Are site observations really necessary or just extra fees? ATA take the responsibility as your home designer very seriously. Once the design has been finalised it’s over to the builder to turn our drawings into physical form. That doesn’t mean that our job is done. Really that’s when the value of our role goes up a gear. We act as the glue between yourself, the builder and other significant parties. No matter how well designed a structure is, the finished form comes down to how it is built on site. With so many moving parts there needs to be one constant and that is ATA.
The build contract exists between you and the builder. However, we are responsible for the design and documentation of the project so we have a thorough understanding of what is required by the builder to ensure what is built is true to design. With that knowledge and our experience we are in the best position to protect your interests, control the finish quality, and help with timelines and budget. We have had clients initially choose to manage their own project but the construction process, especially with the level of detail involved in an ATA project, is a complex one. This very rarely works. It has been done and is has worked but the build has taken longer and the finished result is often compromised. This is why site observations by the Architectural Designer or Architect are essential.
We start with a review of the drawings with all key trades involved to ensure all critical parties know the significant design aspects and the overall objective. Then on to observations on site during construction. Site observations ensure what was drawn is what is built and to the level of detail ATA are known for. We visit the site on your behalf to ensure the built form reflects the detailed design. The level of site observation depends on the scale and complexity of the project and who the Contractor (Builder) is. A complex, unprecedented project demands a higher level of on-site presence. On the flip a more simple project may only require a couple of visits. Regards the selected Builder, ATA don’t have any affiliations to any specific builders. In saying that the mental-complex nature of our projects can’t be built by just any builder.
We are involved in the project from start to finish ensuring critical parties know what you want and any issues that arise are dealt with without compromising the design. The reality is things pop up before and during build that are out of our control. There are also a myriad of details to consider and discover during build. We are there to support and guide you through, ensuring layouts and details are perfectly placed (no part tiles or part lengths of timber). We are there to act in your best interests whenever something arises to ensure as little impact as possible on the project and you. ATA are a fluid firm in that we want to keep a project moving forward. Some elements, particularly interior features, are refined during construction. This organic approach mitigates unnecessary down time and means a project can often get started sooner than it usually would.
Our responsibility to you in the construction phase of a project includes..
- Review of drawings with all significant contractors/trades
- Conduct site visits to check progress of critical work components and compliance against design documents and the contract
- Hold project/site meetings as required
- Review and comment on selected work procedures proposed by the Contractor
- Review and edit drawings
- Review samples/prototypes/products
- Coordinate and liaise with sub-contractors*
- Provide additional information or technical commentary to the Contractor as required to carry out the project
- Conduct practical completion inspection and issue notice
- Contract administration services can be provided where appropriate
ATA can be as involved in your project as you want. There is a but. If you come to us for a home that is beautifully articulate yet refined, and includes leading home automation and performance housing methodology you will want to ensure what is built is what was designed. Administration or extra fees are hard to swallow so if you have historically seen site observations as these sort of add-on fees we hope after reading this you can see them for what they are. Necessary. Valuable. Key.