Overseeing construction

Cottage plans in hand? Here's what happens next



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The decisions don’t stop at selecting layouts or picking finishes. When an architect or designer is involved, the owner also chooses how the cottage is built. Most often, the architect tenders the project to a few general contractors or builders, and then reviews the quotes with the client and provides guidance in awarding the contract. During construction, the client deals with the contractor directly; the architect only makes site visits as requested.

Another option is to hire a construction or project manager early on, especially if you don’t have time to oversee the construction. Working with the client and architect, the project manager gives advice on building methods, systems, and costs throughout the design phase and during construction. He or she tenders the different jobs to contractors and sometimes to subtrades on the owner’s behalf, supervises the site, and liaises with the client and trades.

The least common scenario is to have the architect also act as the construction manager. In that case, since the firm fulfills two functions — designer and project manager — the owner only deals with one person. Occasionally, clients know exactly who they want as a builder, and choose to buy only design services from the architect.

This article was originally published on April 8, 2008

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