Stewardship

the firm


stewardship

Our stewardship of resources and the value of our professional expertise cannot be fully quantified. However, one measurable way our process has saved our clients millions of dollars is through change order control.

All things being equal, this hypothetical client will spend the same amount on construction costs regardless of the architect they choose. However, the change order percentage with an average architect will be much higher, inflating the total cost of the project.

All things being equal, this hypothetical client will spend the same amount on construction costs regardless of the architect they choose. However, the change order percentage with an average architect will be much higher, inflating the total cost of the project.

Change orders are a common occurrence in construction that change the scope of work for an additional cost. At one extreme, the change order rates for large public projects can exceed 50% of the original project budget. In private work, change order rates fall generally in the 5-15% range.

The majority of change orders are generated by underdeveloped architecture drawings, which firms feel pressure to issue to meet a low operating fee. Furthermore, there is little motivation for architects to be fastidious about controlling construction costs, beyond their own goodwill, because their own fee is a percentage of construction costs. In fact, picking an architect with a comparatively low fee can be very costly for the owner in the long run.

Contractors who bid on [projects] search for errors, omissions, overdrawing, and coordination problems...as part of a systematic process of preparing in advance for future change orders and extra payments...

There’s gold in flawed documents.”
— "How Contractors Find Change Orders and Extras," 1.

By thorough detailing of professional drawings and painstaking review of the construction process, we have achieved an error-based change order average of an astoundingly low 1.5%. Some of our projects have even resulted in negative change order totals (meaning, we saved the client sums they were originally expecting to pay).

Of course, not only does this save the owner money in the long run, but thorough construction drawings also aid communication, expectations, time saving, fundraising efforts, and accurate price estimating.