architect & designer from ARC Residential explain importance of communication

Starting Off on the Right Foot

From our Certified Professional Building Designer, Tom Rogers:

I recently read an article that said, for the second straight year, the home improvement industry has ranked second in consumer complaints. Now you’re probably wondering why anyone who is in the home improvement industry would bring this to everyone’s attention; seems like we would want to hide bit of knowledge under a rock or sweep it away from existence. On the contrary, I think this is a very important topic to discuss and to help open the communication as to what both the customer and the contractor need to know.

First off, I believe the biggest reason for this high ranking is based on lack of communication. This lack of communication can start early in the process and is performed by both sides. When a contractor meets a client for the first time to go over their project, most homeowners only know a small amount of what is needed to complete it. They have an idea of what they want but instead of explaining their final desire, they start to tell the designer or contractor what to do.

I do not recall ever going to the doctor and telling him/her that my stomach hurts and that they need to take out my appendix. Instead, I tell them that my stomach hurts and in return, the doctor asks a series of questions to get down to what needs to be done; it could be something as minor as a pill or could possibly be serious enough for surgery. The fact of the matter is, let the experts decide how the work should be done. Of course, that is the reason you called them in the first place, instead of trying to do it yourself, right?

On the other end, the lack of communication can come from the contractor. I have seen many contractors scared to ask for a budget from the client. Without establishing a budget, how do you know exactly what can be done?

A home project is the biggest investment a homeowner is going to make. Whether it is a kitchen remodel or a brand-new house, so spend the time in the planning stage and don’t be rushed to the end. So, ask questions. Get to know the person that you are putting your skills and reputation towards. To paraphrase Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” – “Estimates create victory, estimating incompletely causes failure.”

You cannot go on an airplane trip without having a flight plan. A pilot does not just put the plane up in the air and head west; he would land in Los Angeles or Seattle that way. It takes a lot more fuel to turn the plane south towards California if you are already flying over Idaho from Atlanta, then if the pilot had planned the trip accordingly. Same in construction; a small adjustment that could have been taken care of early, can cost a lot of money mid-way through a project.

If you would like to get started on a home-renovation or home build project, give us a call at 678-941-3672.


learn about the our designer and builder at arcresidential in villa rica georgia

Get to Know ARC Residential

Understanding an architect/designer of your new home is crucial before hiring someone. It is important to know who they are, what type experience they have, and how they handle their projects.

To know more about our founders, Tom Rogers and Chris Adair, they’ve answered a list of questions to show how a designer and general contractor created ARC Residential.

Describe how ARC Residential first started.

Tom:  ARC residential formed out of 2 separate companies, Residential Productions and Chris Construction. I found that residential designers would produce a set of drawings and send them off to a builder, the builder would do a bid on them, get the job and start constructing the house. But many times, the builder and the designer would not talk so any changes that were made by the builder, never got back to the designer, causing confusion with clients wishes of the design and the final product from the builder. Conversely, the builder would have problems with the designer because the designers would not know what is hacked pulling out in the field and couldn’t properly convey it on their drawings. ARC residential was formed to combine the 2, so that there’s a flawless relationship between the design board and the field.

Chris: I was looking at growing something larger and being able to grow with it.  My goal was to be able to build new homes in new subdivisions and to leave a legacy to my kids and grand kids. And with regards to what Tom said, conversely, the builder would have problems with the designer because many times, many designers would not know what site conditions are out in the field and it wouldn’t be properly conveyed on their drawings. ARC residential was formed to combine the two so that there’s a flawless relationship between the design board and the field, therefore, the customer has a team working for them that is seamless in the process from design to conception.

How did you get started in construction/architect/design?

T:  I got started in architectural design looking at floor plan books when I was a kid. I took shop classes in junior high and drafting & construction classes in high school. It was in my building construction class in high school where I was able to design my first house. The architectural class designed the house through a competition and the winner was able to actually design the house; I won that competition my junior year. It was my senior year that I went out and built the house that I had designed the year previous. I’ve always wanted to be in residential design because residential is more personal. There are more personal things that you can deal with residential work such as how a room feels, how a house looks from the street or how a family interacts with each room, in which you don’t necessarily get when you’re doing commercial design.

C: Growing up, my family was on a tight budget working on the farm and because of that, I did not have much money to go on dates. So, one day I was walking by a commercial construction site and asked if they needed someone to pick up trash so I can make a few dollars to take a girl out.  That was my first construction job.  Afterwards I got a job with a contractor and it was there that I realized that you could take a bunch of lumber and bag of nails and create a home out of a pile of wood.

Who creates the design and who brings the design to life?

T: This is a pretty simple question as we both do it. I will start the design process with the customer, but then collaborate with Chris to get his information such as how it is relates to the site, construction methods or any potential red flags that he may notice. Through this collaboration we were able to bind our interest in beauty of the design with practicality and increase efficiency from the field. When the design is accepted and sent out for construction, the collaboration between Chris and I don’t stop there; even during the construction constant review of the plans and the building are done to make the project even better or handle the minor details that come up during construction.

C: Yes, where Tom creates the design, I am the one that puts paper to field and constructs it. Though he is right that even though we both have our specialties and roles we both take an active part in designing and bringing the projects to life. That is one of the biggest benefits of design/build: the synergy of the drawing between the field so that there is not a confusion of the overall vision of design nor a lack of understanding of construction costs or methods. It really is a great system to for construction projects where so many problems are caused by miscommunication or lack of understanding of all parties.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

T: The most enjoyable part of my job is probably the day to day operations of doing the work and being able to see something that started as just a conversation with a customer come to life four or five months down the road to the finished product of the house.

C: Trying to always meet and exceed people’s expectations with what can be done both in style and craftsmanship. Each job is taken as if I am doing it for myself or family member, so we put a lot of love back into the project. It is an honor to be chosen to add value to their home; to create something unique is something that is more than just a house. The details that can be created from something as little as a hidden door or perhaps mundane or not thought of on how people use their laundry room.

 

Our leaders are some of the best in the game, and show passion in all of the work that they put in to a home; not to mention they have the best Head of Security, Dew (pictured above to the far left), in the game. If you are interested in having Tom and Chris help build /remodel your home, contact us.