4 Reasons to Use a Project Advisor for Your Custom Construction Project
January 15, 2023
Text by Kristin Amico Photography by Ben Gebo
The market for custom home design and construction remains strong in Greater Boston. Historic demand has created backlogged schedules and long wait times. For those undertaking a custom home build or a remodel project, the process can be overwhelming to manage.
Many consumers seek a home project advisor to streamline the build process from start to finish. The process is similar to using a wedding or financial planner. Instead of planning a large reception or managing your retirement account, your advisor builds a dedicated team from a pool of vetted resources and takes on the management tasks associated with your custom home build or renovation project.
Jon Fox, a construction industry veteran and founder of Blueprint Advisors, explains the benefit of using a team developed specifically for each client’s project.
“Homeowners need an advocate in the process. An advisor’s job is to learn everything about the client, from lifestyle to timeline to budget, and then use that knowledge to build a team of advisors who can deliver on the homeowner’s vision,” explains Fox.
Here’s how an advisor can help guide your next home project by personalizing the process to fit your needs.
Establish Priorities for Each Home Project
“Who do I call first, the builder or the architect?” That’s one of the most common questions Fox receives from homeowners. Instead of scheduling an appointment with a design partner first, Fox advises creating a priority list.
When he meets with clients, his first goal is to understand where they are in the process, and how he can guide them through each stage of the build or remodel. Questions he urges all clients to consider in the early stages include:
- Do you have a specific vision for the look and feel of the space, or are you looking for a designer or architectural firm to turn rough ideas into clear visuals?
- What kind of home will best fit your lifestyle? Do you prefer a casual or formal space, or are you looking to accommodate a growing family?
- What is your budget?
- What is your desired timeline? Will any life events impact timelines?
Assemble the Design and Build Team
Like a wedding planner or matchmaker, a custom home advisor takes a client’s preferences and lifestyle considerations and then builds a team of trusted contractors and suppliers.
Fox explains that these custom pairings are critical to the success of a project. “With so many choices when it comes to builders, architects, and designers, an expert advisor with relationships across design partners can create the best team for each homeowner, regardless of the scope or budget of a project.”
Advisors can also help clients make difficult decisions or understand tradeoffs. For example, a solo architect may provide outstanding service and lower pricing than well-known firms, but the turnaround time may be longer. Another common tradeoff when choosing a building and design partner is the level of administrative support. Large home building firms may provide weekly update meetings after plans are approved, but a smaller owner-operator may only reach out when clarification is needed.
Save Time and Manage Costs
“By spending more time upfront to put clear goals and a process in place, a homeowner will save time overall,” notes Fox. With specific needs mapped out, and a team built for each client, there’s less opportunity for confusion or miscommunication, which typically adds time and costs to any job.
In addition, using an advisor will save homeowners time during the build process. After planning and team building is complete, an advisor will take on the role of chief liaison with the design-build team. Or they may act as project manager. Either way, they will ensure timelines are on track and any change orders or complications are worked out with an eye toward quality and budget.
Access to a Dedicated Advocate
Undertaking a major home project is time-consuming. Working with a personalized team shifts some of the responsibility—everything from reading contractor reviews to reviewing blueprints—from the homeowner to the advocate whose number one priority is to represent the client and their goals.
“An experienced advisor with knowledge of the different aspects of the industry provides the client a more powerful voice throughout the process,” adds Fox.
Blueprint Advisors, Boston, blueprintadvisors.com