At Fivecat Studio, our process of delivering architectural services includes a very highly developed set of construction documents. Every possible decision is made. Every product is specified. Every fixture is scheduled, ready for purchasing.
Our intent is to obtain very competitive bids from general contractors, minimize change orders and reduce construction time by eliminating delays caused by slow or incomplete decisions. Most of the time, this focus on detail pays off in an appreciative client and a healthy relationship with the construction team.
Sometimes though, when the well developed design and thoughtful decisions are second-guessed, changes are made during construction. A tight construction schedule does not allow for a fully developed and scoped out process of decision making. Sometimes this leads to a “snow ball effect” of interrelated elements requiring modification. The desired time or money saved by the change is, many times, counteracted by the additional time and money required to handle the unexpected consequences of the innocent (or not so innocent) change.
So, here is my question to you, the Entrepreneur Architect. What does your process look like?
Do you prepare detailed, highly developed drawing sets for construction? Or, are you a member of the camp that believes the preparation of a basic set of “guideline” drawings are better, with the details and design decisions determined during construction, in the field?
Which process makes for happier clients? Which process makes for a most efficient construction schedule? Which process is most profitable for the architect?
Please share. I would love to read your thoughts…
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