7 common mistakes in home building

October 27, 2017

1. "Free" Floor plans
There are some contractors out there who will offer free floor plans if you hire them as the general contractor of your home. I hope you understand  that  there s  no  such thing as a free lunch. Odds are they will recover the cost of the plans by just hiding it within the cost of building your house. 

Likewise  it is  very  likely that you will not be getting expert planning. I ve heard of  stories of contractors  recycling old  or using template projects plans. Plans which will unlikely be a perfect  match for your lot in terms of its location,  orientation  and  context,  because they were  designed  for someone else and not specifically for you, your needs, your lifestyle and your taste.


Planning  and  design  which is relegated as a sideshow will unlikely get  the  attention  it  needs  to  produce  quality design that every client deserves



2. "Pa Pirma" system
There s a terrible system happening in the practice today, it s the pa pirma system.  This  is  where  people  get  a draftsman to draw up a floor plan and then   approach   some licensed  professional  to  sign  the  floor plans  for  a fraction of  the  normal cost. In this system the client is short changed as they are  not  getting  expert  service.  The  people who signs for the plans will only check  for  regulatory requirements such as setbacks, height limits etc. just to ensure  that  their licence won t be compromised. However they won t really care  about  anything  else.   Space  planning & design would be the least of their  worries  as  they  they would  be  only paid a couple of thousand pesos to  provide the  signature  to  meet  the  minimum regulatory requirements of a professional signature. 

Likewise, the client  will  not get  professional supervision during construction. An architect is supposed to be the clients representative to  ensure that the builder follows the approved plans accurately and ensure  that your house is safe and correct according to the agreed and approved plans. In the end, the purpose of the pa pirma system is to circumvent the fees of the licenced professional, however, not  getting  the complete  service  of an experienced and qualified professional  can cost you in the end when you get a home that doesn t turn up to be what you need and what you want. 

3. Changes after the finalized plans
It's fairly common that even during construction; clients change their mind and ask for changes to the plans. However this practice can be very costly for several reasons:
a. Changes may affect structural design and may require additional support. b. There may have been preparations made that would be wasted because of the new change. c. Construction costs for changes are usually charged higher as the contractors are no longer pricing      to get the job. d. Additional lead time may be required for the new materials needed. 
In the end, a change from the finalized plan can have both time and cost implications so it would be best  to  make  sure  that  all  options  have  been  studied  during  the conceptual stage and you are happy with the finalized plan.  


4. Not signing off on all materials
A common sour point during construction are miscommunication in  materials  &  finishes  installed.  It is  crucial  that  all  finishes are approved  and  signed  off by the client as any material that falls below   expectation  can  start   mistrust.   Usually   builders  would present for approval the major items like tiles and paint color.

However, when one is not thorough, small items like door handles, tile  grout  color  can  spark  the  misunderstanding. So it would be best that everything is approved to ensure client satisfaction.


5. Cutting corners 
Sometimes  in  the  effort to meet tight budget, clients opt to use inferior materials to finish the project. This may save us money in the beginning but it usually comes back to bite us later.


6. "Maganda pero mura" (Beautiful but inexpensive)
Im not saying that "Maganda pero mura" is a bad goal or is an impossible goal, what im saying is that usually there seems to be disconnect with what we want and what we are willing to pay for.

In  the  planning  of  our  budget,  we  usually  rely  on  some rule of thumb figure that shows a general per-square meter construction cost.  However  during the course of planning and construction, it s not uncommon  for  clients  to  want things of the highest quality. Upgrades in finishes, fixtures  etc  is nice, however  these  things  come  with  costs and they have to align  with our  budget. It would be best if we would have a detailed budget so we can set limitations to our changes. 
7. Doing it yourself
Hiring  a  bunch  of  carpenters  and  managing  the  project  yourself sounds like a good idea to save money,  but  in  reality  it  could  end  up costing you more, more importantly you may end up making mistakes  that  can  be  disastrous.  I  know  of  occasions  where   homeowners  ended  up having to regularly  repair  defects  and  mistakes  they  made  during construction. (e.g Waterproofing mistakes can be a nightmare)


For more information or inquiries you may

contact us at www.architectmainla.com or

email us at regieoquendo@gmail.com

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