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High Construction Costs Don’t Have to Stop Progress on Your Next Project!

Navigating the construction and real estate markets over the past few years has not been easy. The increased demand for materials and supply chain interruptions mean that the uncertainty around the construction industry is sure to continue. In fact, as labor and material costs continue to rise, CBRE’s Construction Cost Index predicts a 14.1% year-over-year increase in construction costs by the end of 2022.

There is hope on the horizon, though, with predictions of high inflation costs of materials cooling at the end of 2022 and starting to return to normal levels by mid-2023. Supply chain interruptions are also predicted to lighten. While construction costs may be high, that doesn’t mean you can’t move forward with your construction plans. The current moment presents an excellent opportunity to advance progress on your plans while waiting for costs to cool down.

Why is Now a Great Time for Architectural Planning?

Instead of waiting for prices to stabilize before beginning your project, now is the perfect time to start working on architectural planning. Depending on the size of your build, architectural planning can take months or even years to complete and finalize. This part of the process involves several stages of strategy and planning. Here are 3 reasons why now is the perfect time to complete this phase of the process:

1.) You’ll have more time to develop a relationship with your architect

Establishing a good relationship with your architect is one of the most essential elements of planning a successful project. Your architect can get a better feel for your goals and preferences for the design phase.

2.) You won’t be rushed

Rushing to make a decision before a deadline is something that no one really wants to do. Any hurried decisions might lead to poor planning or regrets later on in the project.

3.) You’ll have time to plan for cost adjustments and come up with alternatives

As you move forward with plans, you’ll have time to watch the market and cost of certain construction materials and make changes according to your budget. Instead of being rushed to meet a deadline, you can weigh all your pros and cons against what’s currently available on the market.

The Stages of Architectural Planning

In addition to the pre-design phase, five total architectural design phases are needed to complete a successful project. In the pre-design phase, your architect aims to learn as much as possible about your projects, such as your specific needs and the intended function of the space. We determine how much space is currently required and what will be needed in the future. The pre-design phase includes land surveys, zoning, and architecture site plan analysis.

Phase 1: Schematic Design

The first stage of design is known as schematic design. In this stage, architects develop the size and shape of the building. Think of schematic design as a rough draft of how the building will look and operate. It includes many sketches, meetings with clients, and basic architectural design.

Phase 2: Design Development

In this phase, the owner and architect work together to choose materials, including exterior products and finishes. Drawings in this phase will include more details such as dimensions and any necessary notes for the builder. Engineering on plumbing, electrical, energy analysis, and ventilation systems will begin during the design development phase. The exterior will be fully designed with the interior floor plans completed. If you already have a general contractor selected for the project, they can provide a rough cost estimate once these early design stages are complete. This early estimate can help you finalize project development within budget.

Phase 3: Construction Documents

During the construction documents phase, all designs are finalized, such as technical design and engineering. Construction documents are compiled that include the dimensions, details, and notes required to communicate the design to the contractor. Specific details are included, such as specifications on fixtures, materials, equipment, and any appliances.

Phase 4: Bidding

At this stage, the owner begins to select a contractor for the job (if one is not already chosen) and sign contracts to start the construction process. It’s normal to submit bids to multiple contractors to receive competitive offers, and the architect will often assist the client with this process.

Phase 5: Construction Administration

Even though much of the architect’s work is completed before the building begins, it’s still important for the architect to be involved in the construction process. Architects will often visit the job site regularly to answer any of the builder’s questions and address any potential construction issues. Some architects, such as Think Architecture, also offer construction management services that provide clients with comprehensive support from design through construction completion.

Top Factors to Consider During Architectural Planning

While having extra time during the architectural planning phase can be a big benefit, there are some potential drawbacks to consider during the planning process. It’s important to be aware of these in case they affect your own project.

1.) Potential project revisions

As the architectural planning phase continues, so does the potential for potential project revisions. While it might not be inconvenient for everyone, revisions could mean delays and additional costs to the project.

2.) Changing construction requirements or municipal regulations

As time goes on, municipalities might pass additional laws or change code requirements that could affect your project, requiring additional revisions to plans and increasing construction prices.

Make Progress on Your Next Project with Think Architecture

Don’t stall on your next project because construction prices are higher than normal. Instead, start working with an architecture firm today to get your plans in place so you’re ready to start construction when the time is right.

With a combined experience of more than 90 years in the industry, Think Architecture has expertise in land planning, architecture, and land design. We are full-service architects who have established a progressive workplace for creative design and innovative thinking. In addition to our architecture services, we offer interior design, land use planning, and construction management. Many of our architects are members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which means they are dedicated to providing quality design, improving our environment, and safeguarding the public. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.