Remodeling part of your home is a big decision. You want to make your budget and your time are being well-spent. In fact, those are some of the biggest reasons it makes sense to work with a design build firm. But there are also others just as important to consider.
Before we get to those others reasons, let’s expand a bit more on what a Design Build firm is. Put simply, it’s a company that ties design and construction together. Typically, this means the firm employs both design experts and seasoned builders and craftspeople under the same roof.
So, how can the design-build structure benefit your next remodel? Here are 3 ways it can help your budget stretch farther and keep your timeline under control.
1. Better Budgeting
Money is a critical factor when it comes to most remodels. You want to make sure your dollar is going as far as it can, while still resulting in a high quality finished product. A design build firm can help you determine a clear, reasonable budget at the outset. Since they’re familiar not only with construction costs, but also design and finish pricing, they can recommend accurate figures for all aspects of your remodel. And they can better work with you to compile and stick to a budget that makes sense for you and your project.
Recently, we had a client come to us with what was supposed to be a $350,000 project. Already, this was a sizable amount. They were working with separate builders, architects, and engineers to help design the project plan. They went through the entire design process expecting to see a final cost that aligned with their original budget, but unfortunately, it had ballooned from $350,000 to $650,000!
How did this happen? Though the architects and engineers were doing a thorough job, as were the designers, they weren’t working hand-in-hand with each other or the builders to ensure that the design was feasible with the actual construction costs. Put another way, each team was unaware that the elements they were adding to the project was resulting in an overall doubling of the budget. And since the separate builders weren’t yet under contract, they weren’t on hand to advise of the rising construction costs.
A combined design build firm that can help inform and set an appropriate budget. It’s also responsible for meeting that budget. Working with you to design the project, then implementing it through construction is a key way it can help prevent unwelcome budget surprises.
2. Better Communication
A second key benefit of working with a design build firm is that can reduce miscommunication before and during your project. Remodels are complex. They include a lot of moving pieces and components, from schedules and timelines to materials and finishes. If any one component goes awry, it can jeopardize the entire project.
With a design build company, you’re working with a single entity that is intimately familiar with how to create and manage the various components of the project, from using the same scheduling systems to communicating via the same online apps, so both the crews and the clients stay informed and up-to-date about project progress. That means you have the confidence to know that what was discussed, designed, and priced out is what’s going to be built.
With a design build firm, you’ll also have the various project components assembled in one efficient package. The drawings and renderings, construction costs, schedules, and more all are compiled into a single project plan. That also means there’s only one contract to sign.
When you’re working with a separate architect, designer, and builder, you may need to agree to contracts with each vendor, and those may not align with each other. An initial contract with a builder, for example, may need to be updated if changes are made to the design. Plus, your chances for miscommunication can go up, as each vendor is likely using their own systems to create and manage their part of the project.
3. More Aligned Feasibility
Getting the peace of mind knowing whether your project is actually feasible the way you’ve envisioned it is a third benefit of working with a design build firm.
When using separate vendors on a remodel, often the architect or designer is way out in front leading the project, and the feasibility from a construction standpoint may not be taken into account early enough. That can result in lost budget and wasted time.
We had a client who was working on converting a garage to an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). They had been working extensively with an architect and engineer, but no one had done a feasibility report to see whether the design they had discussed was doable. The client had spent a significant sum of money to that point, only to learn that some existing structural and property limitations were going to require to a fair number changes to the plan. The result: a project delay of several months and a big chunk of the budget already used up.
A design build firm can help think through and assess these types of issues, so particular design objectives remain aligned with the actual construction, and the property itself is examined for any problems that may affect the remodel.
The Design-Build Difference
From more control over the budget (and unpleasant budget surprises) to more efficient communication to better peace of mind, working with a design build firm can not only make your remodel run more smoothly, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that a seasoned team of experts will be with you every step of the way, so you can enjoy your new space as soon as possible.
Are you thinking about a remodel project? At Lamont Bros., you can count on working with an expert team of in-house designers and builders committed to working with you from start-to-finish to create a space you’ll love. Schedule a call with us to get started!