Architect and Builder – A Team or No?
An architect or designer skillfully creates a plan or blueprint that represents your vision. A builder brings it to life, transforming it from paper to bricks and mortar, making real your homeowner’s dream. Which is better, hiring a design-build team or 2 separate specialists?Design-build teams that encourage the homeowner to commit to both the designer and the builder from the get-go, do not serve homeowners well. Commit first to the design portion only.
Be sure you own the plans and drawings so you can put them out for competitive bids. You want this freedom. Interviewing builders offers you a learning curve while you’re simultaneously improving your vision by collecting insights and creative ideas neither you nor the architect may have considered. It’s a win.
Once you have a few great builder candidates you can confidently see yourself working with, consider the pros and cons of whether or not they have worked previously with your architect.
If your first choice of builder has no pre-existing successful relationship with the architect or designer, there is a stronger likelihood for a blame-game when concerns arise (and they will). Finger pointing will leave you paying the price for the discord…in time, in money, and in stress. When the two parties are working together for the first time, it’s the homeowner who pays for the creation of their relationship including the time, expertise, and other resources needed to do so. Meetings between the 2 of them are needed so they learn how the other works, what systems each has, what to expect, how they will head-off problems one or the other or both didn’t anticipate. When hiring a team with a proven successful track record (not just a handshake) the problems of mistrust, power struggles and turf challenges, any one of which can sabotage a project, are far less likely.
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Pursue what you believe will be a team effort in which everyone is on the same page and the work will unfold in a spirit of cooperation.