Design/Build Consultation Owners Representation. Plan review. Scheduling.


No matter how beautiful a building design or how intricate a structure; nothing built by Man can begin to compare with what God has created. The intricacies of the DNA structure, the beauty of a butterfly, the strength of an ant makes our work pale in comparison. We can marvel at nature and the building blocks found within it and we cannot help but see the intelligence of the designer and builder. Because of this we should be humble in our lifes work and in our attitudes toward our fellow man. And give credit to the greatest builder of all.


Hello and welcome. Whether you are a developer, a General Contractor, Architect, engineer or homeowner, you will benefit from this website. The following pages are a work in progress that are added to on a regular basis.

The content on this website is free for your personal use. Any reproduction of it for commercial value is prohibited without my personal consent. If you would like my input in your project or in the planning phase of future projects, I offer a free advice service for specific questions or detailed fee-based evaluations. I have extensive structural experience and have coordinated with numerous architects and engineers civil and PE on all phases of commercial and residential projects.

Please feel free to email me with questions and comments and I will respond in a diligent manner..
Bruce E Johnson

Design-Build Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

The Client is Number One.

Even though "Design/build" contracts usually involve an agreed upon percentage of profit for the builder, architect and various engineers it behooves all of the parties involved to try and obtain the best cost for the best product for the client. This is the only reason the "Design/Build" concept even exists.

Over the years, through many design/build projects I have become known as the hatchet man. I can honestly say that I have helped save clients millions of dollars in construction costs. This can be a two edged sword when the company I work for gets a percentage of the project cost. I suppose you could say that I have cost my employer hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit. However, we can't think of it in those terms. Looking out for the client's interest is the most important part of the design/build concept. When the D/B process succeeds, we all make a profit and the client gets what they want at a price they can afford and plan for.

Oftentimes the builder has to butt heads with the Architect to get within budget parameters. Let's face it, if a design is over budget then the project might not get built or it is scaled back to the point that the client has to "settle for less". It is a fine line, especially if the client has seemingly unrealistic expectations.

If you are having problems getting a project off the ground due to design issues and budget concerns I would be more than happy to take a look at what you have. Sometimes a fresh perspective is needed to overcome "budget gridlock". I have literally salvaged millions of dollars of work with my input.

I am often amazed at the naivete and/or lack of preparedness(or in some cases.. callousness and deviousness of builders) over the Design/Build process. Some builders purposely overlook design flaws knowing full well that an "extra" costing thousands of dollars is on the horizon. This can really hurt an unsuspecting client whose money is tight.

Architects have a design to sell. No offense to you Architects out there. Let's face it, if you are given a building budget of 6 million dollars and you come in with a 10 million dollar design what are the chances this building is getting built? Pretty slim I would say. So what are the builder and the client left to do? I liken this to a Cadillac salesman showing a chevy buyer the top-of-the-line Caddy he can't afford. This makes it tough on the Builder who then has the task of showing the client what he really can afford. The earlier the Builder is involved in the design process the more money can be saved.

Keeping the Client realistic can be a challenge unto itself also. As a builder you have to give to get. Put on the thinking cap! Get your best subcontractors together before the design gets too far along and work out reasonable alternatives to keep costs down. Remember, once the Cadillac design hits the table you are in for a tough sell. It often pays to be pro-active with the design team. They might not like you butting in at first but they will be calling you for advice if you are doing your homework and paying attention to what the client's real needs are.

Please browse this website for more detailed conversations on all of the above subjects and much much more.

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