Interested in starting a home renovation project? Before picking paint colors or finishes, one of the first things homeowners need to decide is what type of remodeler they are looking for, and then decide which is the best fit for them.
What is a Design-Build Company?
One option to improve your home is to start by hiring a stand-alone design firm to provide the plans for your remodel, and then have a separate contractor bid and build the project. This is called the design-bid-build model and is often what happens when you “hire an architect”.
In the design-build model, however, both the builders and the designers are a fully-integrated part of a single team. There is a high level of collaboration, with both parties doing frequent site visits, talking to each other, problem solving and communicating to homeowners throughout the entire renovation process.
This provides the homeowner with additional peace of mind because a good design-build process is truly comprehensive—from start to finish. According to Timothy Ferraro, owner of Bluestem Remodeling, “There should be a constant flow between the building specialist and the designing specialist. When working with a design-build company, there shouldn’t be finger-pointing—we are working together as a team, and as a design-build company, we own the results.”
What Can I Expect During the Design-Build Process?
You may decide that you want a kitchen remodeled—but what happens next? An initial meeting with your potential design-build company will help ensure all parties are on the same page, and that it’s a good fit.
Timothy says, “I always ask homeowners to tell me some of their biggest concerns or questions right off the bat.” Discussing these questions can help the homeowner start to understand the process and what is needed to get started on their project, as well as mitigate any concerns they may have.
Some common concerns include:
- How much will this cost? “It is important to make sure that the homeowner’s budget is realistic to meet their desired goals,” Timothy says.
- What if there are surprises? “With a high-quality builder, you shouldn’t be experiencing many, if any, surprises.”
- Will I know what’s going on throughout the process? “Lack of communication is a common concern, and we make sure that homeowners are heard, aren’t ever being talked down to, and are constantly aware of what is going on in their home.”
- Is this project going to drag out? “We set expectations and timelines at the beginning,” says Timothy. “A homeowner can’t expect to have a kitchen remodel done in two weeks, but it also shouldn’t take six months! Giving homeowners a definitive, but realistic, timeline reassures them that our team will get the job done when we say we will.”
Ultimately, the first steps of the design-build process should set expectations, alleviate homeowners’ concerns, and provide understanding of an organized process. This way, homeowners know they will have a good outcome.
Put Your Home in Good Hands With a Trusted Design-Build Company
At Bluestem Remodeling, we truly believe in a comprehensive, collaborative remodeling process—both within our team and with the homeowners.