How Design-Build Works
For most projects and most homeowners, using the Design-Build approach to home remodeling or custom home development offers the most benefit.
When using the design-build method, a homeowner hires one company that both designs and builds the remodeling or custom home project. Typically, the budget is discussed early on, as with other methods. So are your objectives, needs, desires, design preferences, and more.
Some design-build firms have architects on staff, others have project designers on staff and get a licensed architect and/or engineer to sign off on plans when such sign-off is required by law.
Key Design-Build Benefits
When done properly using the design-build process with a reputable and capable company, these are typically the key benefits.
With design-build, you only have to hire one company, not two. You do not have to explain to the second company what you already told the first company.
Design-build companies can typically move from design to construction more quickly because they are in control of the schedule for design completion. There is time saved by not having to wait for a bid, while builders and your architect go back and forth clarifying things the builder must estimate. You’ll also avoid the revolving door of revised plans and revised bids caused when a design comes in over budget.
Architects generally do their best to design your project to be built within your budget. However, they are not as familiar with the costs of materials and labor, or if materials are in short supply. Until you get bids from builders, you have no idea if the plans you fell in love with can be built within your budget. If the bids come back high, you not only won’t get the plan you loved, but you have to pay for the plans to be reworked.
With fewer companies involved you don’t have to pay for the project to be handed off from architect to contractor and all the coordination that is needed for a successful project.
Also, the design-build company can anticipate the real costs of building something while it’s being designed. When your budget is tight, they can avoid or minimize design elements that have a high cost but provide a low benefit to the overall project.
The bulk of the costs of a remodeling project or custom home is the construction. The quality of that construction impacts the look and longevity of your project. A design-build company should be able to show you examples of the quality of its work before you select them to start the design. This can mean the difference between a good experience or a nightmare.
When you start a project, you provide a great deal of detailed information. When you work with an architect to design the project, and then a different company to build it, there is a hand-off between the two. Invariably, some of what you want is lost in the transfer. And while the architect might understand your vision, only so much information is in the actual plans, and the construction team can only follow those plans.
With design-build, one company is doing your project from start to finish, so no information is lost between design and construction. If a decision needs to be made in the field, you do not have to re-explain everything in minute detail for the decision you or the company makes to be the right choice.
Because of poor communications or because project plans are not as detailed as they could be, a problem happening during construction can end up with your contractor and architect blaming each other. Even if the party at fault makes changes at no charge, the other company still has to be paid to make a change, whether it’s revising plans or tearing down and re-doing completed work. And you come out as the loser.
With design-build, if a problem comes up in construction based on errors in the plans, or failing to follow the plans, the design-build company is responsible for fixing the problem. There is no finger-pointing with you in the middle between your architect and builder.
Design-Build Chagrin River Style
Chagrin River Company provides you all the benefits that Design-Build offers. When it comes to how your project is designed, we have our own approach.
For projects that benefit from an architect developing the project’s design, we select the best architect for your project from a select group of licensed architects who do exceptional work. Some are AIA members as well. For kitchen or bathroom projects, our own kitchen and bath designers work with the architect. The architect works seamlessly as part of our team.
For simple projects and ones that are primarily kitchen or bath projects, our in-house design team develops the designs and specifications for your project.
For all projects, our estimating and construction staff are part of the design process. This assures your project is designed to make the best possible use of your budget. And this means you get quality design, service, and exceptional value.