Canadian Contractor


The benefits of moving to a design/build model

Canadian Contractor

"I make clients aware that a design to quote from, comes with a cost."

In our ongoing series of articles on Design/Build business models, John Bleasby is interviewing various contractors who have decided to forego just being a builder of other designers’/architects’ ideas.

James Poort, design/build contractor in Waterdown, ON, had this to say about John’s interview with Paul Lafrance, who charges for designs:

I completely agree with this. There is a huge difference between concepts/designs and quoting. When potential clients ask if I provide free quotes, my response is yes. But I immediately make them aware that they need to have something to quote from, and explain that the design required to quote from comes with a cost. I find this a great way to differentiate the tire kickers from those who are serious about getting a project done.

I’m glad to see Canadian Contractor focus on design build firms. In my experience, a design build firm provides a huge benefit to the client because one firm is involved from concept to completion. This reduces the amount of “communication translation error” – meaning a discussion with the designer can include the constructor, at the same meeting. This helps everyone involved see the intent of the overall project, right from the outset.

Having the designer and constructor work side by side also helps eliminate issues throughout the project. A designer may want to achieve a certain effect that may not be possible due to structural issues (more so in renovations than new builds) and solutions are a lot easier to achieve in the planning stage than after a month or two of construction


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