Step Two: Decide on the Process
Besides a beautiful, functional home, you want a remodeling process that you’re comfortable with. In this second step to a successful remodel, the big decision is whether you want to hire two entities, a designer and builder, or if you’d prefer to go with a design-build company, which provides both services under one roof.
Let’s say you’re remodeling your kitchen, with the traditional design-bid-build route, you hire a designer or architect, then get multiple bids from general contractors and hire a contractor independently. In my experience, people who choose this direction typically have a particular architect in mind. The client then needs to find a contractor to execute the architect’s design. The biggest drawback here is that the designer/architect and contractor likely won’t have the close working relationship found within a design-build firm, so if the cabinet design, say, is off there could be some wrangling when the builder begins the installation.
With the design-build process, you select and hire one company working as a team, and the only bidding involved is if you choose to get bids from more than one design-build firm. Design is less expensive than when contracted independent of a builder. Furthermore, because the design-build team works together from concept to completion, they can collaborate on workable design solutions that are within your budget.
Other pros of the design-build method? Since the designer works as a team member, you not only know your builder long before construction starts, but also have continuing design support throughout. Most importantly, since the design-build team has an established relationship and process, the transition and ongoing communication between design and construction should be virtually seamless and any surprises along the way more easily resolved.