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  • Writer's pictureCheryl McIntosh

What Architects Do Part II

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Your Architect, Your Contractor, and your Building

Bidding and Negotiation

Hiring a contractor to fit your needs is a crucial part of this process. As your architect, we will develop a list of prospective contractors that are qualified for your project and can provide you with the end product you desire. Contractors can either be brought onto the team early in the design process or several contractors can be invited to submit bids for your project once construction documents are complete. Both scenarios have their own unique sets of advantages and disadvantages.

Deciding to work with one builder early in the design process will allow you and the design team to receive feedback on the design’s impact on construction and associated costs. As contractors are in the field every day, they have a good sense of construction value and realistic expenses.

To receive a realistic and complete construction budget and final construction bid it is CRITICAL to be able to rely on a seasoned general contractor.

If it is decided that competitive bidding is the best choice for your project, we will provide selected contractors with construction documents and instructions on submitting bids. Should questions arise before bids are due, we will issue addenda as necessary to provide answers and will distribute the information to all prospective bidders. We’ll evaluate each bidder’s pricing with you and help guide you through contractor selection.

Regardless of which method of hiring a contractor you decide, we will help you select the right contractor for your needs and the best value for your project. While we will advise you on the contractor choice, the final decision is of course up to you, and we will assist you with executing a contract with your selected builder.

This phase can include:

  1. Conducting construction bidding with multiple general contractors or assistance with competitive bidding with one selected general contractor.

  2. Ensures competitive bidding of the trades, materials, and labor necessary to build your project.

  3. Advises the client as to qualifications of bidders and review construction bids received.

  4. Makes recommendations on the award of a construction contract.

  5. Assists client with technical information for preparation of construction contract.

Construction Administration

Our involvement with your project does not stop after the preparation of construction documents. The project is now moving from a dream to a reality. “Construction Observation” may be a better title to explain this phase and the services that Rhodes Architecture + Light typically provides. Through our involvement, we can ensure a smooth transition from the construction design documents to the completed project.

It is CRITICAL to the efficient completion of your home that you have an ADVOCATE who is skilled in understanding construction materials, installations, and processes to act on your behalf throughout construction.

Building the project is a collaborative effort between the owner, architect, and contractor. Communication during this phase is essential for a successful outcome. We act as the liaison between you and your contractor during the construction phase. We are available to answer questions as they arise during construction, and we perform site visits to determine if the construction is progressing per the construction documents.

Rhodes Architecture + Light can assist you in reviewing contractor billings to ensure that the figures correspond with the work completed and we work closely with you and the contractor if changes arise during construction. Upon completion of the work, we conduct a walk through and develop a punch list for the contractor. The punch list is a written document that details any remaining areas or items that need attention and require corrective action be taken before the project is officially considered complete and final payment is released to the contractor.

  1. Observe and oversee the construction process to ensure the materials, finishes, and fixtures you are paying for are verified, checked, installed, and finished in a professional and timely manner.

  2. Review shop drawings, schedules, and samples for conformance with drawings and specifications.

  3. Issue change orders when required due to field conditions or clients request.

  4. Perform site visits to ensure that construction is proceeding in accordance with the contract documents.

  5. Review, discuss, and resolve issues raised by the authorities having jurisdiction over the construction such as issuing professional documentation.

  6. Review and determine the amount owed to the contractor, that the work is in accordance with the contract documents, and has progressed to the indicated point.

  7. Assist the client in receiving and reviewing all bonds, guarantees, and other evidence of insurance or security required by the construction contract.

  8. Help establish the date of substantial completion and ensure that the project is being built on time and according to schedule.

  9. Help establish the date of final completion.

  10. Help the client obtain a release of liens from the contractor.

  11. Conduct a thorough walk-through to ensure that all defects and incomplete parts of the project are noted, recorded, and completed to a satisfactory level.

  12. Basic architectural services are finished when the project has been completed and final certificate of payment has been made to the contractor.

Additional Services

Additional Architectural Services are usually provided on an hourly basis.

  1. Changes to the documents that are required to adapt the detailed plans as construction budgets are established and bid or estimated. (“value engineering”)

  2. Detailed presentation and documentation for city, county, and state authorities.

  3. Presentations to planning or architectural review boards and revisions to documents required by planning and building reviewers.

  4. As-built Construction Documentation.

  5. Interior Design including window coverings, furnishings, art, and decorative elements.

  6. Revising the design and details because of changes after the schematic design phase or unforeseen conditions during construction.

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