FIRST: WHAT IS PLANNING?
Planning is the first thing that you do when you are embarking on a building project. Often planning is called Feasibility. Before beginning any construction project, you should determine its ARCHITECTURAL, STRUCTURAL, LEGAL, FINANCIAL and EMOTIONAL feasibility.
These are the 5 key aspects that every project faces. Without some direction from you in these 5 areas, it will be a miracle if your design is remotely suitable.
The truth is that Planning almost always takes place. The issue is whether you control the planning or whether the planning controls you.
For example if you don't set a FINANCIAL budget in an initial Planning Stage, you will correct that omission when estimates or actual bids are received.
The problem with letting the Planning control you is that it is wasteful of your time and money. Without direction up front, your designer will need more time and more money to rework the design into a less costly solution.
When you have shared your plan up front, then it will not be entirely your problem if the design solution does not meet the criteria that you have set.
A PLANNING/DESIGN/BUILD PROCESS
PLANNING costs only 1% of the project budget and yet has premium value because it is easy to make changes at a very low cost, usually less than 1% of the value received.
DESIGN and engineering fees are around 9% of the project budget and still have a high value because it is relatively inexpensive to make changes, but the cost of changes grows as the project develops and can reach the point where the cost of the change is equal to the value received.
BUILDING uses 90% of the project budget but has commodity-like value and it is increasingly expensive to make changes, sometimes costing two times the value received.