Befriending The Architect: Why He Can Be The Most Important Contact

Regardless of the type of construction related company you happen to have, the chances are pretty good – in fact probably 100 percent – that you are going to be dealing with some sort of architectural services on a regular basis. If you’re a general contractor, you may encounter an architect on every project – even the small jobs. A homebuilder, depending on local code, may work with a draftsperson on many jobs, but they’re still considered a part of the architectural field and often work under the supervision of a licensed architect. So why is this important? Cultivating a good relationship with your local architects and drafters can lead to work and increased profits for your company.

Almost every project goes through an architectural firm or drafting company before work ever begins on the jobsite – in some cases months before the job becomes a reality and starts to come out of the ground. Unless the residential or commercial customer has a prior relationship with a contractor, the architect is usually asked to refer several prospective companies for the bidding or negotiation process. Do you see where I’m going here?

If your local architects know your company has a good reputation, keeps to a construction schedule, and does high quality work, there’s a good chance you’re going to get on some of those bid lists. Of course that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the work, but your company will have a much better chance than those who never received an invitation to submit a bid. The same principle holds true if you’re a subcontractor, home improvement contractor, or even a vendor – once an architectural company has confidence in your ability to perform in a fashion that makes the architectural firm look good, it can be a way to get your foot in the doorway to new projects.

However, just because you get on the list doesn’t mean you can now rest easy – it’s usually not a lifetime entitlement. Staying on the list requires staying in the architects’ good graces – shoddy workmanship, cost overruns, and blown schedules can get you booted off in a hurry. However, even if you’re not on an architect’s bid list, a company that develops a reputation for displaying those qualities isn’t going to bring in much new work.

If you want to have the opportunity to bid on new projects coming down the pike, cultivate a relationship with your local architects and drafters.

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