ITToolkit.com, a technology website, defines Project Management as a set of principles, methodologies, procedures and practices used to ensure that a project will be built on time, on budget and as required. Just like any project, building a house must have specific goals, a clear beginning and end, assigned resources, and an organized sequence of activities, tasks and events.
Ultimately, it is by employing accepted industry standards and best practices in the design and building processes that you will be assured that you get the house that you truly want. The standards and practices may vary in complexity depending on the kind of house you want but the objective is the same: build it within a given time and available resources at a quality that is agreed upon.
Although, objectives are set, deviations are not uncommon
This is not to say, though, that building a house is rocket science. Couple this with elements beyond your and the contractor’s control like unexpected setbacks in your family, weather conditions, human quirks (especially of the laborers), unexpected increase in the price of materials mean that you should be open to the idea that your vision of an absolutely perfect house may not be achieved. But significant imperfections should and can be avoided.
What does using accepted standards and best practices in building a house involve?
There’s no simpler way to answer this question than by saying that it involves employing licensed professionals: an architect and a contractor (a civil engineer), at the very least. Note that many architects do not have the extended knowledge of a contractor and vice versa. Depending on your needs and budget, you may even include electrical (or a licensed electrician) and sanitary engineers. Others go as far as contracting an interior designer or a landscape architect. Nobody can better understand and apply these building and construction standards and best practices than these certified professionals.
It takes more than one specialist to build a house
Building a house is a complex task that requires inter-disciplinary activities. To name just the initial few, it involves evaluation of the exact location of the lot, its landscape or terrain and its neighborhood; assessment of soil condition, drainage, zoning and building codes in the city or municipality and restrictions in the subdivision where the house will be built. All these are done even before an architect draws a floor plan of your dream house. Just imagine the immensity of the succeeding tasks leading to the completion of your house.
It doesn’t always mean that you will have to scout around for each specialist yourself
The usual process among Pinoys is to start with an architect. The architect then recommends other specialists. In some cases, the architect has these specialists in his team. They may be working within a single company or they may operate individually as friends or acquaintances.
Here’s a caveat for the homeowner who relies on the architect’s recommendation for an independent contractor: The architect may ask the contractor for a commission for his recommendation. It’s a cost that will ultimately be passed on by the contractor to the homeowner.
Bid out the construction
My advice is to bid out the architect’s design to at least three contractors. Be clear and specific with what you want, what you expect and the resources that you will provide. And be consistent with these specifics when talking to each contractor.
Again, ask around for recommendations from relatives and friends or their friends who have recently built their own house.
It is only by employing the services of these licensed individuals who are equipped with allied expertise that you, the homeowner, can be assured that the house you envision will be delivered closest to the agreed plan given the set time and budget. It will be a house that is not only habitable but more importantly, will enhance the quality of life, protect the health, safety and welfare of your family.
Come up with a construction contract
Note: If you are planning to build a house, you are best advised to come up with a "Construction Contract” to be signed by you and the contractor and have it notarized. If you are interested to have a free e-copy of this contract, kindly email me via email@example.com.
Note that the contract I have is just a sample, very long and tilts in favor of the homeowner. You may alter part of it until you and the contractor arrive at a mutually-agreeable contract.
Author: Cecilio A. Sanchez, Jr. (Licensed Real Estate Broker)