The Role of the Builder
A lot of people don’t understand the complexity of the builder’s job. The builder must coordinate the numerous players and products needed to transform a set of two-dimensional drawings into a finished home. He has to make sure that everything happens just when it’s supposed to and that the end result is what the clients and their design team envisioned.
One advantage to choosing a builder early in the design process is that he can make sure the home can be built in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
Once the plans are complete, the architect, consultants and builder work with local zoning and code authorities to secure permits. Professional builders and their consultants have a thorough understanding of building codes, as well as good working relationships with local authorities. The city’s building department and local utility inspections and reviews are likely to flow more smoothly when the project is run by an established, professional contractor with a reputation for solid management and quality work.
Professional builders also have close relationships with quality subcontractors and suppliers. And because the builder is a source of ongoing work for those contractors and vendors, prices offered to the builder will likely be less than prices offered to the general public.
Once the project is underway, the builder’s management skills really make a difference. These skills include:
Keeping the job on schedule by ensuring that all workers and materials show up at the right time. Construction timetables can change quite often, with causes that range from bad weather to late deliveries. Construction projects will have times when many trades are working at once and, to move forward, the projects are very dependent on the timetables of each. The time and organization required for the builder to constantly adjust everyone’s schedules is something homeowners seldom see.
Overseeing the job to guarantee that all trades deliver quality work. The builder knows enough about each specific trade to make sure things get done right. For example, if the slab moisture content is too high, the builder will have the knowledge and authority to put sealing it on hold even if the tile contractor is tempted to move ahead.
Solving and preventing problems. A new custom home is an extremely complex undertaking with a million things that can go wrong. Having a professional builder team in charge of solving problems takes a lot of stress off the homeowners.
Completing the punch list at the end of the project. Everyone has heard horror stories of unprofessional contractors who left a job with a large list of small things undone. The professional builder team has the resources to make sure that everything is complete before the key is turned over.
Building a home is not a seat-of-the pants endeavor. Good builders have great teams using well-honed management systems for making it all happen. These systems are an important part of the professional builder’s value.
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