Sunday, June 14, 2015

Collaboration outside the office

Other types of collaboration happen with developers, contractors, other designers and subcontractors. The Pennebaker's have connections with other people in the community that send or refer them work. These kinds of projects include apartment complexes, retirement communities, local hospitals and universities. Sometimes there are other designers involved and we merely provide the product and other times we select every item and finish. I also have residential designers that work through me and are provided a small commission for selling our products.

On commercial projects the builder/developer coordinates all the subcontractors. On occasion I may be involved in decisions about a certain aspects and I will communicate directly with the management teams to provide answers via group emails, phone calls or texts.

On some of my residential projects I often, hire, recommend and oversee subcontractors like, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, flooring installers and painters. Coordinating all these people can be very complex and time consuming. For new subs, it has taken time for me to gain their respect as they begin to understand the value, overall coordination and detail I add to the project as well as my 20 years of experience and knowledge in residential construction. We all have to work together to create the best outcome for the client. Both sides have to listen and understand the other. Sometimes the design doesn't work exactly as drawn or sometimes the sub may have never done anything like you are asking. Both sides must be open to modifications and new ideas.

The most important person to collaborate with is the client. They are the reason for any project. Their happiness is the most important thing in any project. Their needs, wants and desires should be considered an addressed wherever possible. They rely on me to help them navigate through all the complex decisions. Construction and remodeling is very stressful and often overwhelming for home owners. I feel it is my job to help them understand the process and decisions they are making.

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