We at Gruen Eco Design are big believers on getting a builder on board early on.
Whereas the ‘normal’ process usually is quite different. After a concept design has been done and the client is happy with the look and feel of the house plans, construction drawings are started. Tender documents get prepared and all documents and plans get send off to a few builders for quoting.
Although it makes sense to get a few different quotes to compare the cost. I personally think it can save you much more money and headaches to get a builder involved early on.
Why? Lots of reasons.
We work closely together with a bunch of really great builders. That not only build beautiful homes, but also are very knowledgeable when it comes to sustainable and energy efficient construction.
Once the concept has been finished and clients are happy with the design we do approach our builders for some initial advice. We tell them about the project. What the clients do want to achieve and when the project would most likely to be build and ask them if they would be interested. And most importantly: we ask them if they can give us a rough construction estimate.
We believe it is really important to find out if what we have designed is within the client’s budget before proceeding any further. If all is well, we can continue with town planning or construction drawings. Worst case scenario, if the estimate comes in too high we can discuss with the builder ways to get the build back into budget.
Ideally during this process, you should meet and talk with the interested builder. To see if you like each other and if you are a match. It is invaluable to have a builder that you really trust!
While preparing construction drawings it is also very valuable to have a builder on board already. We can discuss preferred materials and constructions techniques. We can finetune certain details in order to make them more cost effective and so on. Whereas if you would be doing a tender process, you could lose weeks going through the different quotes and trying to compare them. And then, once a builder has been appointed we would be going through the plans. And the builder would most likely have quite a few recommendations or ideas to change some aspects of the design or to adjust some materials. Which will delay the process a bit more.
As a general thing. I would never ever recommend just to look at local builders and get some quotes. ONLY get quotes from builders that have been recommended to you.
Although by doing a tender you might end up saving a few thousand dollars. In the end you might not save that much, but the process will be much more tiring. Also, you will have to engage someone then that you haven’t really met before and might not trust yet. Whereas if you meet and talk with a builder early on, by the time construction starts you hopefully know each other already, and you know that you are in good hands J
If you want to know more about our approach or if you would like some details of the builders we work with please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.