As I reflect on my years as a practicing architect, I recall a conversation I had with my first employer after I returned from a new home job site. I was outraged that the builder was making changes to “my” design without consulting with me. I told my employer that “They are destroying my design”. His response has stayed with me for my entire career. He said “We are the theys. We are letting them do whatever they want.”
Throughout my architectural career, I have seen too many builders make changes to the design and construction without consulting with the architect or Owner. In most instances, the builder has no idea about the conversations that transpired between the architect and Owner, and why a particular detail or product was specified on the construction drawings. The builders just take it upon themselves to make changes. Many of these changes lead to mistakes in the construction, costly modifications, construction delays and much aggravation to the Owner. All of this can be avoided.
I have found that homeowner satisfaction is greatly increased when they decide to hire a Design / Build company to work with them for their new home or remodel project. The Design / Build process avoids much of the unnecessary confusion, delays and cost over-runs that are typical of the traditional “architect – bid – contractor” relationships. That is why I started the Design / Build company, Stoneybrooke Homes, Inc. At Stoneybrooke, we have fully integrated the design, construction and budgeting into a single seamless process. Owners work directly with the architect / builder to design and build their home to a specific budget and ultimately enter into a fixed price contract to build their project. Stoneybrooke has single source responsibility for every aspect of the work From the design, budgeting, construction and warranty implementation of new home or remodel project, the Owner communicates directly with the architect / builder.
In the Design / Build process, the architect listens carefully to the Owner’s desires and dreams including their target budget. Utilizing decades of experience in residential design and construction, we analyze and organize their comments and ideas into a distinctive, cohesive and exciting design that will meet their lifestyle requirements and budget. The architect will advise the Owner throughout the design process when the project begins to exceed their budget and offer suggestions to maintain the budget.
Single source responsibility means no “finger-pointing” between an independent architect and builder during construction. Design / Build eliminates the possibility of misunderstandings or discrepancies that may occur when communicating information between the architect, builder and Owner which could lead to construction delays, cost over-runs, and disagreements during construction. It also keeps the Owners from becoming the unofficial arbiter of differences between the architect and builder. As the architect and builder, working “hand –in hand” with the Owner, Stoneybrooke specifies exactly the products are to be included in the home. There will not be any misunderstandings about what door knobs, paint, mechanical systems, exterior siding, etc. are to be used. The construction drawings are complete with all of the structure and specific details clearly indicated. The construction is executed by experienced, trusted and insured tradesman and supervised by the architect / builder.
The Owner never incurs additional costs for professional job site coordination and construction inspections by the architect. The Design / Build process is seamless because the architect and builder are one in the same!