WHAT IS DESIGN-BUILD REMODELING?
In short, the turnkey type of renovation service widely referred to as design-build remodeling involves partnering with one comprehensive, single-source team who designs, manages, and constructs your remodeling project.
As you research remodeling services, let’s walk through the potential benefits and drawbacks of a design-build remodeling structure to find out if this approach is right for you.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
1. ACCURATE DESIGN & INVESTMENT EXPECTATIONS
How deeply a team values the design and investment goals you’ve set can make or break your remodeling experience.
A standalone designer or architect can put together beautiful designs/renders but likely will be unable to determine the actual cost to produce the complete renovation. A design-build team works in tandem with the actual field crew that will be producing your design, as well as an architect if needed. Developing your addition plans with a designer who works in tandem with an architect will save you both time and money during the design phase of your project. You’re more likely to get everything you want in your finalized design instead of working with a designer and architect separately. Designers are also well-positioned to stay ahead of the time-sensitive nature of industry pricing.
Working with a design-build firm means you have a design team and field experts working collaboratively to ensure your custom project designs and material selections complement your intended investment range before the project has even started. This allows you to build your budget and understand how each design element translates into your analysis. You can see the redesigned layout and 3D renderings and know exactly what the investment will be before construction begins.
2. STREAMLINED COMMUNICATION & COORDINATION
Any renovation project, even if only one room, includes numerous crucial steps to be successful.
Homeowners who partner with design-build are typically aware of how complicated, time-consuming, and budget-breaking remodeling can be when handled incorrectly, and many homeowners don’t have the time or knowledge to successfully execute a full remodel. With all the moving pieces that make up a remodel, having a team who coordinates all the aspects of the project- from design, through construction, to completion can make the remodeling journey less stressful for homeowners.
Homeowners with painful past stories about taking on a project only for it to be overwhelming, time-consuming, and budget-breaking all had to learn an important truth in the worst way possible: that remodeling can be complicated and messy. But partnering with one team that is dedicated to successfully completing the entirety of your project will make the process substantially less weighty for you. In some cases, the decision to hire a full-service team is what makes an infeasible project, feasible.
3. SINGLE-SOURCE SOLUTION IF ISSUES ARISE
No matter how professional your remodeling team is, every renovation will experience hitches at some point in the process due to the sheer number of moving pieces within a project. The key is equipping yourself with the right team so that you won’t have to tackle these hiccups on your own. When the entire renovation process is handled under one roof, you have assurance any issues will be resolved. In our experience, a solution is often in place before a homeowner is even burdened with the issue.
Everyone has seen those HGTV nightmare moments where you open up a wall and discover something the client wasn’t anticipating. Working with a single-source team means that if an issue is discovered during a construction walkthrough or any time during the project, your team is well-equipped to resolve it quickly.
4. MATERIAL QUALITY & WARRANTIES
Partnering with a renovation team that takes responsibility for all material sourcing and procurement acts as a substantial security feature for homeowners. It means the product used in your remodel should be of high quality and from only trusted sources. It also means that you have a team of industry experts advocating on your behalf should any products arrive on site damaged from shipping, or if a defect is discovered during the warranty period.
WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS?
1. LIMITED COMPETITIVE BIDDING
Because the design and construction are being completed by one team, homeowners are unable to seek multiple bids for the various elements included in the total pricing of their projects. If you are planning to ask a few contractors to bid on your project in an effort to foster competition and reduce costs, a design-build approach may not be the best fit for you, as your projects are priced as a whole and focused on project quality instead of prioritizing competitive bidding.
2. HIGHER UPFRONT COSTS
There are a few reasons why partnering with a design-build firm typically comes with a higher upfront price for homeowners across the country.
- Comprehensive Services: You are paying for the design, planning, timelines, construction, construction management, and possibly warranty services after your project is completed. This comprehensive experience requires the employment of a team of professionals to keep track of every detail and stage of a remodeling project.
- Expertise & Experience: Design-build firms typically employ skilled designers and field crew members who have demonstrated extensive knowledge of their craft. This comprehensive knowledge comes with a higher price tag.
- Liability & Insurance: Protecting both clients and in-house crew members is often a priority for design-build firms and may be factored into overall pricing.
- Customization: Clients who partner with design-build firms are looking for customized design details to fit their vision, and this level of customization and material quality often comes at a higher cost compared to standard remodeling services.
- Overhead Costs: In order to offer comprehensive services, a design-build firm must invest in training, design software, a physical office/studio, marketing or support staff, and other business expenses.
3. DEPENDENCY ON A SINGLE ENTITY
By choosing a design-build team, you are placing all of your trust into one single entity to complete every element of your remodel. If the team you partner with is unable to deliver on your expectations or if they encounter operational or financial challenges, your remodel will likely be more stressful. The core of that successful journey is partnering with a team you trust to help you effectively organize and execute all the elements of a remodel. If you have a team you can trust, this can add immense value to your experience.
4. DESIGN/MATERIAL LIMITATIONS
Not all design-build firms have the same process, and the design input you have on your project will vary between design-build firms when it comes to material selections and layout options. As the design and construction processes are integrated, you may have limited material options depending on how your specific firm operates. Providing your own materials may not be possible, as most design-build firms have their own product lines that they prefer, likely because they trust the quality and their installers are familiar with the product and warranty process. Experienced design-build firms will actively involve you in the decision-making process to achieve a design solution you love.
HOW DO I KNOW IF DESIGN-BUILD IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Establishing the priorities you have for your project as well as for the type of team you want to partner with will likely determine if a design-build firm is the best fit for you. We recommend researching real client reviews about the team you’re considering, as well as being open and honest with questions you may have while you get to know them.
Explore our Resource Center to read more about your specific project, remodeling questions, and more. If you’re currently working with or thinking of working with a turnkey team, click here to learn how to maximize your design-build experience. If you’d like to explore the specific design-build approach that Advance Design Studio follows, click here.