Contributed By, Sea-Dar Construction
Sea-Dar is a full service construction management and general contracting firm. Since our founding in 1991 our specialty has been custom residential construction and the adaptive reuse and renovation of existing buildings. Our breadth of experience includes custom homes, condominiums and multifamily buildings in both the city and the suburbs. Our experience in these areas has exposed us to all elements and potential hazards of construction. Sea-Dar has offices in Boston and on Cape Cod. You can reach Sea-Dar at 617-423-0870
Many times residential new construction and renovation projects are started without the full team in place. What do we mean by a full team? The obvious team members are the owner and architect, however there are many other important team members that are often times missed, including the builder, designer, specialty consultants, attorneys and even your insurance agent.
Commonly construction projects use the design-bid-build delivery method. This method usually relies only on input from the homeowner, the architect and possibly consultants to complete the documents prior to inviting the builders to provide cost input. Unfortunately, by not involving the entire team there is a real risk that the builders pricing can exceed the owner’s budget expectations. Suddenly the owner is faced with the reality of choosing to either increase their budget or delay the start of construction until the scope and budget are aligned. Often times this leaves the owner and the design team deflated after all the hard work they have spent up to this point.
We find a more effective and positive approach is to engage the entire team early in the process. This allows alignment of the design, budget and schedule much earlier. Most of the projects that Sea-Dar Construction performs begin well before construction starts. This early involvement allows us to evaluate the total project schedule, including the design phase and construction phase schedule and how it aligns with the owner’s occupancy goals. Along with the project schedule, we provide a comprehensive budget that the design team can use as a roadmap to understand the cost associated with their design effort. Finally early involvement provides us the necessary time to investigate the existing conditions, research town requirements, identify constructability issues, prepare a site logistics plan, provide value options, and start the permitting process, many of which have both cost and schedule impact.
The advantage to a comprehensive understanding of the project developed at a very early stage allows time to make the “what if” decisions early where the impact to schedule and budget are minimal. A second, and potentially more important, advantage is the ability to proceed on the project construction while the final details are still being worked out allowing a strict completion deadline while still allowing decision flexibility. Finally, using this approach, you get the entire team functioning as a unit, aligned with common goals very early in the process, making sure that the final product is what you want, when you want it, and within the owner’s budget.