At Box™ we talk A LOT about our joined-up architectural design and build service. After many years in the industry we are increasingly convinced that this has to be the way to get the most out of new home build and renovation projects. Our problem has always been: how do you communicate the benefits to potential customers who have never experienced the process before?
Designing and building a new house is a complex and intricate process that involves numerous moving parts and requires a delicate balance between creative flair, budget considerations and practical building nouse. Throw council and other consultants into the mix and it can easily become quite a tangled web to navigate.
Clients who have previously been through this experience possess an unfair advantage – an understanding of the intricacies involved, the importance of collaboration, and the need for a synchronised effort among various experts. Box™ is unique in the industry in that we cater to their needs by consolidating design, costing, and building expertise under the same roof, without outsourcing or subcontracting any of the design-build process.
Understanding the Complexity
The process of designing and building a house is multifaceted, encompassing a wide range of activities that must be orchestrated. From conceptualising the design, securing consents, coordinating with builders and adhering to budgets, the process can feel overwhelming.
Given the unique nature of each site, brief and client expectations there is unfortunately no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to defining a process. A bach project, urban family home or rural project each have their own challenges and sometimes require a slightly different approach. Clients who have been through the process are more comfortable dealing with an uncertain journey, confident that we can work things out in the end despite budget, consenting or design set-backs that present themselves along the way.
Dealing with the Areas of Grey
Inherent in any creative process is that things never turn out the way you expect, even if you have done similar things before! This is the beauty of it. If the outcome was predictable, black and white, then we wouldn’t evolve or benefit from ‘happy accidents’. An example of this is that some struggle to understand why what is drawn on the plans may not correspond 100% to what or how something is built on site. When you start dealing with natural materials, weather and a human workforce (we do not employ construction robots, yet!) sometimes things change… A timber stud is perfectly dimensioned 90mm x 40mm on the computer. In reality it can be anywhere between 37mm and 45mm. There are so many junctions and details in architectural homes that sometimes it is not possible to anticipate every single one, no matter how many hundreds of details are drawn in a consent pack. Some people trust the experts and roll with these uncertainties or issues that crop up. Others see things as black or white and panic when it is not exactly as expected.
Concurrent Collaboration for Success
One of the significant insights gained by experienced house design and build clients is the importance of concurrent collaboration. Unlike the conventional linear approach espoused by much of the architectural fraternity, where design, costing, and building experts work sequentially, seasoned clients recognize that true success lies in parallel collaboration. Each facet of the project is interlinked, and decisions made in one area can significantly impact others. Clients who have lived through this process understand the value of having all these experts working together from the outset. The value of having an architect, interior designer and builder give their input into a design concept ensures that everyone’s unique view can be taken into account without rework, frustration or unexpected costs further down the road.
The Challenge of Conveying Value
However, the challenge lies in convincing those who have not experienced this process before of the value of an integrated team approach. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It can be difficult to grasp the intricacies and potential pitfalls without first-hand experience. Some customers gain this insight by watching friends or family go through a similar process. However for the majority, it’s easy to be seduced by beautiful designs in magazines, unaware of the cost or journey that the client has been through to get the end result. The most frustrating thing for us are those people we meet years later who tell us that they now understand the value of Box™, and wish they had gone through the journey with us. Too little too late….
Box™ – A Unique Solution
It is a continual surprise that there are not more companies like Box™ who employ architects and builders under the one roof. This is because it is difficult to do – culturally companies tend to be either building or design-oriented, so naturally one of the disciplines is prioritised. Architects are obviously design-driven, whereas volume house builders are construction focussed. Box™ sits in the middle. We recognise that successful projects demand a synergy between creative design, pragmatic construction, and budget management. This does not mean compromising on either design or construction quality. With teams working together you get the ‘best’ design as defined by the well known Roman architect Vitruvius: the balance of beauty, utility and durability. And let’s not forget Affordability.
Design-flair, but not at the expense of cost considerations
Box™ stands out not only for its ability to provide an integrated team but also for its commitment to striking a balance between design flair and building pragmatism. The creative vision for a house is undoubtedly essential; however, it must be translated into a functional and structurally sound reality. By having design and building experts collaborating closely throughout the process, Box™ guarantees that cool designs are seamlessly translated into a well-constructed home. This balance ensures that the artistic aspirations of the client are connected to the practical and budget requirements of the build.
A Business-Class Service
As the writer Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is a mantra that the Box™ team tries to live by. And it is very difficult to do without really getting to know a client well, to understand their hopes, concerns and expectations. There is no rigid process to this or one-size fits all. It often requires a slightly different approach for every project. If you are spending a significant amount of time and money on building a home, it is only fair to expect that the company involved spends the time and effort to get this right. This is what we mean by ‘Business Class’ when we talk about our client service. Communication is a key part of this, but taking the time to form a relationship and understanding between your team and ours is also very important. There are no short-cuts.
A Final Word
Clients who have previously been through the process of designing and building a new house possess invaluable insights into the intricacies and challenges involved, understand the ‘grey areas’ and the importance of the relationship with a company like Box™. Their firsthand experience equips them with a deep understanding of the importance of concurrent collaboration between design, costing, and building experts. Convincing newcomers to the process of this value can be challenging, as the complexity may not be readily apparent. However, Box™ addresses this challenge by offering a service that consolidates expertise and fosters a balanced approach between creative design and pragmatic construction – the definition of a traditional ‘master builder’. By recognizing the significance of an integrated team and providing a business class service, Box™ is a truly unique partner for clients seeking to turn their modest or ambitious house design and build dreams into reality.