• Duane C. Barney

An Effective product is a combination of design & manufacturing

I am a big fan of Shark Tank and everything it brings to the table. If you watch, one of the initial questions is “what is the cost to manufacture?” as this is a major driving force behind the success of the new product. If manufacturing costs are prohibitively high, it can be the best design ever but will never go to market. Sometimes the solution is mass production reducing the cost per unit otherwise you must look for a design with a more efficient cost to manufacture.



In the residential construction business, mass production is not the option, each project is custom at some level. It may be a new kitchen and manufactured cabinets can be utilized but no room is the exact same size, with the same appliances used in the same location. It is customized to your style and taste. That is the fun of it. In the case of home construction at every level, it is a one-off production. One chance to get it right so design in combination with manufacturing is the only way to control cost.

Collaborative construction is the process of marrying design and manufacturing, your architect and your contractor, checking cost during the design stages, and reviewing construction material and assembly options for the best design at the best cost. Is that not really the objective?

An experienced contractor is a wealth of knowledge and a resource for information from the trades. Years of building will have exposed the contractor to numerous architects with an assortment of designs, some good and others… well. But each provides insight into what works and what does not, additionally, most contractors will have at least three subcontractors in each trade that can be utilized for consultation. With approximately 20 trades on a project that is the consulting resource of 60 business with hands-on experience, plus the combined knowledge of the contractor themselves.


Considering the available resources and the practicality of spot checking manufacturing costs; is this a resource you can really afford to ignore? If you are uncomfortable bringing on a contractor early and prefer competitive bid, then reach out to a resource like ourselves, for construction consulting, the construction consultant will also be able to aid with government approvals, site planning issues, or even financing and land acquisition. Focusing wholly on design without input or consideration for the manufacturing element is honestly short-sighted and extremely inefficient especially when this will only be built once. Utilize all available resources for cost-effective construction during the design phases.


Design-to-bid only confirms the cost of the design but the bid process will do nothing to reduce the construction cost, that has been set in design. For the cost to be a consideration manufacturing must be considered in the design.

Cost efficient construction comes from working collaboratively with design and manufacturing,
Collaborative Construction

Questions about how to start your project? We recommend this book as an essential first step.

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