Running a Successful Project: 6 Things

Some thoughts from the field this week, for contractors, clients, and architects alike:

✅ Figuring stuff out ahead of time is crucial, and being able to react to real world conditions and make changes along the way is equally important. Knowing when to stick to the plan vs when to call an audible comes from experience and a well-rounded team.

✅ Equally involving architect, contractor, and subs means benefitting from the wisdom and knowledge each brings. Leaving one of these out means you’re missing out on a set of tools that makes the job easier. Respect, sense of humor, and pulling your weight means everything.

✅ Don’t be tempted by easy solutions to immediate problems; keep an eye on the long game. Remember that “future you” will be quite grateful you squared something up *now* rather than kick the can down the road to the finish guys or cabinet makers or tile setters!

✅ As an architect, know when to stand your ground. There will be many voices pushing you to compromise on a detail, many eyes rolling when you insist on a certain waterproofing detail or flashing detail or alignment in the frame to help with finishes or create chases so you don’t have a ton of soffits later or whatever. Know what you’re talking about and don’t be afraid to be uncompromising.

✅ On the flip side, as an architect, know when to give something up. There are times when there *is* a better way to do something than what you thought of, or when field conditions don’t allow for your detail to happen, or when supply chain, lead times, and/or sub availability mean a pivot is necessary. Don’t refuse just bc the solution is coming from the GC. Pick your battles, save up for the ones that matter!

✅ Clients: go to the field, stand in the background, and listen to these professionals work. Listen to how your architect, GC, and subs hammer out solutions in real time. There might be colorful language, there will be head scratching and brainstorming, there will be banter and BSing. And ultimately, there will be solutions, bc the people who work in this industry love solving problems and getting work done. We work *hard* and it doesn’t look anything like HGTV….so come see how it actually works!

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