» » Design firms not spared

Rising building materials have delivered a blow to the construction sector, with many projects put on hold and slowed down. This has had a domino effect on the house design and construction consulting sector as hundreds of firms are seeing business less active than before.

Customers fall over 70%

Nguyen Bich Loan, director of Tan Tri Nguyen Construction, Trading and Services Co., says, "The core and strong operations of Tan Tri Nguyen have long involved construction and design consulting services. But in a difficult time as now, the number of clients of the company has declined more than 70%."

The company is now busier with revising home designs as customers are grappling with growing construction materials prices. They want designs that help cut construction and materials costs.

Some customers have asked the company to provide cost estimates prior to the start of construction, but this is impossible, Loan says. They need an itemized report on materials so that they can actively change materials if necessary, or manage costs.

Thereby, Tan Tri Nguyen has i launched an online cost projection service which has attracted the attention of customers. With sufficient guidelines provided for this service, people can produce a rough cost projection report on their own.

To play safe, some construction contractors often give bids that are 15-30% higher than current prices. This will give them room to manouveur if construction materials mark up. In the meantime, others just provide construction services with their customers taking care of materials - something that is contrary to the long-established practice of implementing a turnkey housing project.

Phu My Gia Co. has launched "Building a home at a time of high prices" and "What can I do?" programs. Director Pham Minh Canh says that given the sharp rise in materials prices, customers should care about three matters: first, good budgeting; second, choosing branded quality materials; and third, selecting a contractor with a good reputation and responsibility. Customers should not rely on bank loans, he says, adding they need to have standby funds for unexpected spending.

If a good contractor is hired, they can help their clients make the most of available resources, according to him.

Designing low-cost houses

Tan Tri Nguyen Co. is offering a new service to customers who want to build homes at lower cost. In addition, the company can help clients shorten the period of construction by providing 3D solutions.

Other firms like Minh Long & An and Bang Viet attach importance to how to cut construction cost to the minimum. Cheaper materials are a top choice but it does not mean that their quality is compromised. House foundations are built in a way that ensures universal standards. Vietnamese home owners always prefer the foundations that are three to four times stronger than normal, so this can cause construction cost to rise substantially.

Source: Saigon Times

Post a Comment