Design and Build are becoming a familiar catchphrase in the construction industry. We know what it means, but do you? Don’t worry if you had to shake your head no to that. We’ve discovered that as consumers search for a contractor they don’t always know what sets one apart from another. We love helping our potential clients make an informed decision, so we’ll take you through the highlights of what makes a contracting outfit a design and build firm.
In this line of work, there are two sides of the project that lead to getting your dream home: the design of the room and/or home and the building of the project. The following scenario is one that we’ve encountered a few times and I think it highlights the goals of a design and build firm best:
First, a designer is trained to give a client what they ask for from an aesthetics point of view. Not a fan of how small your bathroom is? Easy! We just move a wall back a couple of feet and you’ve opened the room up for a large walk-in shower and a freestanding tub. The client is thrilled, pays for the designs, and begins looking for a contractor to build. Enter the builder.
The contractor is trained to build what they are given. Traditionally a client handed over plans, and the builder would begin the logistics of making them happen and provide an estimate. They go over it and hand over a number. The homeowner is devastated to find out the remodel far exceeds their budget. They become unhappy with the designer or the contractor or, maybe, both.
Honestly neither is trying to mislead the homeowner. They just aren’t on the same page, because they aren’t in direct contact. Connecting the two can help solve the budget problem, but those back and forth changes are going to start costing more money. That’s your most valuable resource in getting a build that you will be happy with.
This is where the design and build business model shines. It is a contracting firm that does both the design and the remodeling in-house. Keeping a project streamlined meets the goal of delivering on design promises within an agreed upon budget. Your designer is working directly with your builder. They are both working towards your goal but from two aspects. In the design process, the designer may want to do something grand to wow the client, but the builder is tempering that by bringing in the cost reasons why that may not be the best approach to meet the client’s needs. On the flip side, the builder may want to do more traditional builds, while the designer is inclined to explore the space a little more to enhance it in ways that may require a less traditional approach.
Additionally, when you have both sides of the team under one roof changes to designs can be made quickly and efficiently. Anytime there is back and forth on the design it requires time and, again, money. This can bring a job to a halt while your builder waits for your designer to come back with the changes. In a design and build firm the job site calls the office, the designer makes the changes, and it’s back on track with no bumps that could potentially push the job out by weeks and, in some cases, months.
In the world of contracting there’s a lot of ways to go about building a project for a client. No one method is the “right” way to do it, but we have discovered that design and build allow more control over a project ensuring we can guarantee a high-quality remodel for our clients that stay on budget, meet expectations, and timelines.