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Best Design Collaboration For Your Pittsburgh Projects

Design Collaboration

Every aspect of building, from tile, to plumbing, to millwork has its own artistic nuances that take years to master. It would take an entire lifetime for a single person to truly master each discipline and for this reason assembling a team of experts is essential. Patina Construction & Development, LLC is a true general contractor, and as such we believe in utilizing experts in their respective discipline through each facet of construction. You wouldn't want a specialized roofer finishing your concrete, and you wouldn't want a builder designing your dream home. Architects and Designers specialize and are insured to consult in building code, zoning code, and layout functionality thus making them a crucial addition to your project team. Patina Construction maintains strong collaborative working relationships with the best Architects, Designers, and Engineers that the Pittsburgh Region has to offer. If you are just starting the early planning phases of your project we will link you up with the best design fit and collaborate throughout the process to help ensure your plans stay within a realistic budget and schedule. These relationships allow our clients access to the cutting edge software, resources and education offered by these established firms that most "design-build" construction companies lack. This access, blended with our firm's practical field and pricing knowledge allows us to optimize the final design and ultimately bring your dreams to life.

In addition, if you already have drawings, we will happily review and quote them for you. Working with all stakeholders as necessary to successfully complete your project.

Collaborative Project Management

Investing in a home is stressful for a number of reasons. Restrictions regarding budget, schedule, and living conditions are an important consideration and having a contractor you can count on is critical. At Patina Construction & Development, LLC, communication and reliability are the cornerstones of our business. Our experienced project management team is uniquely equipped to navigate the obstacles that lie ahead. We do so while keeping our clients up to date with ongoing communication and collaboration, ensuring they are happy with the final product. We build directly off your architect's drawings to ensure expectations are clear and all parties are on the same page.

Frequently Asked Design Collaboration Questions

Interior designers, architects, and SE's are three distinct professions with different focuses, responsibilities, and areas of expertise. Here are the key differences between them:

1. Scope of Work (What They Do)

Interior Designer:
Interior designers primarily focus on creating functional and aesthetically pleasing interior spaces. They work with clients to choose color schemes, furniture, lighting, fabrics, and decorative elements to enhance the overall design of a space. Interior designers consider both the form and function of a space, paying attention to the client's needs, preferences, and budget.

Architects are responsible for the overall design and planning of buildings, both exterior and interior. They create the structural framework, design building layouts, and ensure that the building complies with safety and building codes. Architects often work on the entire building project, from the initial concept to construction supervision. While they may consider interior aspects, their main focus is on the overall structure and functionality of the building.

Structural Engineers:
SE's specialize in ensuring the stability and safety of buildings and structures. They collaborate with architects to design the framework that supports the architectural vision. Structural engineers analyze and calculate the loads and forces acting on a structure to ensure it can withstand various conditions, such as gravity, wind, and seismic forces.

2. Deliverables (What You Get)

Interior Designer:
While some states in the U.S. regulate the practice of interior design and require licensing, not all states have this requirement. Licensing laws vary, Pennsylvania for example does not require licensing for interior design and thus designers do not have the ability to stamp drawings for local government approval. For this reason you will typically see designers focus more on aesthetic elements rather than structural.

The practice of architecture is regulated in all states, and architects are required to be licensed. This is to ensure that architects adhere to professional standards and possess the necessary knowledge and skills to design safe and functional buildings. Architects are licensed to stamp drawings for local government approval and most firms are also able to stamp structural drawings as well.

Structural Engineers:
Similar to architects, structural engineers may be required to obtain professional licensure, depending on state regulations. Licensure demonstrates their competence in designing structures that meet safety standards. In Pennsylvania the stamp of a licensed structural engineer is required by most local governments in order to obtain a structural permit.

3. Education and Training

Interior Designer:
To become an interior designer in the U.S., individuals typically pursue a bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field. Some states also require designers to be licensed , which may involve passing an exam and gaining practical experience through an internship. (PA does not require a license)

Architects usually complete a professional degree in architecture, which is typically a five-year program. Following education, architects often need to complete a period of internship (known as the Architectural Experience Program) and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to become licensed.

Structural Engineers:
SE's generally hold a bachelor's or master's degree in civil or structural engineering. They may also pursue professional licensure, which involves passing exams and gaining relevant work experience.

No! Selecting your design team is a critical decision in determining the success of your project. We highly advise thoroughly vetting any design professional before including them on your project. Not all design professionals focus on the same things, some focus more on aesthetics where others may be more skilled in permitting and building code. It's important you pick the right fit for your specific project. Hiring a builder and design professional with an established relationship is also a good way to minimize miscommunications and ensure the project design falls within your intended budget.

You should ask questions such as:

  • Will I be provided a scaled, permitable, buildable set of drawings? Can I see an example?
  • What is your pricing structure, is it hourly or flat rate?
  • Do you include a demolition or existing conditions plan?
  • Do you include a recessed ceiling or lighting plan? Plumbing/HVAC plan?
  • Will you be pulling the permit or will my contractor?
  • Do you source finish materials or will my contractor?
  • Does your price include construction administration (CA)?

You may consider getting competitive bids on your home project in order to get the most favorable price. However, this is not always a feasible approach unless your drawings include an exorbitant amount of detail. Achieving this level of detail without contractor involvement runs you the risk of spending thousands of dollars on a design that falls outside of your budget. Although this method works great in the commercial sector where such detail is typical and owners are experienced in reviewing/benchmarking proposals , in residential construction this method regularly results in asymmetric "bids" that are not "apples to apples". There are thousands of minor details that affect pricing and most contractors will leave unidentified items out of their price and bill for them later in the form of a change-order. Other contractors may assume low grade materials where no specifics were given.

A much more effective approach is to interview contractors, find one that you trust, and incorporate them early in your planning phase. Assembling a team early allows all parties to collaborate in an attempt to finalize a design that falls within your budget.

Contact Our Remodeling & Building Contractors In Pittsburgh For A Quote Today!