Sebastian takes the lead in design build projects because of his degree in Interior Architecture along with his completion of the full German carpentry apprenticeship program. There is a big difference in the actual design of a 27 unit apartment building versus a custom “forever home”. But the conversations about budget, what is important, and what the client expects we approach the same way. Communication and a strong focus on the clients’ needs are the biggest parts of a project, but they are often the pieces that get skipped over by contractors looking to get another project in the bag.
Striking a Balance
A builder may stick to the same layout but just update the finishes because they don’t focus on how people really use the space. And a designer might get a fabulous design on paper, but when it comes time to cost out the project, moving walls and water lines totally blows up the budget.
The quickest way to get subcontractors to hate each other is by making them wall all over each other while simply trying to get their work done. Understanding the gears of a project and how to make them turn at the right time will be your biggest help in keeping a project on track.
It’s hard, but it’s not that hard
Yes, you need to have some experience to know how long certain things will take, but planning should not be a luxury add-on. We have noticed that many contractors have gotten used to and remarkably good at fixing problems as they come up, and have stopped planning to try and minimize the issues. Will we work hard to fix problems that pop up? Of course! Do we want a lack of planning to be the reason problems pop up? No, we don’t have a desire to make our lives or our clients’ lives more difficult.
We don’t wear tool belts and look super cool at a project site. Instead we probably are chatting with the plumber and walking around with our phone taking pictures and handling deliveries. There is a ton of information that is floating around for every project. And it is our job to make sure we filter that into information you can actually use or make decisions on.
Hands off and Hands on
Different clients have different expectations of being involved in projects. Some have careers or families filled with decision overload and need us to lead the way and present solutions. Others like to know they can select every tiny detail down to the trim.