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New Service Opens for Help with Remodeling Issues

The Homeowners’ Advisor has opened in Austin Texas, providing advice and resources for people considering remodeling their home or small business.

Austin, TX – WEBWIRE

One of the most vexing issues with virtually every major remodeling job is communication problems among all the parties involved: the owner of the project, the architect or designer, and the contractor who performs the actual construction.

According to Benny Rowe, consultant at The Homeowners’ Advisor, Owner’s Advocacy is a service concept that’s new to the construction industry in Texas, although it’s employed in other areas of the country.

In an article on the role of owner advocates, by attorney Jeffrey M. Gussoff of the Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi law firm, it is pointed out that in most building projects:

“The AIA documents make the architect one part traffic cop, one part referee, one part team leader and one part wise old scholar. In addition, the architect acts as his or her own advocate in protecting design integrity, which may be contrary to the owner’s concerns for cost or function, and the contractor’s desire for better or faster construction. In some jobs, these traditional roles create difficulties because the architect wears too many hats. This situation is exacerbated in design-build construction because both the project’s designer and builder are single source. For owners who are not well versed in the language and methods of a construction project, who speaks for the owner?”

Good question. The answer is an Owner’s Advocate. According to Rowe, the new model works like this: An owner who’s decided to remodel his or her building would contact an Owner’s Advocate before any other professional. The consultant, often a professional from the homebuilding and/or design trades, would give feedback as to the general feasibility of the idea, as well as some input on design and structural viability. If the owner retains the Advocate’s firm as a consultant, the firm will help the owner develop a general plan. This will consist of helping the owner decide on matters like initial feasibility, functionality, design aesthetics, and budget, resale value, and helping the owner vet design and contracting companies. The Advocate will then inspect and report on the work in progress, seeing it through to completion.

Obviously, such a service can take the burden of uncertainty and inexperience off of the owner, as the Advocate’s only goal is the owner’s best interest.

Sounds like an idea long overdue in our area.

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