What’s the step-by-step way to an on-budget, collaborative project?
One where you can work confidently with the right team to get a great outcome for your home and your investment?
Let’s learn more about what’s involved in the PAC Process: where the builder gets Paid As a Consultant to be involved in your project during the design phase.
The ideal scenario for the PAC Process is that your designer and builder are working truly as a collaborative team, partnering with you as your future home is designed.
The designer leads the design process, and both the designer and builder have clear roles and responsibilities in supporting you to realise the full potential of your project.
Hello, this is Episode 202.
In this episode, I’m continuing the conversation about the PAC Process, where you bring a builder on board your design team and they’re Paid As a Consultant during the pre-construction phase.
In the last episode, I shared some information on why this process can be a great way to commence your project, and what you can achieve with it, plus some key things to be aware of as well – including what the PAC Process is NOT.
In this episode, I’m sharing more about the WHAT of the PAC Process. I’ll be talking about what the PAC Process actually looks like as a step-by-step process, as well as key things to be aware of and how it can vary depending on the builder you work with.
I know many people, when they’ve heard me talk about the PAC Process before, they can see how it would be beneficial on their project.
It makes sense to have a builder involved earlier than just coming in at tender stage.
However, there can be confusion around the actual mechanics of it – and what the step by step process can look like.
And of course, there can be concern about whether you’re getting the lowest price available from the builder you’re working with, or whether you’re going to be trapped in a relationship and arrangement with no way out.
And no ability to know you’re really getting good value for money, or the best result for your future home.
All totally understandable concerns.
So, let me explain how the step by step process of the PAC Process can go.
This can vary though, based on the builder and designer or architect you’re working with, the fee you’re paying, and the type of project you’re doing.
Let’s kick off from the beginning, with your initial enquiry.
You begin the process of getting your design started by making enquiries with builders and / or designers.
Most homeowners are doing this these days via an enquiry form on their website, or sending an email.
Many homeowners expect that the next step is to arrange a meeting on site, and get the builder or designer around to speak about their project. However, that’s not necessarily the next best step.
Next, the first contact.
So, after you’ve lodged an enquiry form or sent an email to a designer or builder, you should ideally hear from them. However, remember that things end up in junkmail, good professionals are super busy and could be completely maxed out workwise.
However, professional operators will have processes to manage client enquiries, and protocols they follow to get back in touch with you – even if they’re too busy to take on your project.
I find it really frustrating to hear that homeowners never hear back from professionals. I think you can certainly accept that perhaps your email may have hit their junk mail the first time, or that you may need to follow up once, but if you do follow up and you’re still not hearing from them at all after weeks and weeks, take it as a sign to cross them off your list.
Then, the first meeting happens.
In the PAC Process, this first meeting could happen with both the designer and the builder together.
Or, if you’re choosing a designer and a builder who haven’t worked together yet, they may meet separately first to see how they get along, and discuss further how their collaboration will work.
Or it might be the designer on their own first, and then they’ll bring the builder in for a subsequent meeting to discuss the PAC Process further with you.
The key for this first meeting is to remember this: this is not where you start discussing ideas and possibilities for your project. You’re interviewing the designer or builder, learning more about them, and what it will be like to work with them in your project.
Many homeowners make the mistake of treating this first meeting as an ideas mining exercise, where they’re walking around asking “could we do this?”, “how much would it cost to do this?”, “do you think this would be a better option?”
The design process begins.
If you’re working with a collaborative team who are experienced in delivering projects like yours, they’ll be able to set a framework for your project based on the cost of recent projects.
This might be through identifying a similar recent project or projects, identifying what their price per square metre was, and setting that as the budget starting point for your project. This can be helpful because you have a comparative example that’s real, that represents the quality of finishes and design you wish to achieve in your project.
Usually, the beginning of any design process is a case of investigation and exploration. There’s always many ways to meet a brief, and create a new home or renovation design that delivers all the wishes and wants outlined by a client. The designer will be making their enquiries about your local town planning rules, the constraints on your property and site and what that will mean for the design options.
The builder can be doing their investigative work as well on your existing home or site to identify what physical or built features exist and how that may impact the design.
Finalising the proposal.
The benefit of the PAC Process is that the builder and designer work together closely during the design phase, so that when it comes time to creating your final, pre-contract proposal that your fixed price contract will be based one, that proposal can be done in an incredibly thorough way.
As you’re travelling through the design phase, and the designer and builder are working collaboratively, you’ll be making more and more detailed decisions.
These will include specific choices around materials, fixtures, finishes and products. All of this builds more resolution into your design, and helps the builder provide more accurate pricing for your project.
The goal is to get to the end of the design process with a well-resolved design you’re ready to hit ‘go’ on with construction drawings, and also your selections and specifications in place.
There’s lots more to learn about the WHAT of the PAC Process, including what’s involved and what you can expect in your experience of working collaboratively with your designer and builder during pre-construction.
Listen to the episode now.
Access my free online workshop “Your Project Plan” >>> FREE WORKSHOP
Learn what should be in a designer’s or architect’s fee proposal >>> DESIGNER FEE PROPOSAL CHECKLIST
Check out what you need to ask any potential builder in this mini-course >>> CHOOSE YOUR BUILDER
Access the support and guidance you need to be confident and empowered when renovating and building your family home inside my flagship online program >>> HOME METHOD
Are you a builder who would like to use the PAC Process in your business? Learn more about how to do that here >>> PAC CHALLENGE