Ask the Experts
The Importance of Teamwork
for a Successful Building Project
East Coast Home Design interviews Brian MacDonald, president of Davenport Contracting in Stamford, CT about his favorite topic, teamwork, in their September, 2017 issue.
ECHD: When a potential new home customer hears the phrase “Team Building” what is the home building industry referring to?
Brian: Today’s custom homes are multi-faceted, complex structures – far more complicated than homes in generations past. All homeowners have a “Wish List” and an image in their minds, but effectively turning that into reality is only accomplished as a team effort.
It starts with choosing an architectural firm that can translate the customer’s ideas into floor plans and elevations – sometimes with the input of an interior designer and/or landscape architect - and then a general contractor who will complete the project according to those plans and as cost effectively as possible. Bringing the team together early in the process is invaluable in making for a successful project.
ECHD: There is more to it than a snap of the finger – how does one successfully build a team?
Brian: Everyone should be able work together – there is constant give and take during the building process.
The general contractor assembles the subcontractors - excavators, masons, framers, electricians, plumbers, etc. and sets up a schedule for each in order to keep the project moving smoothly. It’s critical that the design team (architect, landscape architect, engineer, interior designer) continues to be engaged even after construction drawings are issued as there are inevitably questions and issues that come up as the job progresses.
It is also quite common for the client to have a change of heart about certain aspects of the house that require the input and guidance of the design team. The most important thing for all to remember in every step of the project is that this is the customer’s home and they should love it when it is done.
ECHD: Can you give us an example of how this integration works?
Brian: Certainly…let’s use the Kitchen as an example.
- The architect has looked at wish list ideas with the client and combined them into a design/floor plan.
- A structural engineer reviews the plans to determine if there needs to be additional support for heavy appliances or more involved framing for elements like tray ceilings.
- The general contractor supervises construction of all aspects of the kitchen, including the layout of lighting, electrical outlets, HVAC grilles, review of cabinet construction/shop drawings, purchase of the specified appliances and plumbing fixtures, etc.
- The landscape designer will also have taken into account what the homeowner will see when they look out the kitchen windows.
- The interior designer recommends furnishings and finishing touches that tie the whole scheme together to the product the client’s “dream Kitchen.”
ECHD: What makes choosing Davenport Contracting the best choice for a customer to make?
Brian: The team at Davenport Contracting has over 30 years of experience building and renovating homes. Our business model has always been based on building/renovating for a specific customer. We have never done speculative work.
We're a team-based “family” of employees who thrive on going the extra mile for a client. We pride ourselves on making each job customer based – your house, your home, uniquely for you – and ALWAYS with an eye to delivering the best job for the best price.