For greater control and management of the home remodeling process, Design/Build is best
Imagine two finished remodeling projects, both with timeless design and expert construction. They have the same end result, but very different back-stories. One finished on schedule, within budget, and left the client pleasantly surprised and happy. The other moved slowly, missed deadlines, went over budget, and left the client wondering where things went wrong. The difference between these two projects is the planning and management of the design and construction process. It may sound like common sense, but proper management of each small decision and action can be the difference between a successful project and one that leaves all parties frustrated and disappointed.
The process that provides control and management of the home remodeling process is the design/build model. It provides architectural design, engineering and construction under a single contract, reducing the client’s financial risk by providing a strong level of control over each step of the project.
Let’s highlight the top 9 reasons why the design/build system is best:
- Control Over The Process –
In design/build, a clear chain of command is created in order to properly manage your project from start to finish. An assigned production manager coordinates each vendor and sets the pace and expectations for the design build remodeling process—greatly reducing any chance for things to fall through the cracks. Serving as the main contact between the architectural designer, construction crew and client, the production manager acts as an “air traffic controller” and oversees the entire project schedule, keeping the team moving as each deadline approaches.From the selection of appliances, flooring, fixtures and countertops to ensuring the design team’s plans only include materials and products that fall within the client’s budget, the production manager manages all tasks to ensure the project stays on schedule.
- Control Over Material Costs –
In design/build construction, designers work with clients early in the design process to determine specific selections for product categories, as opposed to lists and allowances. They try to minimize allowances, using them for smaller items like door hardware, while keeping budget categories flexible, so clients can spend less on lower-priority items and dedicate funds towards a few specialty items—all the while staying within budget.
- Everyone Is On the Same Team –
In design/build, everyone is on the same team. From management to design and construction, we all work together to meet or exceed the client’s expectations. That means, instead of pointing fingers at individual parties when challenges are encountered (and challenges will happen), the team works collectively to arrive at a creative solution.
- Complete Accountability –
One entity is accountable for your project’s end result—including the finished design, cost and timeline. Because the same team designs and builds your project, there is more focused attention on accurately estimating and scheduling the project early in the design phase. As such, you will never hear complaints that the project ran over more than twice what the architect estimated. All costs are simply taken into account before the construction process starts.
- Remodeling Expertise –
Design/build firms are experts in both design and construction. This means the remodeling professionals are all under the same roof offering homeowners both architectural design and construction expertise—working together.In the new economy, several builders popped up claiming to be experts in remodeling or architects that think they can think like builders. Operating as a design/build firm is a choice and an expertise that takes years of experience and process refinement. Make no mistake. Design/build model is a preferred method among many discerning homeowners.
- Open Communication –
Operating under the assumption that the client actually wants to be actively involved in the remodeling process, design/build is completely transparent. Systems and cloud-based technology are in place to openly share what is going on throughout the home remodeling process.
- Control Over The Supply Chain –
In design/build, it’s equally important to control the supply chain for each item a client selects.Design/build firms actually prefer to purchase all products directly, including lighting, flooring and fixtures. This helps homeowners control the cost and quality of their material selections as well as the time it takes to receive the products from the suppliers. The exception to this rule is appliances. Remodeling contractors often recommend clients purchase these items on their own.While most material selections are purchased directly by the design/build firm, thus assuming responsibility for any defects or on-time delivery, many clients find specialty items on their own that cannot be purchased through the standard material selections process. In this case, the remodeling contractor does not assume responsibility for a product that they didn’t purchase or evaluate. However, they typically will install that item for the client, but it may require an agreement of indemnification from responsibility.
- Avoid Costly Mistakes –
As the variety of available home products continues to grow, it can become more difficult for clients to make decisions. Design/build firms have the advantage of recommending products that have been tried and tested, keeping you from avoiding any costly mistakes. By simply narrowing your selection to a brand or product type that is trusted to last longer or perform better, you save valuable time and money by tapping into their immediate expertise.
- Control Over The Finished Product –
It’s rarely in the client’s best interest to source his/her own products. The quality may be below par and any problems with the product may take longer or be more expensive to fix, potentially slowing down the remodeling project.Just because an online product carries the same name as a showroom product, doesn’t mean the quality is the same. Chain-of-custody problems can occur too. If a client purchases a light fixture online, for example, with the hope of saving money, but the product arrives broken, the contractor does not have a way to put a rush on the replacement product in order to meet the project schedule.To ensure the best result for all parties involved, the design/build firm usually integrates the selection process right into the design process. This includes meeting at the client’s home early in the process to get a feel for the homeowner’s personal design style, family lifestyle and home functionality needs, including storage and entertaining. It will also include reviewing products or ideas the client has gathered from his or her initial research.
As you can see, design/build offers greater control over the entire remodeling process. From providing more accurate plans of the completed project at an early stage, to efficiently defining costs and a project schedule, homeowners can benefit tremendously from a well-planned and well-managed process—one that results in on time, on budget project delivery.