Builder Success: Winning Strategies in Home Construction

Builder Success: Winning Strategies in Home Construction title on white background with photo of Amelia Lee and Duayne Pearce and Live Life Build Logo

As a home builder, how do you thrive in the competitive home construction market?

Learn winning strategies through the PAC Process and how it benefits builders and homeowners.

Watch the video now, or read the transcript below. Be sure to also subscribe to the Live Life Build YouTube channel.

When we think about building homes, it’s not just about laying bricks and painting walls. It’s about creating a journey that’s smooth, transparent, and doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out because of budget blowouts or endless delays.

This is where the PAC Process comes in. There’s a whole idea of bringing builders, designers, and homeowners together to build trust. So, why is this important, and how does it fit into the bigger picture of winning strategies in home construction? Let’s find out through Duayne and Amelia’s conversation below.

Understanding the PAC Process in Home Construction


We find that a lot of homeowners go, of course, why isn’t this the way that this happens all the time?


Alright, we’ll talk about the PAC Processes. There are a lot of builders out there, PAC Processes, changing the home construction industry. And obviously, we’re very proud of what we’ve traded with the PAC Process. But for builders out there, they may have done our PAC challenge, or they may be one of our members, or they’re just sitting on the fence, and they want to know more about it. 

How can builders explain the PAC Process? The benefits of it, and everything about it to homeowners?


That’s a great question. Because, of course, the PAC Process is where a builder is paid as a consultant by the homeowner to come on board their project as part of the pre-construction phase and work collaboratively with the designer or architect to provide input on cost and buildability. 

You have to be able to convince a homeowner that this provides value to them because they’re ideally paying you a fee for that involvement over a period of time. So the first thing is to start looking at what the benefits could be to the homeowner.

Now, if you sit down as a builder and think about all of the things that have gone wrong on projects when you’ve just come in at the point of quoting or creating a proposal for a project at a tender competitively against other builders and then signing a contract, chances are, you will have experienced just how broken that design bid build model is. 

And that you’ve always been the bearer of bad news by having to tell a potential client that they can’t actually afford to build what they’ve designed. They may have been working on a design for months and months, sometimes years. And then it’s blown their budget, and you’re the one that’s having to break this news to them. 

So, I think identifying what you can see these benefits can be. Of course, you, as the builder, being involved during that pre-construction phase, you can help them avoid their design going over budget, and you can help provide input on things like… 

  • How the structure could be improved or made more efficient. 
  • How you can give ideas on materials that might save some money. 

If they’re weighing up overall design options, or they’re weighing up choices around specific things, you can be providing input on how you say materials perform or whether design decisions are going to extend their budget more than they want to spend. 

There are lots of things that you can do that, of course, there are also things that you can start to demonstrate that they need to take into account in terms of risk management around their site. 

For example, they might not be aware that because of where their sites are located, they’ve got risk issues around, say, flooding or challenges with getting materials on site. Things like that that can increase the time that undertake to build, the cost of the build, and all of that kind of stuff can be factored in. 

I mean, scaffolding is such a huge cost in projects. So, even looking at how you can provide input during the design phase where you could reduce how long scaffoldings are needed, that can make big cost savings, which would not even occur to a client but can be a huge benefit in terms of your involvement. 

Where have you also mentioned other areas of benefit for homeowners as part of the PAC Process?

Aligning the PAC Process Benefits with Homeowners’ Interests


There are too many to mention, but it’s an incredible process that gets everything sorted out before you get to a contract. And it’s definitely one of those things like, you are adding incredible value to their project and builders, they’re charging all types of different fees from $600, sort of right through to $15 – $17,000 for the PAC Process. 

Whatever the fee you’re charging, my firm belief is that you’re adding so much more than that figure in value to their project. And for our products that we do, the figure that our clients pay us, we save them that figure 10 times during our PAC Process and the PAC Process is really valuable. 

One of the benefits I definitely see as a big one is, at the end of the day, it’s not up to us to try and control the design process or the engineering or any of those things. And it’s not up to us to tell the client what’s important to them and where they should spend their money. 

It’s up to us during the PAC Process to educate everybody on material costs.

You just touched on scaffolding there as an example. We had a design that was getting towards the pointy end of what the client could afford. And the designer was really pushing for a steep roof, like a 35-degree pitched roof. 

When we were sitting at the design meeting, and it was continuing to go down this path, the owner actually had another item in the project that they were leaning more towards or if we could save some money somewhere. We would actually prefer to do this. 

Also, right then and there at that meeting, I say to them, 

“Well, look, 35 degrees, we’re actually going to have to do the scaffolding twice like it’s actually gonna go up for the factoring data, then because it’s so steep, we’ve got to get the scaffolding company back, they’ve got to reassess all the platforms, I gotta get the handrail higher because it’s such a steep pitch.” 

On that size home, that was going to be a 10 or $12,000 extra exercise on the scaffolding. And it was about another 10 grand to do what they wanted. So it was being involved in those conversations. 

Like I said, I’m not there to say, “Hey, this is what you got to do”. But the owner and the client were able to have a conversation then. Although the designer and the client… they basically asked me, “What pitch do we need to go back to not to have that extra double up on scaffolding?”. 

So, I was able to talk to my roofer to find out what all the regulations were at the time ended up being 25 degrees, the designer did some modelling on it, and the clients were still stuck with the answer. They still got the home they wanted. The designer was still happy with the outcome. 

And they got to spend the extra 10 grand on something they saw value in. So the benefits are enormous. And you, as a builder… 

I think a lot of builders struggle to understand the value that they add to this process. 

Because of that, they struggle to sell the process. But a lot of this also comes back to the way that we, as builders and designers, work with documenting all the information.

Educating Homeowners on the Value of the PAC Process


Yeah, well, I think that the thing to understand is that getting into a builder’s workflow can take a lot of time. So, homeowners don’t necessarily understand that good builders are busy at the best times. 

Homeowners can get frustrated when, if they’ve gone the whole way through a design process, done all the documentation, and got all their approvals, they’re now sending it out to tender and want to start home construction as soon as possible. 

And all of a sudden, you as a builder say I’m not available for six to nine months, even longer, that’s incredibly infuriating for them. So, by doing the PAC Process, they can get into your pipeline, which means that they know when they will be starting, and they can get that whole thing flowing through. 

When you start to look then at what that means for how you can start seeing, how you can show homeowners this value, it really comes down to how you can educate them in a way that doesn’t require you to have this conversation with them one on one. 

So, what are the actual benefits of all those things we’ve just gone through of working out? Then, look at what you can do to document this. 

  • What can you do to put it into marketing material? 
  • Can you create a how-to guide of what the PAC Process would look like for working with you? 
  • Can you start looking at talking about it on your social media? 

We have PAC Process-trained builders who are creating videos for their websites and their social media that explain what the PAC Process looks like and how to work with them. I mean, homeowners are asking for this process by name now. So we know that homeowners out there want it and they want to find the builders that are delivering it. 

For them to be able to see builders talking about it on their website, we’ve had builders who put it on their website, say we did a process, or they hashtag their social media. They’re getting jobs from clients through using the PAC Process specifically because of that. 

Lots of people say, “I could never do social media because I don’t have anything to talk about. I can’t do blog posts…” or anything like that they’re talking about the PAC Process, a really great vehicle for you to start putting into your marketing material. 

If you’re struggling with talking about it, one really tangible way for homeowners to understand the value of this is to talk about case studies. For example, that case study you just went through is a prime example of where a homeowner would go, Oh, wow, that didn’t even occur to me that that was possible. We’ve had…


…a designer, architect. They want to be aware of those sorts of things. So, given the homeowners’ examples of that. But the other thing, I guess, is a lot of homeowners want structure. 

Implementing Winning Strategies as a Home Builder

And a lot of builders don’t have structure. Look at our PAC Process or PAC challenge. We have a full process around there. That becomes a PDF document that you can show a client. 

This isn’t just a name. This is actually a system and a process that we can follow. And if we follow this, we can deliver you the best possible product for what you want to spend.


Yeah, and then clients know what they’re going to be expecting, which then gives them a lot more confidence. They feel a lot more comfortable. Their anxiety lowers because they know what the next several months are, they’ve got a roadmap for the next several months of their life.

They can then feel much more in hand, much more taken care of, and say that this process actually has meaning for them. And I think that then helps them see how that can be really beneficial for them. 

When they start to understand through you showing them that process and then through understanding those case studies of where things have gone wrong, or you’ve been able to solve problems by being involved during pre-construction, we find that a lot of homeowners go, of course, why isn’t this the way that this happens all the time? 

At the end of the day, in every other sector of the construction industry, except for single-home residential, this happens. This process happens when the people who are constructing the projects who are costing the projects are sitting at the table during the design phase that happens in public and commercial work, multi-res developments. 

But the single homeowner who’s putting their own personal finances and mortgage on the line has not been getting the benefit of this process and has almost been thrown to the wolves through this whole design bid build, under the perception that they think that competition actually drives the best outcome. 

This PAC Process is a better result, it creates much better relationships for everyone involved. 

And if you as a builder can start to drill down, Okay, where is this going to benefit the homeowner? 

Remember, everybody is listening through YFM, so this is something a coach once told me: 

YFM is what’s in it for me. Everybody is always listening through YFM. 

So, you’ve got to understand what is in it for the client position, all of the material you put together from that point of view, and you’ll be able to explain to them really well why the PAC Process can be so beneficial for their projects.


So, there you go, explain all that to your clients. 

Don’t underestimate the value you can add to the entire process and get on board with the PAC Process.

If you want to know more about the value and other benefits of the PAC Process, check out our blogs here:

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