Design-Build: The Smart Way to Remodel

As home improvement professionals, we admit to getting caught up in the contagious excitement of remodeling projects. It’s creative and meaningful work.

You can measure a homeowner’s initial remodeling enthusiasm by multiplying our excitement level by 100. In fact, many homeowners become so passionate about the potential of their new space that they want to take immediate action to get the ball rolling.

Homeowners often think that hiring an independent interior designer or architect is the first step in the process. At a glance, this seems to make perfect sense. You would think giving a contractor your professional design would make the bid and construction process easier but, in fact, quite the opposite can be tr ue.

While independent designers and architects might be excellent at design, they might unintentionally create a plan beyond your budget because they’re far enough removed from construction costs. You might not realize the disparity until you talk to a contractor – long after you paid for a nice design you might not be able to use.

On the other hand, a remodeling contractor might position himself as a design expert based on some experience and perhaps a modest architectural background. While such a remodeler can do the construction work and should have a good handle on costs, he might lack the skills to help you clarify your ideas, solve complicated design problems or complement existing architectural styles.

We encourage homeowners to take a less risky and more holistic approach to projects. The best way is to combine the skills of design and construction in one remodeling team – also known as a design-build team.

Although design-build teams vary, most are comprised of design and construction employees or contractors at one company who collaborate on remodeling projects from start to finish. The integrated team shares ideas, scrutinizes costs, provides the most innovative solutions and manages the project for the homeowner.

Most often, a dedicated project manager will guide the homeowner step-by-step through the remodeling process and serve as the design-build primary point of contact throughout the job. Along the way, homeowners meet with in-house designers, product selection specialists and key members of the building team – all working in tandem to ensure what’s drawn in the plans can be built on the ground without sacrificing design quality or blowing the budget.

Design-build can be a budget-conscious option for remodeling projects of any size and scope. Hiring one design-build firm is typically more affordable than hiring separate design and construction professionals.

In addition to the cost savings, the design-build approach is one-stop shopping, usually resulting in enhanced communication, time efficiencies, improved accountability, fewer surprises and increased homeowner satisfaction.

All remodels are an investment of energy and money, so it’s worth taking the time to do it right. Thoughtful planning will unlock remodeling potential, and using a design-build team can help your home reach its potential.