Nothing can derail a big building project like poor communication, and at Krittenbrink Architecture, we pride ourselves in being open, honest communicators. We’re not perfect, but we sure do try to be clear; we also encourage our clients to be as straight-forward as possible during their new build projects and renovations.

Here are a few tips from Mark Krittenbrink to keep in mind that will mean your project has “smooth sailing:”

1. Tell us your goals and trust that we’ll treat your goals with respect.

Mark shares, “Many clients have preconceived notions about what MUST be done to accomplish their goals, so they’ll say ‘We need to move this wall to seat 80 women.’ What’s helpful to an architect and designer is to hear you say, ‘I’d like to be able to seat 80 women regularly and 120 people intermittently.’ We’ll recommend moving walls or not moving walls, once we have taken everything about the project into account. We love solving puzzles, so share your dreams, dream big, and we’ll work on how to create the physical reality for these dreams.”

2. Be sure to keep your alumni in mind when planning big building projects.

We’ve seen it happen that younger members of your fraternity or sorority misunderstand the current building project, erroneously believing that the project is only for the present and future members. But the whole history of the house must be considered for all of your constituents to consider the work a success. So, be sure to communicate with your alumni about what you’re doing and give them a chance to include what is important to them in the project also.

3. Stay in touch about the budget.

When groups are fundraising, budgets change. If you know up front that you want to do a multi-year, phased project, it is really helpful to your architect if you communicate that information at the beginning of the project. What if a phased project isn’t your intention, but you raise more or less money than expected? Be sure to be in touch about your finances, as the architectural team needs to plan accordingly. There is no benefit to “holding out” and not sharing finances, whether you have good news to share or bad. We’re flexible, and making sure that we’re speaking with each other frequently will keep the project from stretching out longer than expected.

What are other challenges that fall into the bucket of “communication?” Working together with excellent communication creates a win/win for all parties.