When you’re ready to remodel, choosing what kind of firm to work with can be really confusing. Do you choose to separately hire a designer, an architect, and a construction manager, obtaining bids for each part of the remodel, managing each relationship, and coordinating the moving pieces of the project? Or do you hire one person who manages the entire process? There are benefits of a design-build firm for most homeowners.
Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build – What’s the Difference?
There are a lot of ways to approach the process of remodeling. Without tons of research and a lot of effort on the part of the homeowner, it can be hard to understand which options require more or less owner involvement, how the options compare in cost, and what the overall experience will be. When considering the amount of time required in managing the project, and when measuring the overall cost, project completion time, and the unexpected variables (from weather to supply chain issues), design-build firms outperform the traditional design-bid-build model.
Design-Build Isn’t Right for Everyone
While design-build is the ideal solution for homeowners who are completing large and complex projects and need someone to manage the entire process, it isn’t the best choice for everyone. Projects for which design-build firms aren’t ideal include:
- The project that requires minimal design work: Since design is one of the strengths of working with a design-build company, the homeowner may not get the value they expect for their investment. Design-build companies can do this work, but most homeowners are not interested in paying a higher rate for the services.
- The homeowner who is indecisive regarding the decision-making process: Design-build is a planning-based model, so the homeowner can make selections along with the designer before the build begins. If the homeowner changes their mind regarding products or waits to make decisions, costs will change and the schedule will be less predictable.
- The homeowner who wants to be a part of the subcontractor-selection process: If the homeowner prefers to spend an inordinate amount of time vetting all the tradespeople for the project, it might be difficult to integrate their timeframes and develop solid work plans.
Benefits of a Design-Build Firm
Design-build firms offer a more comprehensive solution to home design and construction services because the team is all under one roof. From start to finish, we are consistently on the same page regarding your project, ensuring that the cost is accurately calculated before the work starts.
Single Point of Responsibility: The firm takes responsibility for both the design and construction of the project, which reduces the risk of miscommunication and delays. Independent architects or interior designers can make technical drawings, but the plans may not correlate with the actual property. Subsequently, the intent of the architectural plans you approve may not be the final deliverable, which can be disappointing.
Streamlined Process: Design-build firms provide a seamless and efficient process, as the design and construction are integrated. This often results in faster project completion times. We work hard on the design phase to ensure we’ve anticipated all of your needs and taken into consideration any complexities regarding materials. We don’t start the build until after the design is complete and approved.
Better Budgeting: Design-build firms usually offer more comprehensive cost estimates. The architectural designer works with the construction team to estimate costs of rough materials and labor for the design, we bid out the layout modification plans for things like plumbing and electrical routes, and the client selects in advance all finishing materials. Using other methods, the budget is often guesstimated up front and then piecemealed throughout the project. While a design-build firm may seem more expensive, the thoroughness of planning allows for fewer surprises along the way, which ultimately leads to more competitive costs.
Improved Cost Control: One of the benefits of a design-build firm us that they bring design and construction professionals together in a collaborative environment, leading to better coordination and improved quality. The design-build approach allows for design course corrections sooner in the process, eliminating the need for numerous redesigns and project-cost escalations, because design and build teams are working collaboratively.
We lead homeowners through the process confidently, eliminating the surprises that can occur during a more traditional approach, either due to a lack of planning or because potential dilemmas are not explored before construction begins. The traditional design-bid-build model works for some, but it is almost always missing the details that drive actual cost from over-designed spaces.
Reduced Risks: Many people don’t realize that some contractors will build on the fly without any drawings or plans to work from. Others will simply draw up a design, hand it to you, and leave you to find someone to do the work. If there are any small mistakes, undeclared assumptions, or undiscovered damage to the home, you end up with a whole new set of problems and no one to turn to.
The Nip-Tuck Approach to Design-Remodel
Nip Tuck Remodeling is a woman-owned design-build firm.
We set ourselves apart by offering:
- A single point of accountability
- Streamlined communication
- Shared vision between designers and builders
- A smooth process and accurate execution
- Efficient cost budgeting
- A no-nonsense experienced team that puts significant effort into collaborative perspectives, redlines plans and supporting documents, and knows our clients are getting the best of what we can offer
We serve many communities in King and Snohomish Counties, mainly in the Eastside, including:
- Bridle Trails
- Cottage Lake
- Clyde Hill
- Mill Creek
Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with our team.