Contractor Selection

Design Bid Build General Contractors

On a number of projects, we''ve been asked to recommend a general contractor for a particular scope of work and we have. Our goal is to find our clients a general contractor with: pertinent experience, a reputation for integrity, a company who enjoys their work, and a company that specializes in custom home building and renovations, not design-build. We'll help you look for a general contractor that you connect with personally, you like, and who you can imagine working with for the duration of your project. It's a key decision for you and one that should not be taken lightly.

Why not Design-Build?

At AKJ Architects, our goal is to get you the best design and the best building by contractors that focus strictly on building and contracting. Design has become more complex given the options available with regard to energy conservation, permitting in Seattle and Bellevue, technology, windows, doors, lighting, and finishes - so we've focused our attention on the Design aspect of the project. With regard to your home, contractors are building and assembling with new products, coordinating their subcontractors, installing new technologies, and working to meet some of the most stringent energy codes in the country. That's why we believe the Design Bid Build model is the best value for our clients, especially given the ongoing complexity in any custom project.

Another reason we advocate for not working with a design-build contractor and favor the Design-Bid-Build General Contractors, is that we do not recommend putting all your eggs in one basket. Problems can arise during and after any job, and you won't have anyone to advocate as your agent. It's strategic to have a balanced team with three separate entities: the Owner, the General Contractor, and the Architect/Design professional. When a problem or issue arises, your contractor and architect should act fairly and responsibly in working on your behalf to resolve issues that come up.

Some general considerations to consider when selecting a General Contractor (GC) include:

  • Get References, Read On-Line Reviews & If Possible - Visit a Project.
  • Read the Contract Including the Small Print - Ask questions and Understand the Content
  • Select an Organized Contractor who Provides a Detailed Budget and Construction Schedule
  • Select a Problem Solver with the Analytical Skills to Plan a Project, Handle Issues & Solve Problems
  • Select a Contractor with the Financial Skills needed to Maintain a Budget That Can Change
  • Select a Contractor with the Communication Skills Needed to Manage a Diverse Team Effectively
  • Contact References
  • Hire a Contractor who Enjoys Residential Construction Work
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