When it comes to handling the design and build of a major remodel, homeowners basically have two options:
Hire an architect and builder separately;
Hire a design/build firm to handle both the design and construction.On this page, we’re going to explore these two options to help you decide what you want. You’ll see that both choices can achieve a great project… but one delivers results much more consistently than the other.
Here’s why: First, you have to hire an architect to design your project. This process can actually be pretty fun and exciting. The architect will often take into consideration all of your desires to come up with a design you love. Good so far, right? The problem occurs when you hire the contractor to build your project. The architect may take all of your dreams into consideration—but he almost certainly won’t take your budget into account.
This is a common scenario. What usually happens is that what the architect designed may cost more than you wanted to spend to actually build the remodel. For additional money you can hire the architect to oversee construction, most homeowners don’t choose this route. Since the architect has completed their work they are no longer involved with the project which means there is little to no communication between the architect and builder, which can create a number of issues. For example, the builder may come up with a solution to a particular design challenge or cost issue, but it doesn’t get incorporated into the design plan. This often creates expensive change orders or settling for a remodel you aren’t completely thrilled with.
While hiring an architect and a contractor separately can produce great results, the cumbersome, low-communication nature of this method makes it easy to go over budget or not get the remodel you hoped you would. This is actually why the majority of residential projects designed by architects never get built. Now let’s discuss your second option—hiring a design/build company. Design/build has become extremely popular over the years because it has revolutionized the way remodeling projects are handled. To put it simply, a design/build company handles both the design and construction of your project. The advantages of this method over hiring an architect and a builder separately are tremendous.
At a design/build company, the designers and craftsmen work TOGETHER to produce a beautiful project you’ll love—within the budget you want. There are no communication gaps. Project delays and cost overruns due to change orders are practically eliminated. And there is a lot less stress on your end. Many times Architects and Designers have creative ideas but they don’t know how to or whether they can be built. Design/build remodelers have the construction know how and skills in-house to work with the designers from the beginning of the project to make sure they aren’t designing pie in the sky projects that can’t be built.
Design/build is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a beautiful project that’s on-time, on-budget, and low-stress. Since the design team and construction team collaborate throughout the process, you get a stunning remodel you’ll love—at an investment you’re comfortable with.
A single point of accountability. You deal with ONE company, whether it’s a design or construction issue.
The designers and craftsman collaborate to keep your project within your price range. This drastically reduces the chance of the project going over budget.
You don’t have to hunt down a qualified designer AND a qualified contractor. They’re both part of the design/build package.
Since the builder has been involved in the process from the beginning, he has a much better “feel” of the project the architect has designed. This produces better results and a project that’s done more quickly and efficiently.
Even if you already have design plans drawn up from an architect, a design/build firm can still work with (and often improve!) them.
Design/build may be more efficient, cost-effective, and higher quality than hiring an architect and a builder separately. But, just as with any other service, some design/build companies are better than others. We believe (as do our 1,280+ clients) that we have one of the most thorough, proficient, quality-producing design/build processes in Pennsylvania. Check out our Design page to see more on how our special design/build procedures achieve superior results.