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Q&A – Why Are Written Specs Important

We have written home design and custom construction specs, and we have all this process designed around the specs because we have to keep clear communication.

When we’re passing a complex project from one stage to another, from one person to another, it has to be well-documented and well-written. We need to communicate what the intentions, expectations, and standards are. For instance, imagine if a client were to sit in a design meeting and say “I want my front door to be blue.”

If the designer doesn’t change that in the specifications and the spec still says it was going to be stained, then the project manager six months later is putting the front door in, and it’s stained. The client comes in and says “But I said I wanted it to be blue.” You can see the issue here. We already ordered this door off the signed specification.

To order another door is going to cost more money. How are we going to resolve this? We always have to stick with what’s written in the specification. We work hard to ensure that problem doesn’t occur while in the design process, but if it does occur we work hard to resolve it satisfactorily. However, it’s absolutely imperative that our clients read the specifications, approve those specs and sign off. That way we know we heard what they said, they read what we wrote and we’re all on the same page. It’s important to be on the same page.

Know what you can afford before you begin.

For the past eighteen years, my company Creekside Homes has been building magnificent, custom-designed homes for the luxury market. The information in this guide (highlights from my years of experience) will help you make more informed choices and have less stress and greater confidence throughout the entire process.

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Andrew Burton home designer