If an architect designs a plan using advanced-framing methods, can a traditional builder follow those plans and build it correctly?
On a house I plan to have built, I would like to utilize advanced framing. If an architect designs a plan using advanced-framing methods, can a traditional builder follow those plans and build it correctly?
— Dominic Garzoli, via email
I commend you on your decision to use advanced framing. I don’t see a problem with using a traditional builder as long as that builder is willing to make the necessary adjustments. Most advanced-framing methods are not a far departure from standard methods. There are some slight layout changes and some attention given to the efficient use of wood, but one of the strengths of advanced framing is that its implementation can be applied incrementally.
In cases like yours, managing expectations is the key to success. You decide with your architect to use advanced framing. Your architect designs the frame accordingly. Your builder is then tasked with the actual implementation of the architect’s concept. As the homeowner, you’re expecting that the hard work of the architect and the builder results in a successful, well-performing home. Each party is expecting the next party to be successful, with the circle closing back on you. I suggest at a minimum that the builder and the architect have a meeting or two to clarify concepts and procedures and to manage expectations. It wouldn’t hurt for you to jump in on those meetings, too.