Architecture / January 31, 2018 / .
In many ways, designing and building a home is very complicated. But in at least one way, it is very straightforward. A house cannot be a dream home unless you fully understand the clients needs. Every luxury home should be unique to its occupants. When designing a home, start with asking a lot of questions. Talk with them, listen to their needs, understand their wants, and help to translate those into a design and plan. Questions about how you live day-to-day in your home are the key. From the answers to these questions, we will create a list of priorities, which we then work with to determine what the right size and level of quality needs to be.
The relationship of quality to cost is often expressed in the saying that you get what you pay for. Cost is a critical factor in most building projects and some clients will seek a low price. Low price and maximum price competition, however, often have negative impacts on quality standards and achieving best value for money overall. In the current economic climate below cost tendering has heightened the risk of contractor insolvency and it may be difficult and expensive to obtain protection from this risk. Unrealistic and inadequate budgets often lead to projects becoming finance driven where cheaper options are preferred to better or more sustainable alternatives. Certain clients may have fixed budgets which may not be exceeded in any circumstances. In such circumstances the client will expect the quantity surveyor to maintain rigorous cost control during the project in order to deliver the project within budget. Designing to achieve such cost limits might curtail the introduction of beneficial features and or variations which may result in excessive running and maintenance costs later on.
Speedy completion is often required on commercial developments. The pressure to achieve early completion intensifies when financing and interest costs associated with acquiring the site begin to mount. Clients will seek the early appointment of a contractor in these situations to enable a fast start up on site and will favour fast track design approaches where the design is developed in parallel with site construction operations. Such approaches risk allowing insufficient time to identify or consider beneficial design options, and may, on occasion, lead to abortive working and losing time. Speedy construction on site often requires accelerated working and shift or overtime payments, more intense management presence, and the use of dependable subcontractors and suppliers, all of which add to the cost of the project. Fast track approaches rule out cost certainty and the client will become aware of the eventual cost only at an advanced stage of the project.
This is where the contractor works alongside or within the design team providing a construction management service. The management contractor does not undertake either the design or the direct construction work. The physical construction is carried out by specialist subcontractors, package contractors. There are two main forms of this approach: Management Contracting where the contractor employs the subcontractors and Construction Management where the subcontractors are employed directly by the client and the project is managed by the construction manager - there is no actual main contractor. Management procurement routes are associated with fast moving, complex construction projects. The early appointment of manager within the design team allows the design and construction operations to be fast-tracked while also ensuring that the required quality standards are delivered. These projects, however, tend to be expensive. Figure 1 sets out a summary of the advantages and disadvantage of various procurement approaches which may be of use in meeting project objectives.