Collaboration is how many things get done, including custom home construction projects. Your custom home building team will work more effectively and efficiently when collaboration is kept front and center. So, why is it that collaboration is so important and how is that accomplished?
Why Is Collaboration in a Design and Construction Project Important?
At any given time, there could be several professionals working on a project. This could be through design, permitting, pricing, purchasing, scheduling, excavating, building, and more. There are so many moving parts when it comes to building or remodeling a home, that collaborative construction is the only way a project will succeed.
Successful collaboration doesn’t only mean that a project will get finished, but also on time and within the budget. Collaboration also creates trust and accountability which leads to better problem solving and fewer mistakes. Through consistent collaboration, each member of the design and construction teams can learn more quickly who is responsible for what task and when.
Collaboration across everyone on the team means that if there is a hiccup that hinders the project, each person knows their role in getting the project past it and back on track. This, of course, saves time and money.
When Does Collaboration Happen in Construction Projects?
In short, from the very beginning. Even if the entire team hasn’t been assembled, collaboration begins right away. For custom home building projects, the team may only consist of the designer, the contractor, and the homeowner. The contractor will have their own teams or contracted workers. Having the contractor part of the process from the very start of the design phase sets the tone for communication and coordination, which will be very important once scheduling gets more complex.
The designer or architect and the contractor each bring expertise and knowledge to the table. Having both of these professionals involved from the beginning will benefit the project immensely. Innovative problem solving happens when professionals from different backgrounds contribute to the effort. When contractors are brought into the design phase, rather than waiting until the designs are complete, they can offer valuable insight into materials available, bring attention to possible oversights, or offer workable solutions.
How Does Collaboration Happen?
The main vehicle for collaboration is communication. As more team members are brought into the conversation, communication will get more complex. However, the added effort to have everyone involved in moving the project forward will prove to be very valuable.
There are methods and tricks for simplifying communication as much as possible. Having a plan and tools in place, rather than long and disorganized email threads, will help to avoid confusion and miscommunication. Even when communication is ongoing, if it is haphazard and messy, there will likely be misunderstandings.
Using the right tools is the first step in ensuring effective communication. Just as you wouldn’t use a hammer to build an entire house, some communication platforms may not be suitable for the task. Could you build a house with just a hammer? Maybe. But is it the most efficient option? No.
You could think of email in the same way. It’s a great tool for many things, however, there are better options that exist today for more effective communication. Project management software is a great tool for communicating schedules, design changes, project challenges, and more. Everyone involved will be able to see changes in real-time and can work off of the latest iteration of a design rather than waiting to be sent files via email.
Real-time access to everything concerning the project also allows for effective checks and balances. If the contractor notices an error in a construction drawing, getting the error corrected as quickly as possible could save time and money. Homeowners who want to be kept in the know more often will have the information at their fingertips, rather than calling or emailing the designer or contractor.
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way
Collaboration and open communication, especially when cloud-based management software is used, is the best facilitator for moving a project forward. In the end, collaboration during design and construction happens if all the parties involved want it to happen. If there’s one branch of the team not cooperating or contributing to communication channels, then there will undoubtedly be miscommunications and mistakes which can lead to going over budget.
One way to ensure collaboration buy-in by all parties is by hiring professionals that have already worked together on past projects. The familiarity with one another is already there and the lines of communication may already be in place. Of course, the best option will be to hire a custom home builder that has both the designer and contractor already working under one roof, like a design-build firm.
What are the Benefits of Collaboration
Besides the benefit of having a project come in on time and within budget, collaboration can affect the tone of a project. The custom home building process has the potential to be a stressful one for everyone involved. Having avenues for collaboration in place offers a big reduction in stress and complications.
Successful collaboration also builds stronger professional relationships. During construction projects, there may be very different opinions about how to solve challenges, which materials are best for the job, and an endless number of other decisions that could stall the project. When a professional relationship is built off of effective collaboration, a custom home project will continue to move forward, even when opposing opinions are involved.
Collaboration and the Design-Build Option
When you’re researching your options for hiring the best team for your custom home project, there are questions you can ask to ensure the professionals you’re hiring will be part of a collaborative construction process. A design-build firm has a designer and a contractor under one roof, making collaboration already a part of the process.
Robinson Renovation & Custom Homes is a design-build firm with decades of experience collaborating and delivering excellent homes that are within budget and on time. Contact Robinson Renovation & Custom Homes to discuss your home renovation and custom build dreams today.