  1. Build the most “bang for the buck” by having the architect push the design and contractor push back on price. As the client, you will ultimately benefit.    Identify specialty consultants, vendors and craftspeople needed for the project early in the process and involve them in the design.


Have your team in place during construction if unforeseen issues or opportunities appear.

Keep in mind that renovation is a team sport. All players need to be on the field at the same time—collaborating, working together, and helping you gain the benefits of their collective minds and talents. Once you’ve decided to take the renovation plunge, don’t cut corners. Let these professionals work on your behalf and enjoy a smoother process, and a better result.

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