Busting Myths about the Design-Build Approach to Remodeling

the design build approach to remodeling can save time and money. featured here is a clyde hill project.

As a design-build remodeling firm serving Seattle’s Eastside, we have seen the benefits of design-build and the exceptional results our clients have enjoyed.  And while the design-build approach to remodeling isn’t for everyone, some homeowners who would benefit from the approach balk at the idea due to a variety of assumptions. Here are some common misconceptions about the design-build approach to remodeling.

Myth: The Design-Build Approach to Remodeling Costs More

Some homeowners believe that it will cost more to have one company manage everything, but in actuality, the project ends up costing less. Not only that, but the price of your project will be more transparent and there will be fewer surprises because the project budget is built as we move through the design process – including the costs of materials. Because there is cohesive coordination between Nip Tuck and the trade specialists, engineers, material suppliers, and other third parties with whom we contract, you won’t waste money on mistakes or delays.

Myth: I Have to Give Up Too Much Control

While it’s true you won’t have to be as involved in every detail of your home remodel, the design-build approach is more about convenience and reduced stress. So, you typically won’t be as involved. But this is by design.  We know the domino effect of changes and decisions that can occur during a project. For example, if we change something in your stove ventilation, then we also determine what electrical and plumbing lines need to move in your wall. It’s easy to think this would just be an HVAC issue, but if the utilities all run near each other, the project can be delayed until everyone else can come back and fix their portion. We plan for this in advance.

You will work with the designer quite a bit in the beginning, to nail down the details and confirm the changes being made to your home, while also selecting the materials and colors.  Once that’s done and you’ve approved the layout and material changes, we can move on with the project, without troubling you.

Myth: Doesn’t Faster Mean Lower Quality?

It’s true that the design-build approach to remodeling can result in your home remodeling project being completed more quickly. In fact, according to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), home remodeling projects are completed 13% more quickly with the design-remodel approach. But that efficiency is not because of cutting corners. As DBIA explains,

The Owner manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The designer and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing unified project recommendations to fit the Owner’s schedule and budget. Any changes are addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem-solving and innovation, not excuses or blame-shifting. While single-source contracting is the fundamental difference between design-build and the old ways, equally important is the culture of collaboration inherent in design-build.

The Design-Build Approach Is Not for Everyone

If the changes you want to make to your home are cosmetic – new paint, new décor, new rugs and carpet – then contracting with a design-build firm would be overkill. The same would be true if you simply wanted new countertops in your kitchen, with no other changes. But if you are thinking about moving walls, putting in new cabinets, replacing floors and staircases, updating windows and doors, changing the location of your stove or bathtub, or even changing the location of your entire kitchen or bathroom, then working with a design-build remodeling firm to update your Eastside home is a great option.   

Learn more about design-build remodeling.

What Makes the Design-Build Approach Better?

We love this approach because of the collaboration it allows with both the homeowner and the professionals with whom we partner to complete the work. Here are some of the benefits:

Accuracy – Our entire team is in on the project, from the beginning of design until we are finished; so, the ongoing flow of communication allows us to catch potential snags before they arise.

Speed – Typically, without the need for a bidding phase in the middle of a project (which is completed during our design phase), and with advanced coordination among trade specialists and the ordering of materials accomplished beforehand, there are few delays during the project.

Efficiency – A single source of accountability eliminates the running around that often comes with trying to find the source of a problem; we simply contact the responsible person and ensure that the problem is resolved as quickly as possible.

Cost – When the designer makes accurate, buildable plans for the subcontractors and any additional tradespeople, the need for materials can be calculated very easily and purchased in a more accurate quantity.  They can also be purchased earlier, so there is less concern about delays.

Read more about the benefits of design-build.

How Do I Get Started with a Design-Build Remodeling Project?

If you’re considering a design-build remodeling project, then it all starts with a phone call – and it’s okay if you don’t know exactly what you want. When you call us and start out giving us a general idea of what you envision for your home, we will ask some questions and share related information so we can determine if we are a mutual fit. 

Next, you will schedule an appointment with Nip Tuck’s owner and operator April Bettinger, and she will walk you through more specific options, discuss your goals, develop an approximate timeline, and give you an estimate with a range of costs based on what you want at the onset of the project and on variables you provide that could potentially impact the project in the future. 

From there, we move forward with a home visit, potentially take some measurements, and verify that we are still a good fit.  We are happy to chat with you, so if you aren’t sure where to start, just call, email, or schedule on our website a time to talk.  Our team will help you figure out more from there.

Give us a call today!

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