September 2017

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082

843 846 2500

September 2017

Number 43

From the desk

of Abbey …

Summer is winding down and we have the beginning of fall to anticipate! Holiday season will soon start and school has already started. The summer projects we are working on are coming to a close as our customers begin to return to Brays for the colder months. We look forward to having you all back!

Genie is showing a sand dollar she found.

July of this year I went on a beach trip with Mama, Debby, Mandy, Jessy, Jerry, Genie, Will, Kandie, Jane and George – Dad, Willis and Henry were working. On our way there I noticed how green everything was! I guess it is all the rain we have had because usually things are looking rather brown and “tired” from the heat and sun by July and August. It was a perfect beach day! The temperatures were in the upper 80’s and the stretch of beach we chose was quite empty – which is just how I like the beach! It had been well over a year since we had gone to Hunting Island. I have to say that the progress they have made since Hurricane Matthew is phenomenal! There was an unusual amount of Sand Dollars, every time we would wiggle our fingers or toes around in the wet sand we would come up with a Sand Dollar!

September 6th is Dad and Mom’s 49th wedding anniversary and August 10th was Willis and Debby’s 15th wedding anniversary! It doesn’t seem like either couple could have been married that many years: time truly does fly when you’re having fun!

For the past couple of weeks, on our way to and from work, we have been listening to some audio CDs, one of which is Brian Tracy’s Master Strategies. Daddy taught us how important goal-setting was many years ago, probably farther back than even I remember. He has read countless Self-Improvement and Self-Help books and gone through a number of them with us as a family. Goal setting makes sense to me, without an ‘end’ in mind it is hard to know where/when/what to start!

Alice, my little niece who is battling leukemia, is making great progress! She still has checkups and is required to take steroids as part of her treatment, but all in all her spirits are high and she is doing well! Everyone has been so supportive and kind in asking after her and her family. Thank you for remembering her, especially since it has been over two years since we found out. You all have been such good friends to remember and care about how she is doing. So often in today’s world it gets so busy and taking time to care takes … well, time! You all have been such a great support team and it is truly appreciated. Thank you! One of our friends who works at Owners Services is going on a “Run” in Alice’s name! This is the second time she’s done it, it is so sweet!!

We are constantly working on and thinking about ways we can improve what we do and how we do it. If there is anything you can share with us that you think would help us improve our services we’d love to hear it!

Do You Need A Project Manager Or An Architectural Supervisor?

The short answer is easy: It depends.

The long answer is a little more involved.

First, some terms. For this newsletter, we are defining a residential home project manager (PM) as a person who interfaces between the homeowner and the contractor. An architectural firm can also provide supervision (AS) of the construction of the owner’s new home.

The PM works with the home owner to understand what they want in their new home then works with the builder to make sure the owner’s desires are met, or at least considered. (it could be what the home owner wants turns out to be something more expensive than the homeowner wants to pay).

The PM, who is paid by the home owner, also monitors construction to make sure everything is built according to plan and no shortcuts are taken. Basically, the PM is selling his/her home building experience to the home owner. This can be advantageous to both an inexperienced home owner and to an absent home owner.

We built this rather complicated cottage in about six months. The homeowner had a project manager during construction.

The advantages to the contractor are often the PM can provide answers to questions more quickly than a homeowner because the PM has a very good idea of what the home owner wants. Of course, if a contractor is thinking of cutting a few corners, he may not want to deal with a project manager.

We built this two bedroom guest cottage with a two bay garage in less than five months by interfacing directly with the absent homeowners.

It is true that a slippery contractor has to deal with building inspectors, but honestly, there are so few inspections and they are so brief (typically an inspector spends an hour or two inspecting a complete home for the final inspection), they might not catch all of the issues. The PM, depending on the arrangement, may visit the job site weekly or at random. The inspectors come out when they are called by the contractor (and he is ready for them).

Which do we at Willis Sinclair prefer? Actually, either is fine with us. We never cut corners, so impromptu visits by anyone are not a problem for us as long as they don’t impede the building process and site safety is not compromised. Homeowners are always welcome.

A PM can speed the process, but since we are careful to get to know our home owners and their wants, we basically fill the position of a PM on our jobs. Sometimes a PM may be able to answer our question quicker than the homeowner. However, we try to think far enough ahead that no delays are incurred.

So, do you need a project manager? If you are new to home building or you don’t want to be involved in too many of the details of home building, this may be a good way for you to go. Even if you are not absent during construction, a project manager can give you a second set of eyes.

Architectural firms often will also provide construction supervision. Typically, this means the architect or a representative will visit the job site on a regular basis (often monthly) to make sure things are going well. In our experience, architects are more concerned about aesthetics than structural details. (Aesthetics, after all are the architect’s primary concern – he hires an engineer for most of the structural details.)

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another ….

1 Thessalonians 5:11a

If a homeowner knows what he wants, the importance of an architectural supervisor might not be so important if we are the builders. That is because we keep the homeowners updated with many photos – usually on a daily basis. If the homeowner keeps an eye on the photos and sees something that he wants changed, we are just a text, phone call or email away.

In addition to costing extra (approximately 10% of the architect’s fee) sometimes, it appears having a supervision contract tends to breed a little bit of laziness in some architects. They adapt a “design it as it goes” mentality. Clearly, it is much more efficient (less time and money) to design the home accurately and carefully initially instead of making changes during construction. Of course, this is not true of all architects.

We built this home without a project manager or architectural supervision.

What is the bottom line? If you don’t have total confidence in your contractor you might consider a project manager or an architectural supervisor or better yet, a different contractor. If you are at ease with your contractor and unsure of exactly what you want in a home or what “looks good,” maybe a project manager or an architectural supervisor would be a good fit. If you are too busy or don’t want to be bothered with the details, either a project manager or architectural supervisor may be useful.

If you trust your builder and you know what you want, a third party could just be an added expense and added layer of complexity.

Willis Sinclair Homes

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843 846 2500

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