Selecting the Design/Build Team

You’ve interviewed all of the potential members of your design build team and now comes the really interesting phase. Which individual person or firm will you choose? Again, identify, analyze, and respond. Simple, right? Well, not so fast. An impulsive decision usually does not serve us well in the long term. Let’s take this process by the numbers, literally, and see where we are with each category at the final calculation. The matrix to follow works for all team members and when followed thoroughly, will serve each of us well. Score with 5 being the best.

Personality First Impression

Pleasant Personality
1                  2              3              4              5
Professional Appearance
1                  2              3              4              5
Presentation in Order
1                  2              3              4              5
Arrived on Time
1                  2              3              4              5
Confirmed the appointment prior to actual
1                  2              3              4              5
Questioned your goals and your family’s interests
1                  2              3              4              5
24 Min. Score______


Knowledge of Your Goals

  • Has the individual or firm understood your goals?
Y                 N
  • Will the firm work well as a team member?
Y                 N
  • Have they convinced you of their qualifications?
Y                 N
  • Do they understand your style, quality standards?
Y                 N
  • Are they capable of matching your expectations?
Y                 N
  • Can they work with your building budget?
Y                 N
  • Does their past work quantify the level of expertise you expect?
Y                 N

If you have a no in this section, reconsider your applicant.

Past Client Experience General Questions

  • Have you made the calls?
  • Did you ask the hard questions?
  • Were these folks straight forward in the response?
  • Did your prospective team member tell you the truth about the past experience?
  • Have you thoroughly analyzed their response?
  • Did you give the prospective team member the benefit of the doubt?
  • Have you discussed with the prospective team member your findings?

Current Business Practices

  • What work load does the prospective team member have?
  • Can they truly work within your schedule requirements?
  • Who will you be in daily contact with?
  • Have you interviewed with this person?
  • If so, what is your first impression and have you done this matrix with them? They speak for the firm or company and will be your contact, so they must pass the same qualifications.
  • Do you understand the chain of command of the firm?
  • Do you have a good feeling about whom you will be working with as far as the level of professionalism and personality?

Scope of Services and Schedule of Events

  • Has the scope of services been thoroughly defined and agreed upon by all parties?
  • Has a clear matrix of responsibilities for all parts of the project been agreed upon?
  • Have all involved in the individual tasks created an agreed upon schedule of events?
  • Do you fully understand your responsibility to the team?

The Contractual Agreement

  • Have you thoroughly read each segment of the contract presented to you?
  • Do you understand and agree upon the payment terms?
  • Does the contract allow for a thorough “check and balance” process?
  • Does the contract clearly map out what services you will receive and when?
  • Does this agreement create a “fairness” for all parties included, or is it truly self-serving to the team or member firm?
  • Have you reviewed the presented contract with your attorney?
  • Do you understand completely the termination clause and do you feel comfortable with the language?


Following the Process

  • Are you confident in your decision to hire the team member?
  • Have you dispelled your “buyer’s remorse” syndrome?
  • Are you ready to “suit up” for all four quarters?
  • Are you totally committed to complete the task ahead?
  • Do you still possess a positive attitude for enjoying the process and willing to adjust in this manner with the unexpected events which will invariably arise during the process?
  • Does the whole family unit involved feel the same?

Okay, we didn’t know that was going to have so many issues, right? Well yes it does and many more, but the good news is that this journey has been and is experienced by literally thousands of folks each year very successfully. I want to reiterate here again that when you do your due diligence, ask the important questions, and seek out a truly professional team to work with, the results are almost always positive and fulfilling in nature.
I know that each of us have heard of a bad experience in this process and I will offer up two very simple statements. Bad news travels fast, and I might add, has legs that are seemingly everlasting! Secondly, when we examine the bad experiences we usually find that the homeowner really didn’t investigate or truly qualify the firm or contractor that they became contractually involved with.
I am a true believer that when you’ve asked the few questions posed in this communication and come away with satisfactory results, you will find this journey very rewarding indeed. Additionally should you have any further questions please feel free to contact me personally at and I’ll try to help with a workable solution.


Until next time enjoy the process!

Categories: The Design Team

Author: admin