That’s right: spending more on your house design and less on your materials can save you a lot of money. Design fees are minimal, when compared with construction costs.
Save Money with Good Residential Design
How is this possible? Well, first let’s start with the idea: spend more for a good (or a great) design from an actual, real architect to design your house. And work with him or her to use less expensive, but durable materials. There is nothing wrong with using less expensive building materials, as long as they have a good appearance and last a good long while. Why not?
Do you really need to have a heart pine floor? At $11 to $14/square foot, for a 3,500 sf home, that can be a $49,000 decision. There are other options for far less money and your architect can help you assess these. Rand Soellner Architect, specializes in working with clients to optimize their expenditures to give them what they want (like all-wood floors) for a lot less investment. And who doesn’t like to save money?
Some times you have to spend money to save money. Like when you have a 2 for one special. With architects, here’s the deal: you are paying for creativity, logic, experience, knowledge, artistic ability and brain power. Putting that wonderfully trained mind to work for you costs money, but, the results of that effort should result in your obtaining your objectives for a lot less construction cost, because the material and system choices the architect help you make.
Does your contractor really care if you spend LESS on your construction materials? Well, actually he makes a percentage on the cost, so he actually has a business incentive to enjoy higher construction costs. Whether he actually promotes that or not is up to his or her conscience and your ability to question what is going on during the construction process.
Your architect, at least Rand Soellner Architect, has no incentive for your home to cost more, as he typically works with you on an hourly basis. Whether your ceilings or floors or appliances cost more or less has nothing to do with his fee. The only objective Soellner has is you make you happy by trying to help you accomplish your objectives.
It can take longer for your architect to carefully figure out how to accomplish more with less, like squeezing those extra square feet (or square inches) out of a pantry so that you can store cans over there, and cereal boxes and dishes over there. Or figuring out how to create an appealing exterior wall elevation using inexpensive but durable siding that will last for decades (Soellner does this for all his clients that want that). Or designing a simpler roof, with fewer joints = less leaks or no leaks. Or simplifying your exterior wall enclosure so that you can enjoy more space inside the walls, for the same cost that a more complicated enclosure would cost you. Once again, all things that Soellner does for his clients everyday.
Your architect can also have a few owner optional bid items (only a few: too many and the bidders won’t be interested). These help you obtain prices from the bidding general contractors for things that you may regard as a luxury or “high-end” that are not essential to the main project, but would be nice if you decide you want to pay for them. This analysis requires you to engage your architect to provide bidding services. This also requires cooperative, reasonable general contractors that are actually interested in bidding the project and in working with architects. If the contractor provides design services, he may not be as interested in cooperating with real architects, as he may interpret this as something he would have preferred to have accomplished, even though he is less qualified to do so than an architect. Sort of like an architect wanting to actually build your architect. Architects design. Builders build. They and you need them both. It is necessary for everyone to respect each other’s roles in the process and in the main objective: to make you happy and help you accomplish your goals. In some small, outlying areas, it may be necessary for your architect to also see if some larger firms from more metropolitan areas can also participate in the bidding, along with local companies.
Okay, how about some more ways your architect can use less expensive materials and systems to help you obtain a lower construction cost. Yes, you have to pay your architect, but his only agenda is to help you. He is on your side. There are alternate sizes, thicknesses and species to wood ceilings. A knowledgeable house architect like Rand Soellner, AIA, knows the differences and can help you save thousands right there. And how about porch and deck materials? You can spend a lot with exotic woods like Ipe, but there are much less costly options and if you choose to stain it, the differences begin to dwindle. And the maintenance on the Ipe is much higher, if you want it to continue looking like oiled wood furniture. Soellner loves the high-end materials as well; it is just that not many clients these days actively are seeking them.
And soffits? Once again, Soellner knows about integrally colored materials that automatically vent, vastly reducing the time and labor and material expense of this special area. For instance: No painting, no special labor for venting (because Soellner chose a material that has that built in for less), and ease of installation faster, lighter and more durable than typical methods.
How about insulation? Every provider of every type of insulation wants to sell you a big old dumptruck load of their stuff. Of course; that is what they are paid to do. Some builders actually can have arrangements or relatives in the business that mean they might tend to actively promote those materials. Your architect has only the desire to provide you with wise council and good value. Soellner has methods of using the least expensive insulation the most, and using the most expensive insulation the least. It is a unique hybrid combination that give you the best performance of each for significantly less than if you selected the most expensive insulation and coated your entire house with it. Sound value-engineering judgement is part of an architect’s job and that is what Rand Soellner does in this regard. Click here for the Contact Us form: Contact Us , or Call now and start saving on your project: 1-828-269-9046.