It’s No Mystery Why Design-Build is Your Best Bet

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House 001 by Cowgirl Jules, on Flickr

Growing up in  Central California, I was always fascinated by the stories I had heard and read about San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House. To this day, I haven’t been inside, but its fascination lingers.

Mrs. Winchester orchestrated construction on her house, interior and exterior, continually, until she died. To most of us that is the making of a nightmare. But it’s her methods that are most curious.

The website describes her building design:

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

Winchester Mystery House by InSapphoWeTrust, on Flickr

“According to legend, Mrs. Winchester enacted a nightly séance to help with her building plans and for protection from ‘bad’ spirits. While she sometimes drew up simple sketches of the building ideas, there were never any blueprints….or building inspectors! In the morning, she would meet with John Hansen, her dutiful foreman, and go over new changes and additions.”

Her unorthodox methodology explains the random building anomalies – chimneys, roof lines, hidden passageways, doors that open to brick walls, and stairs that go nowhere. Was she really confusing the spirits, or just confused?

Traditional Design & Construction:

Mrs. Winchester’s building method is, by no means, traditional. Most building owners and tenants hire an architect or space planner, go through the (sometimes long) design process. After the drawings are submitted to the City, the client (or their construction manager) invites three (or more) general contractors to bid, collect and sometimes answer RFIs, and award the contract to the lowest bid, presuming that bid has everything covered.

As an owner, you can go that route. But we think there’s a better way.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs

It’s no secret that Riggins Construction & Management, Inc. specializes in design-build tenant improvements and new building construction, especially since Tom Riggins has a construction engineering degree from Cal Poly. Our approach to construction from an engineering background allows us to streamline the entire process for you, our client.

Design-Build – A Refreshing Approach

In the design-build process, we contract with and direct the architect and design-build subcontractors (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire sprinkler) and, if needed, the soils or civil engineers or landscape architect. This allows us to closely work with clients to design specifically for their business processes and office needs in the shortest time possible, value engineering along the way.

While the project is in review with the City, we can begin collecting bids from our curated, vetted, and time-tested group of subcontractors to ensure the best quality and price right up front, minimizing the “unforeseen” problems in the field, without a séance.

We can’t protect you from “bad sprits” but we understand the complexities that each building and client’s business may pose in their location. Since we’ve been working in Orange County since 1977 we have a historical knowledge of our area and even some of its problem areas.

Detailed Approach:

For example, a building may look great to the naked eye, but has too much office space and has to be reverse engineered based upon parking ratios or trip calculations. It may be out of date with Title 24 Building Envelope requirements or be out of ADA compliance.

The Winchester House may be a mystery but navigating design, the City Planning process, bidding, and construction, from start to end is no mystery to us. And that provides our clients with security.

In fact our 36-year client, Landco, LLC, once wrote:

“I especially appreciate your understanding and navigation through the shoals and hazards of the assorted city agencies… a major challenge met!” — Landco, LLC

Are you looking to buy or lease a building? Get a building survey first to make sure it’s the right fit. That’s the ideal first step in the design-build process.

The next step is partnering with the right design-build contractor. And that, my friend, is no mystery.  Email Tom Riggins or give him a call at (714) 953-6333 to discuss your needs today.

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18 thoughts on “It’s No Mystery Why Design-Build is Your Best Bet

  1. This is a wonderful read.

    Bridget, you’re so very knowledgeable about the whole process that you could be a partner. My favorite point is about the: “reverse engineered based upon parking ratios or trip calculations.”

    I can tell you if a company like Riggins was there to re-design our parking lot at work it would not be dangerous and almost incomprehensible to our customers. The company will remain nameless, however; the point is still the same. A company like Riggins would have had the insight to prevent all the obvious problems it has created. Now, it will remain like the Winchester Mystery House – a mystery.

    Thank you, Bridget.

  2. I absolutely love this: “While the project is in review with the City, we can begin collecting bids from our curated, vetted, and time-tested group of subcontractors to ensure the best quality and price right up front, minimizing the “unforeseen” problems in the field, without a séance.”

    The going back and forth between the mystery of the Winchester Mystery House and the non-mysterious forces at work in your own process is key to this entire article.

    Wonderful!

    Carol

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