Construction Administration value continues the Value of an Architect series, begun several years ago. This article explains how an Architect is worth his or her weight in gold during the Construction phase of your house.
With projects now under construction, all HOME ARCHITECTS® really needs to do is recount events that happen every day to make the general public aware of why you really want a licensed profession Architect in your corner. Let’s examine a few real-world incidents that have happened recently.
When your project is bid higher than you would like to pay to have it constructed, your Architect can negotiate with your preferred Contractor, like no one else (including you) can. Why: because to any Builder, the Architect represents the potential of millions of dollars of repeat business. If the Builder works well with the Architect, treating you fairly, then the chances are rather high that the Architect might bring other Clients of his or her back to that Builder.
However, if you are an Owner, looking at having just one residence built, the chances are slim that you will want another house built anytime soon. Also: your Architect knows the design, details and specifications of the project like no one else. They are well-equipped to knowledgeably negotiate with the Contractor to make suggestions to reduce the possible construction cost, and to react to suggestions made by the Builder, as to whether such ideas are in the best interests of the owner.
CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION (CA)
An Architect can help manage your construction for you. Is this free or included with typical Basic Services? No. CA can potentially involve a great deal of time and effort,
depending on the services you and your Architect agree upon during the construction of your project. An Architect often goes with an hourly rate for their services, as the fairest method of assisting you during this important work. Here’s a few real examples of how you Architect helps you during construction:
1. Contractor wants a Change Order because some condition is other than was understood at the bidding. This is actually permissible, however, your Architect can monitor and check the receipts and charges associated with a Change Order and see that they are fair and reasonable. The Builder, knowing that the Architect is monitoring this process will more than likely treat you fairly.
2. Contractors don’t typically provide Shop Drawings to Owners. Why: because you don’t know to ask for them. Your Architect does. Why are Shop Drawings and other Submittals important? They describe what you’re getting for your money. Without these, there can be liberties taken without your knowing about it, until there is a problem, possibly years in the future. Architects that provide the drawings and specifications for your project will know if anyone is trying to cut corners as your expense, and correct that situation. For instance, recently HOME ARCHITECTS® noticed that the window supplier on a project of their under construction had a lower quality energy rating than was specified. This could have cost the owner in higher energy bills every month for the rest of his life. However, the Architect detected this unauthorized change and coordinated with the Builder to correct this deficiency. Possible savings to Owner: $50,000+ in lower energy bills during the next several decades.
3. The concrete mix design sent to the Architect and Structural Engineer indicated the wrong slump and also the wrong amount of retained air. While such things may sound boring, too much air in concrete results in delamination of the surface of the concrete during mechanical finishing. This deficiency was detected and corrected, resulting in stronger concrete that finished properly. Possible savings to Owner: $20,000 in repairs not being necessary.
4. Garage doors did not have the required specified wind rating specified by Architect. Architect detected deficiency and was able to obtain a resubmittal with the proper rating and reinforcement.
Possible savings to Owner: cost of the entire house: why: garage doors that fail in a high wind storm can result in winds blowing out the garage doors, then delivering what amounts to an “upper-cut” to the garage ceiling, resulting in the roof being torn off, which means the majority of the adjacent house is also destroyed.
5. Roof truss shop drawings indicated a higher than specified deflection (amount of vertical sag) in the trusses, which would have transferred a horizontal thrust to the side bearing walls, pushing the walls out of plumb. Architect detected this and coordinated with the truss engineers to result in additional members being put into the trusses to result in a fraction of the previously calculated deflection.
Possible savings to Owner: $15,000 in repairs to side bearing walls to fix walls not being vertical.
6. Window shop drawings missing several windows. This would have resulted in certain rooms not having the windows designed, or long delays while the house stood exposed. Architect detected the problem and had the window supplier add the missing windows.
Possible savings to Owner: $12,000 in missing windows and unknown loss of time.
Bottom line: Having your Architect provide CA services can and will result in saving you money and insuring that your house gets built the way you had him or he design it to be.