“It’s unwise to pay too much…
But it’s worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much, you lose a little money… that is all.
When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot… it can’t be done.
If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run.
And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”
- JOHN RUSKIN
1819-1900 – Famous English Writer
The Design/Builder participates in the conception of the project. He has preliminary designs, working drawings and specifications prepared, then builds the home – all under a “single-source” responsibility contract.
As the Design/Builder learns about the owner’s expectations and requirements with regard to size, function, quality, timing and cost, he develops a building program that includes a Guaranteed Maximum cost. All these expectations and requirements are interrelated. Function affects quality, for example. A cost decision involving choice of materials can affect the completion date. An integral feature of the design-build method is that all of these important factors are continually balanced during the development of the program, preparation of the working plans and specs and even during the actual construction. Value/Cost/Time studies are run constantly during the planning stage, thus developing a practical solution consistent with project goals for function, quality, time and costs. In the conceptual and development phase, the Design/Builder conducts feasibility studies.
During the initial design consultation it is essential there be good communication and understanding, for these preliminary plans and definitions set the tone for the working drawings and establish the scope of work that is the basis for the Guaranteed Maximum costs. Owners must insist on as much detail as they require to feel that their wishes and needs are satisfied. By setting these parameters, the owner’s expectations are understood and easier to achieve by the Design/Builder.