Collaboration is defined as, “the action of working with someone to produce or create something.” When you begin the journey to build a custom home, we believe collaboration is the key to creating an enjoyable, memorable building experience. The genuine collaboration and teamwork approach between an architect, a builder, and a homeowner can create a work of art! Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way about Builder and Architect collaboration.
Gathering the Team
Over the past 30 years, Mueller Homes has explored a variety of different business models. During this time, we have found that a collaborative approach between the builder, architect, and homeowner provides varied and necessary input, experience, and ideas that are important to the process. It is through this collaborative approach that we have been able to create a unique experience for our clients. After all, a well-designed home that is quality crafted and meets the homeowner’s lifestyle and desired budget is the ultimate goal, right?
Builder & Architect Selection Process
There are a number of ways to select the builder and architect you want to work with for the coming months and years. Some homeowners select an architect before they meet with a builder, while others select the builder and then have the builder assist them in selecting an architect. There is no inherently right or wrong way to proceed, but we strongly recommend that the builder and architect be introduced early on and collaborate throughout the design process.
The architect is generally responsible for the design and structural elements of the home while the builder is primarily responsible for ensuring that the concept can be built within the budget desired. By utilizing a team approach, you will ensure that your designs and your budget are aligned. We believe this kind of collaboration is the key to a successful building experience and keeping the project within your budget and on-schedule.
Should You Get Designs Before Selecting the Builder?
We believe the best experience, for any custom home building project, involves both the architect and builder early in the design process. Avoid making the mistake of contracting a builder or architect without interviewing both to ensure that they are willing, able, and eager to work together on your home.
More importantly, be sure to involve the builder in the design process. I remember a client who brought architectural drawings to us, ready and eager to begin construction. The designs were stunning, but unfortunately, were not aligned with current material costs and we had to advise the homeowner that the home could not be built for the budget they had in mind. This approach wasted the homeowners time, money, and resources.
We were able to suggest value-engineering aspects of the project to bring the design in line with their budget. The architect had to redesign the project, based on this input, which cost the homeowner additional time and money. This situation could have been completely avoided if the architect and builder had been involved collaboratively from the start.
When interviewing your builder, ask them about the homes that they have worked collaboratively on, with an architect. Then, ask to speak with that architect about the builder’s processes, craftsmanship, and accommodations for design. Ask your builder which architects they would recommend for your project. Likewise, when interviewing an architect, be sure to ask them about builders with whom they have worked collaboratively. Then, ask the builder if the architect’s previous design concepts were efficient and realistic for the client’s budgets and design concepts.
Committed to Collaboration
Be sure that your builder and architect are committed to a collaborative working relationship because this will have a great impact on your overall custom home building experience. Some of the best projects are not a result of any earth-shattering construction material or technique, but rather a true collaboration between the architect, builder, and homeowner. Begin with our checklists! These checklists provide suggestions for the questions you should ask your builder and architect before making a final decision.
If you are thinking about building your once-in-a-lifetime custom luxury home, be sure to download our ebook: “Designing & Building Your Custom Dream Home: How to Create an Experience You’ll Love to Remember.” If you are ready to get started, contact Mueller Homes today, and let’s talk!