As an architect, it’s difficult to leave your design in a contractor’s hands. So much work has been put in to perfect the vision created by you and your clients, but you’re then asked to trust another team to make it a reality.
Unfortunately, this hesitance isn’t baseless. Far too often, architects find that contractors deviate significantly from the original design plans, or make choices that are completely at odds with the design intent. It’s a frustrating problem that almost every architect has had the displeasure of experiencing.
To keep this from happening again and again, it’s critical that you find a contractor with an actual understanding of design and its importance. Building a relationship with these rare crews can ensure that you always have a team you trust to translate your designs in the real world. Below, we review some of the key benefits you’ll see once you start working with a design-savvy company.
They’ll Stay True to Your Design
Contractors who value design know that architects and their clients have chosen certain features for a good reason. They will do everything in their power to ensure that the final build stays as close as possible to the original plans.
Compare this to standard contractors, who will frequently remove or downgrade key design elements to shave project costs. Some have been known to go as far as eliminating volume ceilings, changing rooflines, switching materials, cutting lighting, and even reducing window quantities and sizes – all features that dramatically influence the visual and spatial quality of a design.
The crews that understand design never cross such lines. When conflicts arise, they find solutions that preserve your design’s features and material specifications. If using alternatives becomes unavoidable, you can rest assured that they will gain your approval before making any substitutions, and that any suggestions will be aligned with your overall vision and aesthetic.
Details Wills Harmonize
A contractor that truly gets design knows that it’s not only the big features that matter – it’s also the little things that can determine whether a design attains that “wow” factor.
You’ll be able to depend on these teams to get the small details right, both in terms of installation quality and style selection. Elements like tile surfaces, moulding (or lack thereof), casework details, flooring transitions, and more will be tended to carefully, ensuring a neat and cohesive presentation that achieves perfect design flow.
Work Will be of Higher Quality
Building homes of impeccable design just isn’t possible without the right team members. Contractors who have a high standard for the aesthetics of their final product only hire those who take pride in their work. With these teams, you’ll never encounter laborers with the “good enough” mentality. Each member will always be committed to performing installations right, with clean, flawless results.
As a bonus, this will also secure better quality work in terms of safety and durability. Crews that strive for the best can be trusted to address hazards appropriately and make sure the client gets the highest caliber of construction.
Communication is Prioritized
Contractors who understand design tend to have better communication practices than their less-in-tune counterparts. Because they care about how the design takes shape, they will communicate with the architect and the homeowner to make sure they thoroughly understand the project vision and needs.
This quality makes these contractors true team players. When problems get in the way of original plans, they’ll be able to suggest valuable solutions that are congruent with the design’s intent. In the case of change orders, their superior communication will establish clear expectations, ensuring that alterations can be properly planned without causing budget or scheduling issues.
Maintaining good communication throughout the project will reduce risk of confusion, conflict, and costly mistakes. Working with contractors capable of this minimizes the stress on all project contributors, especially the client.
Clients Get What They Want
Even when it’s not reasonable, clients will still come away with a lesser impression of an architect when the contractor executes their design poorly. They’ve invested a great deal of money, time, and effort into getting the perfect design. When it’s not delivered, their disappointment often retroactively colors their opinion of the architectural services they received. Many will have a hard time giving an enthusiastic testimonial or referral when they feel like their home doesn’t meet their expectations.
It’s certainly not fair, but it’s a phenomenon many architects have had to suffer through. Thanks to the benefits outlined above, collaborating with a design-savvy contractor ensures your work is always done justice and your clients feel satisfied.
Find the Right Partner for Your Project
It’s hard being an architect, but there’s no greater reward than seeing your design take shape and become a part of someone’s life. You can feel that sense of accomplishment with every project when you have the support of a good builder. This type of support can be found at Letter Four.
Although Letter Four is primarily a design-build firm, we also offer general contracting services as a stand alone for other architects who value partnering with a contractor who cares about their design and its delivery.
Fellow architects are invited to take advantage of our preliminary pricing services as well, which can help ensure a comprehensive understanding of expected construction costs early in the course of the project. This way you can stay on track with respect to your client’s budget expectations.
It’s true that this type of partnership can incur higher costs than hiring a traditional general contractor. However, the extra investment produces greater returns. By collaborating with a firm that knows how to interpret design from the architectural perspective, you can guarantee that your project meets all aesthetic and practical goals. We provide all of the support needed to keep projects on the path to success.
As contractors who understand design, right down to the fundamentals, we pride ourselves on being able to work in synchrony with even the most visionary architects. Our team is dedicated to expressing the artistry of your design and delivering the home that has already come alive in your client’s imagination.
If your work is based in the greater Los Angeles area, we invite you to reach out to us. We’re thrilled to hear about your latest projects and discuss how to take them across the finish line.