Whether you’ve decided it’s time to remodel one room, or are taking on the project of redesigning your entire home, there are many approaches you can take to get the job done.
We know that while the finished project is appealing, the process of remodeling can leave you flustered and overwhelmed. Who do you trust? Where do you start? And what’s the best way to tackle each job?
We’ve all heard the horror stories within the remodeling industry. Companies that don’t deliver what was promised. Budgets are blown way beyond the boundaries. Even companies that walk away from the project, never to be seen or heard from again.
Remodeling isn’t a small project. It’s a difficult, time consuming and expensive task.
In doing your homework, you may have come across the concept of using a design-build company for your remodel. But what does that mean? And is it the best choice for you?
First, let’s explain what a design-build firm is. Design-build is an approach to the remodeling process where a single entity provides both the design and the construction services. This single point of contact approach has a variety of advantages over the traditional design-bid-build method in which a person uses two different companies to satisfy all the steps that go into the remodeling process.
For the traditional approach, you must interview both the designer/architect and the contractor that will handle the building work.
While there are many talented and creative architects, we often find people who are ready for a remodel don’t have the specifics solidified in their minds. Yes, they know it’s time for a remodel. Yes, they have wishes and desires. But they have yet to concretely put those desires on paper, and have exact specifications drawn to scale.
Sound familiar? You know you want a bigger kitchen, gourmet features, more light and flexibility to your backyard. But beyond that, things get a little fuzzy. You’re open to interpretation and advice.
That’s where the design-bid-build model can get confusing. And the design-build model provides advantages. The design-build model simplifies the process and helps you achieve results in a shorter, more flexible way.
There are a lot of moving pieces during the remodeling process. You’ll have a lot of people on site at different times, providing their individual services for the overall design: engineers, architects, designers, general contractors, construction crew, and more.
With the design-build approach, one firm manages all aspects of your project. It enables tighter controls of budgeting, schedules, and craftsmanship. It also gives you one point of contact throughout the process, making it easier to avoid communication issues that are often associated with having more than one person in charge.
And with big remodeling jobs, there invariably will be changes along the way. Having an in-house designer simplifies the remodeling process, having them act as a quality control and aesthetic agent to make small changes to the drawings and plans on an as-needed basis.
Ever played the game Telephone as a kid? You know how easily messages can become misconstrued as it moves from one person to the next.
With one person in charge, they will take control of all aspects. They will know to watch for both your budget parameters and your likes and interests at the same time. You have one person to voice your concerns to, one person who will make sure the message is carried out in a specific way. It provides you with less room for frustration, and more room to enjoy the process, ensuring your voice is heard with just one phone call.
When two teams work on a project, they each approach it with their own agendas. And in some cases, they are both distinctly different from your own views. The remodeling process means fine tuning all approaches to reach an end that meets your expectations.
When the designer begins, they approach the project to find the most cost effective fixtures and materials for the project. They may design with very rough numbers in mind. They may not have up to date costs on all materials needed to complete the job. When the builder comes into play, that’s when numbers begin to change. It’s also where the disagreements can begin.
But if all teams work together and are working towards the same goal from the beginning, it can help your initial desires and wishes become a reality. No designing outside of the budget. No understating some of the most important aspects of the project. The entire process is better scheduled, and people come together to make sure everything stays on track.
Costs go up when mistakes are made. And the more people working on a project, the greater the chance of misinterpretations.
When the designer and the builder are teammates, they can comfortably talk about cost saving options that will benefit you. They can agree on the details – keeping the integrity of the design, finding the right fixtures, creating the timeline to make it all happen – while bringing you on board with the changes. Two approaches never have to be hashed out – you simply find one approach that is working hard to keep you on track.
Better Quality Control
When you rely on a design-build firm, you’ll not only have your point of contact on track with your final decisions, you’ll have the entire team familiar with your project. From the sales person, to the estimator, to the carpenter, because you’re using one firm for the entire process it means the team will be on board from beginning to end. This gives everyone the ability to be open to discussions and offer advice and solutions where options become available. It allows potential construction issues to be avoided altogether in some cases.
When a team is vested in the final outcome, it gives everyone on the team a chance to build a better rapport. And when they understand the reasons behind every decision, they grasp the vision from the beginning, helping tweak every step to make it better overall.
You benefit from working with someone who has all levels of expertise. They offer creative solutions while having a solid background in engineering, craftsmanship, and skill.