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How do we save our clients 15% with NO change orders?
We have personally asked hundreds of people what irritates them most about construction. The answer that we get back almost 100% of the time is change orders. Everyone seems to have a story about experiencing unnecessary change orders if they have been involved in a construction project.
Why do construction companies make their customers suffer with numerous change orders in the course of a project? In most cases, it is a lack of communication and teamwork between the architect and the general contractor. It also can be a HUGE profit stream for the general contractor.
Many companies will bid a job at cost knowing that they will make their profit in the mistakes made by the architect. There is no such thing as a perfect set of plans. Most contractors will view the architectural plans marking (with a big red pen) which change orders they can capitalize on AFTER the job starts. This way they can mark up their profit at least 20% and sometimes more. Who ultimately pays? The customer.
How can customers protect themselves? The simple answer is through what we have coined as Benchmark Design/Build. Architects, engineers, and customers have told us that we have a unique and effective way of doing design/build construction that is different from any of our competitors.
Benchmark Design/Build is based on a holistic approach of teamwork and creative building solutions. We take 100% responsibility for the creative building team that is chosen. The team consists of the customer, architect, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, civil engineer, electrical engineer, and most importantly, the creative solutions driver: the general contractor.
We have learned that most of our "design/build" competitors will hire the architect. The architect hires his own engineers and then the contractor goes into hiding until the plans are done. This is like racing a car with no driver. They then will have the audacity to find problems in the plans and pass the change orders onto their clients! This is done because they were never part of the team that put the plans together. This lazy approach requires no creativity or thinking on the part of the general contractor. Most general contractors are very systematic in their approach. They look at plans, methodically figure out their costs, and place their bid. They leave the most important aspect of design/build out: creatively designing the best building for the client for the lowest possible cost.
Because the contractor was not part of the team, the client (who was not part of the team either) does not realize what was missed. They do not realize the savings that could have been discovered with the watchful eye of their contractor. The contractor should be there every step of the way to fill in the holes that the other team members miss. The things that only a contractor with "in-the field" construction knowledge can see. The contractor should also be there to discover ways to save the client money through efficiency and creativity as the team works through the multiple disciplines of putting the building project together.
We believe that we can save a client at least 15% because of our ability to bring creative solutions and efficiencies to the table during the design phase of the project. We have saved some clients as much as 30%. Since we specialize in design/build construction, we have more experience in this arena than any contractor in the Treasure Valley. As a company (established in 1948), we have done hundreds of projects using the Benchmark Design/Build method with no change orders and at least 15% savings.
If you are interested in real life examples of how this has been done, give us a call at (208) 466-9400.