Planning for performance and aesthetics will save you money

I work with a variety of builders here in the valley. One of the builders has built homes from plans from magazines, drafters, and renovations by home owner sketches. The other has built designs by multiple architects, drafters, and magazines. Each has told our clients that using designs and specifications developed by Gaines Group Architects saves the client money. The first builder told us that our designs on average cost $5-$10 less per square foot than other projects he has worked on. The second builder told our clients that he reduces his overhead percentage when we do the design and specifications because we answer the questions that cause added costs prior to the cost of the home construction being determined.

harrisonburg farmhouse

So if the average home being built in our area is 2,500 sf the savings on the average cost home is equal to our average design fee. Let me say that again – our typical fee for a custom home is returned in savings during construction.


So how do we provide this savings? Our typical design approach not only includes plans and elevations as with a typical generic design package. Our designs are custom for each client including a performance specification that sets the standards and documents selections for finishes in the home. We also work out the structural system in advance to pricing in an efficient manner. This limits unknown issues coming up during construction – which saves the builder time and money and reduces the builder’s risk. This is where the savings come in because on the typical build where there are only plans and specifications the builder has to “guess” at what the client wants during pricing. The builder then hopes during construction he “guessed” right. Creating a complete plan in advance that is thought out and detailed completely the builder knows what to deliver and the client knows what to expect. If you want help developing a great plan in advance, give us a call because planning for performance and aesthetics will save you money.

chesapeake western depot harrisonburg

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