As an owner/builder, you've got the consumer's advantage.
just one project whether it be remodeling or new construction
your own home!
DO YOU HAVE THE CONSUMERíS ADVANTAGE?
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Often a building professional whether it be a lender, realtor,
architect, builder, or supplier will be doing multiple projects simultaneously.
You've got a keen interest in your own project
and, you can focus
on every aspect of that project. You've got the consumer's advantage.
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You can set a budget for the entire design/build process. You'll want to know
how much you can afford for residential architectural services as well as cost
of construction. You can pre-qualify with a lender
before you contact either an architect or builder. Taking into consideration both
hard and soft costs creates a better understanding of expenditures
for your project. You've got the consumer's advantage.
You can determine
whether your potential or existing site is buildable to your satisfaction. You can require
the seller show proof or you can pre-determine whether the site conforms to all
rules and regulations required for the issuance of a building permit. Here's the
point: if the site is very difficult to develop, decide what problems exist before
you make an offer or initiate the home building project. Whether or not the site
is buildable to your satisfaction will make or break your project. You've got
the consumer's advantage.
You can plan and organize the details of your
project. You can effectively communicate your expectations to either an architect, designer
or stock plan provider prior to proceeding. Establishing
the level of service you require and the cost range in which you intend to build
will set standards for their performance. It's their opportunity to show you projects
they've completed similar to the one your proposing. You've got the consumer's
You can establish a time frame for when key activities will
occur. You can create a schedule based on both pre-construction and construction
activities, encompassing the entire design/build process.There's no "best way"
to complete a project so you'll want to consider the range of possibilities. By
asking questions and doing research before attending meetings with both architecture
and construction professionals, you'll be able to ask them good questions and
identify key activities in the proper sequence of events. You've got the consumer's
You can protect your investment by getting written proposals from architects, contractors and suppliers
in advance of their work and before your proceed. It'll be to your advantage to
get multiple proposals from different businesses for each phase of the design/build
process. Describing issues like terms of payment, completion of work, standards
of performance, and warrantees are crucial to negotiation regarding the unique
circumstances of your project. You've got the consumer's advantage.
can insist on a comprehensive contract. You'll want a thorough description of
your relationship with the architect,
contractors, and suppliers prior to beginning work with any of them. Pay no money
as a down payment! All contract provisions are open to negotiation. Don't use
their boilerplate documents without first considering all issues which are important
to you. Consult with an attorney familiar with construction contract law. Remember:
This is your money and lifestyle. You've got the consumer's advantage.
You can maintain open and honest communication. When communication is random
or sporadic, it can lead to misunderstanding and confusion. You'll want to personally
know the players of your project team and why their skills and abilities are crucial
during both preconstruction and construction activities. Creating reliable drawings,
specifications, and conditions documents
for your project takes the mystery out of the unknowns and minimizes risk. You've
got the consumer's advantage.
You can clarify whether you have what it
takes to be an
owner/builder. This means not only staying current on the latest information prior to construction but also maintaining
a clean job site during construction. Yes
contractors will be responsible
for removing debris from their phase of work, but you'll need to monitor the messy
construction process on a daily basis to be sure everyone does their house cleaning
Ask yourself these questions: Do I have time in my life? Am I aggressive?
Can I make reliable decisions? Do I have confidence in my choices? Am I organized?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you've got the consumer's