Written by James Hetfield
Cornwall Builders 0800 852 7944
A few years ago, a close friend approached me seeking advice. He was complaining that the builder and architect he had hired never seemed to get along. In fact, he confessed that most of the meetings they heard were more destructive rather than constructive. And the project which was slated to be completed in one month was only half-done. This scenario is familiar with several people and many still ask why the two professionals can’t iron out their differences.
Well, the truth is that builders and architects can work together. Yes many builders complain that architects are too imaginative and lack practicability. In many instances, they will base their work on new concepts that haven’t been tried before and rely on theory. On the other hand, architects argue that most builders are too rigid, lack creativity and are stick to aging practices. And due to this they will spoil good piece simply because they are applying the wrong or obsolete technique on a new concept.
1. Find Trustworthy Partners
Ask an architect or builder why he/she doesn’t trust the other and many will say it’s because he doesn’t know the other party well. Like any other trade, building and construction is about delegation and believing the other party will deliver as agreed. The builders want to work with an architect whose drawings and sketches are easy you understand and practical. The architect desires a builder who doesn’t overlook details and will stick to the grand plan. The best way to achieve this is identifying a trustworthy and competent partner.
2. Bring Builders On-board Earliest Possible
Sometime back, I myself had issues with an architect. The reason being that I was expected to carryout some changes that had been authorised without my involvement. This meant that a section of a wall had to be demolished. Of course the client wasn’t happy with the delay and additional cost. All this issues were as a result on not being brought on board early enough and having to play catch-up. Although architects usually come in the picture first, it’s always recommended to involve builders in the initial stages.
3. Follow a Clear Guideline
Both the architect and builder want to standout in their field and will work extra hard to achieve this. However, at times this ambition becomes impossible simply because there is no clear-cut guideline. What is the role of the architect in this project? When does the builder come in? What happens when there is some conflict? These questions come handy in drafting a work agreement that stipulates what each party needs to do. In our firm, Cornwall Builders, we work with many architects some of whom have been appointed by the client. But to have a clear understanding of everyone’s role, we first sit-down and agree on everything however basic it may appear.
4. Respect each Other’s Profession
The misunderstanding or war between builders and architects is also blamed on superiority. The architect may feel that the sketches and drawings are the reason why the building stands out while the builder argues that without the stone, brick, and mortar, the magnificent building would just be a dream or imagination. Whether a builder, architect, or interior design, you need to respect the other person’s professional and point of view even when you don’t really understand this. And if you feel a bit undermined or disrespected, you are better-off working with another person who values your work and respects you.
5. Have an Open Mind
Architects, builders just like other professionals aren’t created same. You may have worked with a very difficult person earlier but this doesn’t mean the next one will be the same. Also, just because the previous party was very cooperative doesn’t mean all architects or builders will be. It’s therefore essential to have an open mind when undertaking any work. This allows you to first understand the job, the person and see how best your strengths and weaknesses can be put into good use.
The common notion is that builders and architects don’t get along. One party thinks the other is unimaginative, lacks creativity, and prefers sticking to old practices. The other side argues that the other professional is unrealistic, a bit of a snob and believes he is superior. This may have been the case sometime back but things are now changing. For instance, at Cornwall Builders, we have for many years worked well with different architects. In fact, most of our projects involve both parties. And to achieve this, we follow the above pointers so as to ensure there is minimal friction, no party undermines the other, and work as equal parties. At the end of the day, you get exactly what you want within the stipulated time. If you have any construction project in mind, you can always talk to use.