What Does Design/Build Mean Anyway?
Put simply….peace of mind.
Let’s face it, thinking about taking on a remodeling project comes with the anxiety of never-ending budget overages and a schedule with no completion date in sight. You’ve heard the stories, and I’m sure you’d like to keep from writing your own version of it. Am I right? The good news, you don’t have to.
Design/build is a process that integrates the collaborative efforts of space planning, design, and construction, to seamlessly create the perfect project for you.
So what is the perfect project? In our world, that means you get a space that functions well for the way you live, expresses your personal style and creativity, and fits in a budget that you are comfortable with. Sound pretty close to perfection to you?
What Brand Are You?
Design/build is an industry term and is executed in many variations, so keep in mind that the term may mean one thing to one contractor, and something very different to another. As you consider hiring a design/build firm, be sure to ask for details about how their specific “brand” of design/build works. As you can imagine, not all versions are created equal and not all will get you the outcome we’ve mentioned above.
The Three-Legged Stool
At its core, design/build is a team sport with the three important team members being you the homeowner, the design team, and the construction team. This relationship is the key to the success of your project and the retention of your sanity, so you want to be sure to get it right.
A design/build firm typically brings the construction and design aspects to the team, keeping two of the important legs of the stool in one close collaborative working relationship. As a result, you get one point of contact making communication much more streamlined and way less confusing.
Are We There Yet? What Design/Build Means For You
Okay, so let’s dive into the weeds just a bit and talk about what we believe separates an effective design/build process from the rest. For us, one question really tells the story, “Is the design complete?”
Many designs include floor plans, a list of allowances, and an estimated cost. While this is a good step in the process, the design is still incomplete. Leaving out the critical step of understanding what all of those finishes will be, will leave you wondering if those allowances are enough to get you to the end without blowing your budget or sacrificing the project you really want.
It would be like me running 26 miles (which isn’t going to happen by the way) and thinking I ran a marathon. I didn’t. A marathon is 26.2 miles, and until I actually cross the finish line, there’s still more work to do. An effective design/build process must be geared toward working out all of your project details and decisions. It’s the only way to insure your peace of mind when the construction team shows up.
Communicating With Your Construction Team
Now that you’ve taken the time to work through every design aspect of your project, making sure you love your design decisions, and that they fit your budget, it’s time to bring in the construction team.
Are you ready to communicate all of those critical details to them to make sure they build it exactly as you planned? Yeah, that seems a bit daunting, doesn’t it? More good news, you don’t have to!
One of the other great advantages of having your design and construction team in one collaborative design/build firm is that they already know what they need to know to execute your design exactly as planned. Since the design team and construction team are….well… on the same team, there can be very close communication before and during the construction phase of your project. You get to sit back and watch your design come to life knowing that you’ve already covered the details, and nailed down the costs.
Making the Right Choice
By now you might be thinking, “So how do I choose the right design/build firm for my project?” Hopefully, this piece has helped you with some of the thinking about what you should be looking for, but we know there’s more to talk about. Give us a call and chat with one of our Project Consultants, they can answer all of your questions and help you get a complete picture of how this great system works for you.