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VALUE ENGINEERING: HOW WE EMPOWER CLIENTS TO MAXIMIZE FUNCTION WHILE MINIMIZING COST

In a recent article we talked in depth about the key questions clients have regarding costs for various types of home projects. In that article, we pointed out the sharp rise of both real estate and construction costs in the last five years. We’ve also discussed in past articles how hiring an architect will save you time and money. In this article, we want to share one of the key tools we at Archius employ to help our clients get the best return on their home investments: Value Engineering.



 

For those not familiar, Value Engineering is defined as: “A systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions in a project at the lowest cost.” Simply put, it is an attempt to maximize function and return on investment while minimizing or lowering project cost.


Nearly all clients have specific budget restrictions, making value engineering a crucial aspect of our practice. It is most effective when initiated early in the design development process. As architects and designers, we begin every project by defining the client’s needs and goals.  Next, we determine what feasible paths are available to meet those needs by accounting for site limitations, local building codes, and project budget. Throughout this process we strive to implement principles of value engineering to provide maximum value for our clients.

two similar floor plans showing different layout options
OUR INTEGRATED VALUE ENGINEERING APPROACH

1.      Project Set Up & Feasibility – from our very first meeting with potential clients we are asking questions and seeking to understand each person’s unique pain points, goals, and dreams for their home. We give clients the opportunity to fill out a Lifestyle Questionnaire to capture their frustrations and hopes. We also initiate conversations around budget to make sure we are clear on our clients’ comfortable range and to help them understand what is included in a project budget.

2.      Design Development & R.O.M. – after offering multiple design options in the feasibility phase, our clients select the design that aligns with their goals. We often contact contractors for a Rough Order of Magnitude estimate (R.O.M.) at this time in order to find out a general range of construction pricing.

3.      Active Value Engineering – though woven through our entire practice, the R.O.M. provides our clients with greater clarity on what is feasible for them. At this point in the project, we detail out the chosen design while balancing our client’s dream for their home with their budget to maximize the options that are available to them. We may offer a final design that can be phased or paired back if needed.

4.      Construction Preparation – once the chosen design is more detailed, we begin preparing the project for construction with interior design services, permit documentation, and soliciting contractor bids. Offering interior design services helps our clients make confident decisions and create the look they want at their price point. We provide detailed plans to at least 3 trusted contractors to get detailed bids for the project.

5.      Construction – by implementing value engineering principles throughout our design process, our goal is that clients reach construction with confidence that they are meeting their dream goals for the best possible value. We are available through the construction phase to help clients navigate the unexpected and ask critical questions to maintain clarity. It’s important to note that value engineering is about minimizing cost without sacrificing function. We take this very seriously as we never want our clients to sacrifice quality and value in their homes.

kitchen renovation, kitchen remodel, kitchen design board, modern moody kitchen
CLIENT PARTICIPATION IN VALUE ENGINEERING

Clients are key members of the value engineering process and can help streamline the process and maximize value in the following ways:

1.      Budget Clarity – be clear from the outset of the project what you’d like to spend and what your maximum comfortable budget is. Learning about the different items involved in a project budget, scope creep, and unexpected costs helps set realistic expectations.

2.      Must Have List – take time to define what are “must haves” in your project and be as detailed as possible. For example, “primary bathroom addition” is generic while “primary bathroom with water closet and double vanity, soaking tub preferred but not required” is more detailed and helps us know at the outset what is necessary and where there is space for flexibility.

3.      Good to Have List – be clear about what areas you are ok compromising on vs. not. For example, a large entertaining kitchen might be on your “must have list” but “Ikea cabinets with custom fronts” might be on your compromise list to help reduce costs without sacrificing quality.

 

Value Engineering is an intentional and collaborative practice that we are proud to engage in with our clients to help them maximize return on their home projects. If you’ve been considering a home addition or remodel but have hesitated due to cost, consider booking a free consultation to see how we can help you meet your goals.

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