4 Major Benefits of Design and Build
Turn on the TV to watch any of the current programs about home remodeling, and you’re bound to see a remodeling project gone bad. Or, just talk to your neighbor or a friend, and I’ll bet you’re more likely to hear a remodeling horror story than a positive rendition of a great remodeling experience.
If you’re contemplating a home renovation, whether it be a new kitchen or bath, an addition, or a major over haul, it behooves you to understand why problems for homeowners occur so frequently when remodeling, and what you can do to protect yourself from becoming the latest negative remodeling story.
The biggest reason for remodeling problems begins with the dis-connect in the professional remodeling industry. Most homeowners begin by seeking an architect to design their project, who then typically refers them to 3 contractors to “bid” the job, and a cabinet company to supply the product. Architects typically give clients a square footage “estimate” of construction costs, and homeowners frequently are left disappointed when they find out that the real cost is much more than the architect’s estimate.
I can’t tell you how many times clients have told us that they had to pay their architect to “redesign” (i.e. downsize) their project due to an out of control budget. Furthermore, contractors in a bidding situation are forced to downgrade products, quality, and service in order to appear be the “low bid” so that they look more appealing to the homeowner and can compete for the job. Those same contractors then often leave out things that may be unclear, issuing change orders during the project to make up for lost revenue.
Since most of the products needed for a renovation in a bid situation have not been selected yet, contractors usually will insert an “allowance” for items like cabinetry, fixtures, countertops, millwork, hardware, and flooring. It’s not uncommon for homeowners once they complete the interior design and product selection process to find that their actual cost for all of these items after upgrading here and there – far exceeds the “bid” put in place by the contractor to get the job.
But there is a better way to approach remodeling; we feel a more “Common Sense” approach. The following 4 points about a reliable Design and Build process are excerpted from Shawn McCadden’s: “The Advantages Of Design Build For Remodeling Clients”.
Single Source Responsibility
Perhaps the most appealing and easy to recognize advantages that Design/Build offers are the convenience and comfort of one-stop shopping. The client looks to a single entity to take full responsibility for design, construction and satisfactory completion; delivering the project on time and on budget. As a natural consequence there is less finger pointing because as ideas are generated, all team members make decisions with a cooperative approach.
This means greater efficiency, cooperation instead of conflict, and a better project for the time and money invested. When this team approach works well, it fosters an enjoyable and mutually beneficial way of doing business for the client and the Design/Build team of professionals. As the design phase of the project moves forward, all parties get to know each other while working out and establishing the terms of the relationship. This establishes trust as well as a mutual respect for the realities of living through a project, long before the dust takes over, rather than trying to do so while the dust is created. These advantages are often removed or compromised if those involved, including the client, work separately of each other during the design stage.
Quicker Delivery Time
The client saves time and trouble by dealing with a single source for all matters rather than separately with a contractor, an architect, an engineer, and subcontractors. Bidding periods and redesign time are eliminated. Overall time to design and build the project is substantially reduced because design and construction activities overlap. The contractor can proceed with early procurement of critical materials and scheduling of labor and subcontractors for greater effectiveness. This means the project can be on the contractor’s production schedule sooner.
If it is necessary to meet client’s deadlines, Design/Build lends itself readily to “Fast Tracking”, where construction begins while detail drawings are still in process. The project can be completed in less time because work can begin before all the elements of the design are complete. For example the foundation can be completed to beat the frost, while the selection of windows and doors and how they will be detailed have yet to be completed. This fast tracking can reduce the owner’s interim financing costs and will permit the owner to occupy the project at an earlier date.
Quality of the design and construction of the project can happen by default if the Design/Builder’s team is working “together” to meet the client’s performance requirements. The architect, engineer, and contractor are able to focus on the project, with an emphasis on quality, rather than protecting their own individual interests.
The lines of communication are simplified and the chances for misunderstandings are reduced. The construction expertise of the contractor and the design expertise of the design professional are melded together to produce a greater value for the owner than that which might be realized if both were working independently, perhaps in a vacuum. Additionally, quality is maintained by the discovery of most problems before starting and the implementation of real solutions.
Trust is the key consideration here and can become the client’s most valued benefit. Provided that a realist budget is established and agreed upon prior to entering into a Design/Build agreement, the Design/Builder takes on the responsibility of protecting the budget as design happens. Savings and or budget control are then achieved through better planning. The Owner can exercise his desired degree of control over design, with the added advantage of knowing the cost implications of each decision as it happens.
Promising your clients cost control must be backed up with design and construction expertise, as well as the company systems required, to know what should (or will not) be included and how much it will cost. By having this ability, professional fees such as engineering or surveying are kept to a minimum as they can be determined before beginning design of the project. The client benefits by having a guaranteed maximum price that is set as soon as the scope of the project is determined.
Excerpts from The Design Builder’s Blog; The Advantages Of Design Build For Remodeling Clients by Shawn McCadden June 24th, 2014
Tom and Michelle Stien chose Advance Design Studio to remodel their Algonquin Kitchen. Here’s what they had to say; “I was worried about the project budget changing as we went through the process, but they did a good job managing the situation and minimized change orders as much as possible. Advance Design definitely met and exceeded our expectations. Remodeling is a very challenging process to endure, but ADS minimized discomfort and inconvenience as much as possible and kept on schedule. The end result was well worth the investment in time and money.” – Tom & Michelle Stien, Algonquin
Check out more from this Algonquin kitchen photo portfolio: Splash of Summer Kitchen in Algonquin
Advance Design Studio, Ltd. has spent nearly 25 years fine-tuning “Common Sense Remodeling”, the most comprehensive Design and Build process in the Northwest. With an entirely in-house team, Common Sense Remodeling is designed to make the client remodeling experience the smoothest, most cost-effective solution to professional home remodeling. Contact us today to start your positive, predictable, and most of all -enjoyable remodeling experience today (847) 836-2600!