The Perfect Team
Assembling the right team is essential for any project to be successful. By necessity, each team member- the client, the architect, and the builder, brings their own unique skills, experiences and perspectives to the process. Identifying each member’s strengths and focusing those strengths on a common goal insures that the process will be satisfying, and that each team member is successful. Below are a few of the characteristics, innate or otherwise, that we have found can help to create a Perfect Team.
The Perfect Client
Makes timely, committed decisions-
This may seem like a small matter, but it often determines how efficiently the design and construction processes go. Clients should trust their instincts and develop a method for decision-making that works for them.
All questions are good questions. The more information a client has, the better decisions they can make. If some part of the process, the design, or the build doesn't make sense, let's talk about it.
Has a realistic budget-
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to contend with budgets. In the real world, there are limits to what we can spend. Clients that are realistic and open about these limits from the beginning are typically happier with the end result.
Is honest with themselves about what they want-
There is always a degree of discovery for clients when identifying and prioritizing what is most important to them – be open and honest, it will help the other members of the team get you what you want.
Wants to learn-
If, at the end of the project, we end up exactly where you thought we would, we haven’t done our job. There is an element of discovery to the design process - embrace it!
Is a dreamer-
This process is supposed to be fun, never more so than during the early brainstorming and conceptual design phase. Don’t limit yourself (or the project) before we even get started. There will come a time to sort out the realities of the dream, but at least share it.
Recognizes that creativity doesn't mean added cost-
Doing something different or approaching a design problem in a new way doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it can sometimes even save money.
Always has a fresh pot of coffee (and sometimes has wine)-
The Perfect Architect
Has no shortage of brilliant and creative ideas-
At the end of the day, an architect's ability to bring creative ideas to your project is a big part of why you've hired them. Put that creativity to work!
Acknowledges that good ideas can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time-
An architect who is possessive of the design process is destined to fail. An open ear and willingness to learn are often the best design tools an architect has.
Knows how a building goes together-
Truly understanding the practical implications of what an architect draws is the only way ideas get from the sketch pad to real world.
Manages expectations and prevents surprises-
The architect has many tools available to convey what the design will look like, how the materials and fixtures will fit, and how the new spaces will feel once they're finished. A client should feel confident in what they're going to get before a single nail gets pounded.
Recognizes that great ideas must be grounded in reality-
For an architect there should be a constant, healthy tension between the design vision and the multitude of constraints that surround a project. These constraints often coalesce the vision into something stronger and more meaningful.
Communicates, communicates and then communicates-
An architect's ability to be the communication hub between both the client and the contractor is critical to the success of the project…and to everyone's peace of mind during the design and construction process.
Has one, simple agenda....to create a great project-
Is this best for the project? That simple question should guide an architect's decisions throughout the entire process.
Asks good questions and seeks out clarity-
A big part of the design process is asking the right questions, though sometimes difficult, in order to bring to light the key priorities that drive the project.
Always has a sketch pad-
The Perfect Builder
Wants to be part of a collaborative design and building process-
We believe that the "team" approach to building results in better projects, a more gratifying experience and happier clients.
Is above all, a problem solver-
A great builder draws upon their experience to bring ideas and solutions to the process. Every project has unique challenges, and a builder with a problem-solving mentality is of tremendous value.
Has an attention to detail and a great design sense-
A builder should have an innate sense for how each detail supports the overall design. This shared vision results in a unified built project.
Has a record of integrity and a long list of happy clients-
There is no better predictor of how well a builder will fit into the team than the outcomes of their previous work. We encourage all of our clients to speak directly with references and, if possible, visit previous projects to see the work for themselves.
Asks good questions and doesn't hesitate to highlight concerns-
Builders are expected to thoroughly understand the intent of the design and the full scope of the project long before construction begins. If there is an element that is unclear or that concerns them, it is their job to seek out answers to their questions.
Has a roster of skilled, reliable subcontractors-
A general contractor is only as good as the team they are able to assemble. Building and maintaining relationships with dependable subcontractors is key to ensuring a project meets expectations and stays on schedule and on budget. Quite simply, great subcontractors want to work with great general contractors.
Is a crafts-person and takes great pride in his/her work-
Building is a business, a science and an art. A successful builder is attentive to every aspect of the profession, and has a clear sense of pride in executing the project.
Can talk openly and knowledgeably about money-
Undertaking a building project is a significant financial commitment for both the client and the builder. It is critically important that a regular, open dialogue about cost occurs.
Always has a tape measure-