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How to Avoid Losing Money and Time in the Home Design Phase

Apr 18, 2018

To understand how Your Building Planner creates win–win solutions for everyone involved in the construction of your project, we need to show how the current design phase actually creates lose–lose outcomes.

The Current, Outdated Home Design Process 

Engaging a designer or architect to bring your dream concept to life, is often the first step. However, even from this early stage, there are flaws in the current system that can jeopardise the success of your build.

Part of our research has involved surveying customers and listening to what their perception of the designer's role is. Not surprisingly, most thought designers simply drew up the plans, with the builder being the most important part of the process. This perception is only partly correct.

While designers are responsible for drawing up the plans, they should also be responsible for drawing those plans within the customers budget, something that rarely occurs, because there is no way to keep track of costs during the sketch phase and even into the final working drawings. It then becomes the builder's responsibility to explain to their customers, often far too late, that their completed drawings (created at a considerable cost) cannot be built within the customers budget.

While designers are responsible for drawing up the plans, they should also be responsible for drawing those plans within the customers budget, something that rarely occurs.

Further research and consultation with designers have uncovered several additional problems. If the design process begins without a clear understanding of the costs related to fixtures and fittings, it inevitably creates stress for all parties involved.

With the vast array of fixtures and fittings available in today’s market, items such as custom windows and doors, have the potential to blow out an entire budget. The customer is then left to believe that it was the designer who had not allowed for these inclusions. To further complicate the process, the designer is then required to redesign the plans, still not having a clear vision of what the budget allows for.

The Four Key Areas that Need to be Addressed Before Engaging a Architect

  1. The wish list and budget
  2. All parties having a clear understanding of what the budget can achieve, before committing to the cost of the design
  3. Budget adherence – ensuring the project adheres to the budget from concept to completion
  4. Having the ability to choose your fixtures and fittings at wholesale prices

All four of these key areas are incorporated into the Your Building Planner software program.

By keeping all of the relevant information transparent and in one place, the likelihood of a design that comes in line with the budget is high. When the building concept is realistic to both the customer and the designer from the very beginning, the foundation is set for a smooth building process. The builder is then able to carry out their tasks, without needing to revisit the design phase, thus reducing stress and further costs. 

When the building concept is realistic to both the customer and the designer from the very beginning, the foundation is set for a smooth building process.

Educated Guesses are Not Good Enough

Another major flaw in the current process is the manner in which designers or architects set budgets. The most common approach is to use a ‘square meter’ rate. This method is an educated guess at best.

Costly Checks and Balances

Given that everyone’s design is unique, pricing can never be totally accurate. Other options include the use of an external estimator – which obviously comes at an additional cost, or obtaining a preliminary price from an aligned builder.

Not only does the client have to pay out significant design costs to have the drawings completed before getting the estimate, but traditional estimators use average costs that don’t include the level of detail required to properly ascertain the costs of the fixtures and fittings clients want.

Service, Savings & Security From the Beginning

To allow both the customer and the designer to achieve a design that fits within the budget in the early stages of the project, there needs to be a change in the current model. Your Building Planner can provide a system to ensure a clear understanding of what the customers budget and wish list entail, before committing to the design contract.

Customers will have an understanding of the all-important fixtures and fittings the budget can accommodate, by accessing the online shopping list program. And finally, through the core YBP software , independed networked designers can help everyone involved move towards a common goal.

Check out the Your Building Planner’s ‘Project Flow’ that shows the easy step by step process that keeps you on budget from your project concept to completion.

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