Working With A Design Build Firm
Sometimes prospective remodeling clients start a conversation by telling us they’ve decided they only want to work with a design build firm. The return question from us is “what made you decide that?”
Usually, interest in a design build only approach has been prompted by a prior home remodeling experience that left bad memories. The project usually turned out OK, they say, but the process was memorably unpleasant for them.
No Thanks for the Memories
Here’s a real-life quote from a homeowner who said he is “still taking pepto-bismol” after his bum remodeling experience:
“The problems were with coordination between the contractor and his subs… a lot of down time that slowed things so work wasn’t done when we had to take delivery of our household effects… There were also some quality control issues…”
Other tales of unhappy remodeling experiences include:
“builder not on same page as architect”
“architect didn’t maintain control of the project”
“contractor took shortcuts”
“unannounced changes during construction”
Things like that.
What Went Wrong
These are serious problems. They begin long before construction begins–then intensify during construction when it is usually too late to resolve them. Why is that? Here are two of the most common reasons:
- Accurate estimates based on an accurate scope of work should have been completely spelled out during the planning phase–but weren’t.
- During the construction phase, project management was lax. Poor communication between architect, builder and homeowner led to misunderstandings, mistakes and frustration.
After all this foolishness, the caller has come to the conclusion that hiring one company to take complete responsibility for the entire process and project outcome is the way to go. So they call us.
Oddly, some of these unfortunate homeowners say they loved their architect–even though that same architect left them to their own devices with the builder.
Together Is Better
When the architect and builder are on the same team, it’s easy to love them both because the entire project is customized for the client. In design build we determine what the homeowners want and ensure that doesn’t get lost as the design ideas evolve.
As an approach to custom home renovation design build works because the decision process is based on all around communication between the design build firm and the client. Find out more about our design build process click here.