Planes, Trains and Automobiles

One of my all-time favorite movies is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It cracks me up every time I watch it. For those of you that may not know the story line, here it is; the movie starts two days before Thanksgiving with Neal Page (Steve Martin), a marketing executive, leaving a business meeting in New York City and heading to the airport to fly home to Chicago. He was on a mission to get home to his family for Thanksgiving. As fate would have it, O’Hare was shut down due to a blizzard and his flight was diverted to Wichita.  There is where Neal gets connected to another stranded traveler, Del Griffith (John Candy), a shower curtain ring salesman, and the adventures of getting home by plane, train and automobile begin. Each “traveling” method they used presented its own set of challenges. They did get home in time for Thanksgiving dinner but not before a lot of diversions, complications and “speed bumps”.

Just like Neal and Del experienced, there are always multiple ways to accomplish your next project; some are just more efficient than others. Before you take off on your “project trip”, consider the type of vehicle (project delivery method) that will get you there in the most efficient manner. Here are three common project delivery methods available to you…


  • Owner hires Architect/Engineer to prepare drawings & specifications.
  • General Contractors competitively bid the project from the completed documents.
  • Selection of contractor to do the work is generally based on cost or schedule.

Construction Management

  • Owner hires A/E to prepare phased documents and CM to manage the construction.
  • Trade-contractors bid or negotiate the work of their trade.
  • Selection of trade-contractor to do the work is based on cost or schedule.


  • Owner hires a team consisting of the Architect/Engineer/ Contractor.
  • The team controls scope, quality, schedule, and budget throughout the project.
  • Trade-contractors bid or negotiate the work of their specific trade.

We would be glad to help you decide which delivery method is best for you and your project; give us a call. Whichever method you chose, you can only hope you will have as much fun getting there as Neal and Del did.

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