Why Choose a Design-Build Firm?
The benefits of hiring a design-build firm are worth learning before you embark on your home remodeling project. A design-build firm will keep all of the aspects of designing and building your project under one roof. This will keep your entire renovation process seamless, from the first call you make to discuss your project until the last surface from your renovation is cleaned. The design-build model offers efficiency, accurate estimates, working within your budget, transparency, clear communication, flexibility and accountability that other models don’t. In this post, we’ll help you understand the benefits of the design-build process.
What is a Design-Build Firm?
A design-build firm is a business that handles all aspects of the renovation process. So from the first meeting, you’ll be speaking with a interior design and a pre-construction coordinator. We will handle the drawings, the estimation process, permitting, purchasing and the construction. This means everything about your project will run as efficiently as possible. And we will be 100% transparent and accountable.
How Does the Design-Build Meeting Process Work?
At the first introductory meeting, we’ll ask you:
- How you’d like to improve your home
- What your needs are
- The budget you have in mind
- What your ideas for the space are
At the second meeting we will:
- Have a rough idea of the scope of the project
- Present a ballpark cost estimate
- Know how long the project will take
At this time, if you decide to move forward, we will present a Design Agreement for you to sign. This means you will be signed on for design services. However, you are in no way obligated to continue with build services; the Design Agreement only covers design fees.
How Does the Design Process Work?
At the third meeting the design process truly begins. After the Design Agreement is signed, your designer will meet with you, talk about what you want to do with your space, get a sense of your style and take measurements. They will take all of this information back to the office so that the design team can put together their presentations. These will include several renderings of layouts and style ideas.
At the fourth meeting, the design team will present their ideas. They will go over the pros and cons of each schematic to help you make your decision. After your decision is made we will complete bid drawings.
Finally, at the fifth meeting, we will make a presentation that includes the final bid drawings, and our interior designer will help you with decorating and specific selections. These selections include flooring, tile, plumbing fixtures, millwork, cabinetry, lighting and more. They will make sure your selections work together to make your vision come to life. And they will help keep everything on schedule by sharing lead times with the project manager.
All of this work and information-gathering means that we are able to estimate your project accurately and very early on in the process. We will take schematics to set bid drawings and conceptual drawings and check back in on the budget. This makes our estimate accurate. Also at this point, if you need to trim your budget, we can help you value-engineer your choices (this is designer speak for finding less expensive options you’ll love).
You will have final approval on all designs. Our designers will be available throughout the construction process should you need them for anything. And they will help ensure an efficient schedule with the project manager.
What Is the Build Part of the Process Like?
Should you decide to move forward with build services after the design phase is complete, we will begin the pricing process. We meet with our trade partners to gather fixed cost estimates for your job. We will create and present a Construction Agreement that includes a detailed scope of work, timeline and one fixed price. Then we can finalize a start date and timeline after you pay the deposit.
Before we begin construction, all of your design choices will be made, they will have your approval and your budget will be set. When we start construction, we will have everything ordered and your job will be scheduled efficiently to completion.
We guarantee all our work and your last payment is not due until after we’ve done a final walk-through and you’re sure you’re happy with every aspect of the renovation. We will check back in after 60 days, one year and three years to make sure you are still happy. At this time we can fix anything that might be bothering you free of charge. And if you have any handyman jobs you need done while we’re there, we can provide those services as well.
How Will a Design-Build Firm Help Me Stick to My Budget?
Many times, clients will hire an architect to design their dream plan. But when it comes time for renovation firms to bid on the project based upon those drawings, the budget comes in at much more than the homeowners had planned. With a design-build firm, you will have accurate and transparent estimating information that’s tailored to your budget very early on in the process.
Because we’ll be working with you from the beginning, we will be designing with your budget in mind from the start. We will be able to stick to the estimate we provide. Designing and building will work hand in hand under one roof, so there are no budget-busting surprises. We are able have accurate estimates ready for you faster than if you’d hired an architect on your own and then brought the plans to a contractor, because we’ll have a good idea of the scope of the project from the start.
In addition, we will design your project for maximum energy-efficiency. This means your project will save you money in utility bills for many years after construction is complete.
What Are the Benefits of a Design-Build Firm’s Process?
The benefit is that even after going through the design and estimation process, you are under no obligation to hire us to do the rest. We’ll charge you for the design and that’s it. We like this process because it will show you how we work, so that you can be sure we’re a good fit for you before we start tearing down your walls! We want to earn your trust before asking you for a commitment.
How Will a Design-Build Firm Help the Project Move More Quickly?
In addition to having the accurate estimate ready more quickly, we will also make the process move along efficiently and seamlessly. This is because our plans are comprehensive and detailed. And because we will know your project very well from the start. By knowing your design and material selections before the construction process begins, we can create an extremely accurate Construction Agreement that will avoid surprises.
When we start the construction phase of the job we will have everything ordered and your job will be scheduled to completion. This means the schedule will not be thrown off by a backordered faucet that’s being handmade halfway across the world, or a delayed tile shipment. Our design coordinator will help you make selections that will help us meet your schedule.
What If Something Unexpected Happens?
However, even the best-laid plans may encounter some unexpected surprises, like, say, COVID-19-related shortages. We are flexible and responsive and the buck stops with us. Because we are so organized and will know your job so well, we will have the ability to be roll with the punches. We will be able to work around delays to get your project finished on time.
How Will a Design-Build Firm Help with Communication?
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a design-build firm is easy communication. Because we are a design-build firm, everything is in-house. There aren’t missed calls between the designer and the project manager, or the estimator, or the cabinet installers. We won’t play any sort of blame game, try to pass the buck to someone else or make excuses about miscommunication. There’s only one firm to call if you need to get answers about your project. As a one-stop shop, we will have all the answers for you.
How Does a Design-Build Firm Help Protect Me?
There are many benefits to keeping design and build under one roof. We design the project around your budget. Our selection coordinator will ensure your selections work together and work well with the schedule. By knowing your design and material selections we can create an extremely accurate Construction Agreement that will avoid surprises. When we start the construction phase of the job we will have everything ordered and your job will be scheduled to completion. And our work comes with a warranty — we check back in with you after 60 days, one year and three years to make sure everything is still in top shape. If for some reason it’s not, we will fix it.
Do I Have To Enlist All of the Design-Build Services in Order To Hire You? Or Can I Put Together My Own Team?
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of hiring a design-build firm, you may decide it’s for you. Or not. You can choose your own architecture firm and/or interior design firm and we are happy to complete the contracting and construction process. This is simply a separate contracting service that we offer that is different from enlisting our full design-build services. Or you may love the design we came up with but if you don’t hire brother’s contracting firm, the holidays will be too awkward for the rest of your life. There’s no obligation to continue past the design phase if that’s all you need — no hard feelings! We are also happy to recommend design professionals that we’ve had great success collaborating with remodeling homes in the greater Atlanta area.
If you’d like to get started, please hop over to our About page to meet our team! And check out the answers to more Frequently Asked Questions.