Why You Should Work With a Contractor and Architect Early on in Your AV Project
Overview of a desk with papers and drawings related to architect and contractor work duties.

Whether you’re looking to start a completely new AV project for your home or business, or renovate your current setup, hiring a contractor and architect early on is the best route to go.

Audio visual (AV) is far too often considered an afterthought in the initial design and building process, and oftentimes the most important features don’t end up being installed. Working with a contractor and architect early on in your AV projects will allow you to create a better integrated room.

Important Aspects of Contractors and Architects Working Together

A positive working relationship between contractors and architects is key to having a smooth AV project from start to finish. Poor alignment between the two can cause project delays, noncompletion, and unforeseen costs.

Here are some of the top reasons why contractors and architects should have an alliance in the beginning stages of your AV project. 

Contractors Are Included in the Design Process

Whether you’re considering a large or small project, building from the ground up, or pursuing a renovation, an architect, contractor, and client are all part of the same team. Each member of this team plays a critical role in the entire process, but it’s especially important to have all voices heard in the earliest conversations of the design process.

Most people think this initial stage of a project is exclusive to the client and architect, but it’s vital that contractors are included to determine if it’s possible to meet both the client’s needs and project goals. 

For example, not all architectural plans account for certain AV equipment such as cabling and other technical equipment needed for long-term scalability. While most new equipment and technology are compact by design, contractors must consider all factors to determine if it can be incorporated into the setup. 

Contractors can point out any noticeable flaws in a plan to help architects integrate an AV system into a design. This helps ensure both acoustic and visual clarity within a space. 

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Architects Will Work With Contractor Constraints

There are several unavoidable constraints that can pop up at any point in a project’s timeline. Both architects and clients can manage their expectations based on a contractor’s constraints. 

Budget, material availability, and sometimes environmental conditions will warrant the revision of an original plan. And while it’s great to have a “high concept” grand vision that clients and architects are usually responsible for bringing forward, there are times when it’s unrealistic for contractors to carry out.

Contractors aren’t usually sweating the small details because they’re focused on staying within budget and ordering materials for timely delivery. In fact, any sort of grand design can’t happen if there aren’t building materials and AV equipment to work with in the first place. 

With that said, architects aren’t necessarily abandoning plans due to various contractor constraints. But they’re rather communicating more candidly with contractors to determine what’s realistic and what isn’t.

This doesn’t mean architects should drop their design concepts. It simply means that constraints exist, and communication and compromise are needed for the project to reach completion. As long as there’s a respectful back-and-forth between the architect and the contractor, there’s no reason why requests shouldn’t be accommodated. 

Regular On-Site Inspections Are Facilitated

The responsibilities of an architect don’t end once the AV design process is complete and construction plans are submitted. Architects should routinely inspect a site’s progress while construction is underway. This ensures that plans are being followed according to the contract’s provisions. 

Weekly meetings are one way to facilitate this. For example, contractors and architects will have the opportunity to discuss any issues that the builders may have run into in the previous days or week. Small issues can turn into much larger ones that cause costly delays if all parties aren’t on the same page. 

All Parties Are Involved in the Construction Process

Contractors aren’t simply there to compromise and solve problems, but rather to inform architects of stages during the entire construction process

Architects are able to familiarize themselves with current issues, risks, buildability, and even commercial viability in some cases. They gain insight into the concerns that contractors face during AV project construction, and can incorporate solutions to those concerns in future designs.

Intel from clients is especially important too. If an AV project isn’t turning out how the client imagined, those concerns can help both contractors and architects carry out a construction process in the future that better aligns with a client’s needs. 

An Accessible Line of Communication Is Maintained

Architects are typically the first to be hired since clients are initially looking for someone to refine their vision and devise a plan. Contractors are then hired last to sort through the pieces of a plan, and then turn that vision into reality.  

However, clients tend to engage with contractors and architects separately because they don’t perceive them as an integrated team. But like any strong team, there needs to be a solid foundation between all parties.  

When a client, contractor, and architect maintain an accessible line of communication, they’re better able to carry out a successful AV project. A collaborative approach that’s strengthened through open communication is key to avoiding construction delays and other potential points of conflict. It also improves how the team deals with unforeseen circumstances where quick action is needed.  

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Overall Benefits of Working With a Contractor and Architect Early 

Working with a contractor and architect early on in your AV project is key to ensuring client satisfaction, keeping employees proactive, and improving the overall success of your AV project.  

Client Satisfaction 

You as a client are most likely to be satisfied when there are minimal to no hurdles throughout the entire timeline of your project. 

Working with a contractor and architect early on will allow you to have a solid plan that’s created and revised well in advance of construction. Any noticeable flaws will be pointed out early, saving you steep unforeseen costs and potential building delays.

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Employee Productivity

Employee productivity will increase when working with a contractor and architect early on in your project. The sooner employees know what their tasks are, the sooner they can complete them. This also leaves room for available workers on the job to help in other areas as well. 

A well-thought out AV plan provides structure for those working on the project, leading to improved efficiency and thus increased productivity. 

Improved Success

Working with a contractor and architect early on in your AV project helps everyone equally. 

Those you employ will benefit from a better understanding of what does and doesn’t work well, which they can apply to future projects. And if your home AV project is successfully completed, you’ll have an easier time carrying out future home projects. This could be working with the same company on a renovation, or even working with a new company in a new location and better illustrating your thoughts and past experiences with them. 

Contact AV Smart Solutions for Your AV Needs

If you’re interested in enhancing your home or business with AV, contact AV Smart Solutions today. Call +1 (425) 655-5052 or complete our inquiry form and one of our AV specialists will be in touch! 

Featured image via Unsplash