Over the past several decades, many industries have made the decision to outsource work overseas to save costs. Factories have been built in other countries to supply US-based companies with parts and materials; remote call centers have been established for all types of companies requiring customer support; and yes, even architecture firms have started to use remote workers from around the globe for support services.
For many years now, architects have been using overseas contractors for services like structural and mechanical design, Title 24 consulting, and rendering services. Architects, like professionals in almost any other field, are doing what they can to remain competitive from a cost perspective, and outsourcing this type of work can seem like an easy way to save a few dollars.
While it’s true that much of this type of work can technically be done by overseas contractors for much less than their American counterparts, the surface-level cost savings don’t always tell the whole story.
On a few occasions, our Long Beach architecture firm has tried working with online and overseas service companies to help keep costs down for our clients. However, in our experience, we found that there is no substitution for the high-quality, personalized service that you can get from local contractors. There’s just something to be said for being able to pick up the phone and ask one of our long-time consultants or engineers, “Can you meet me at the site on Wednesday to help me come up with a ‘workaround’ to an existing site condition that the general contractor has come across?” And because of the tight relationships we’ve formed with our local contractors, they can almost always accommodate our requests. You can’t get that type of service from someone who lives an ocean away and that you’ve only communicated with via email.
In our experience, the cost savings associated with using overseas contractors doesn’t actually materialize either. Accountability is often diluted by distance and technology. When an online consultant doesn’t fully complete the job or doesn’t complete it in a timely manner, it falls on the architect to follow up with the consultant and field calls from upset building owners and frustrated general contractors when their projects get delayed. This extra time that the architect has to spend managing the process just shifts the cost from the less expensive overseas contractor to the architect. This results in little, if any, money actually being saved.
At Grisafe Architecture, we prefer to use those from our trusted network of local contractors. We have professionals in every field that we can call on at any time and know that they will complete our projects on time, and do them right the first time. This helps keep our clients’ projects on schedule, and just make the entire process that much smoother.
When our Long Beach architecture firm says we “advocate for our clients,” this includes offering them competitive rates, but it also means providing a high level of service. Sacrificing service to cut costs is not something we are interested in doing. So as long as our local contractors continue to provide superior service, we will continue to use them.
If you’re looking for a Long Beach architect who will look out for your best interests and provide you with the best service possible, we’d love to talk with you and hear more about your upcoming commercial or residential project. Contact us today.