In Design-Build remodeling, the contractor that builds a project is also responsible for the design of the project. This is a major departure from the traditional Design–Bid–Build process and offers a number of advantages to the client.
Design-Build (H & H Builders) versus Design-Bid-Build (most other builders)
|Design||Discuss your project and budget range with H & H Builders. Create preliminary designs with your budget in mind.||Convey your vision to an architect, who draws up plans for a fee (usually 8%–15% of the overall project budget).|
|[ Bid ]||There is no bidding process, because both design and construction are handled by H & H Builders.||Submit the architect’s drawings to several contractors, who bid the lowest price for which they’re willing to build the project.|
|Build||H & H Builders builds your project with few surprises or hiccups, because it was designed with construction in mind.||Select a contractor (usually the lowest bidder) to build your project. Bids are often much higher than expected.|
Design-Build takes care of your budget.
The first thing a homeowner usually does when they want to remodel is hire an architect to draw up plans (especially when they’re considering more complicated projects). Unfortunately, most architects don’t have a realistic idea of what it will cost to build their designs. As a result, when a homeowner sends project plans to contractors for bids, they’re often unpleasantly surprised to find out that building their plans will cost two to three times more than they budgeted.
At this point, they may not be able to afford to build their project, and they’ve spent 8% to 15% of their original budget on architect’s fees. Ouch! One industry estimate is that only about 30% of all architectural designs for residential remodeling projects ever get built.
When you work with H & H Builders, the first thing we do after discussing your remodeling goals is set a budget range—before we begin the design process. We want to ensure that you’ll not only have a great design, you’ll be able to build it, too!
Design-Build gives you a team to work with.
When a homeowner sends an architect’s design out for bids, the goal of the bidding process is to get the lowest possible price for the construction of the project. This immediately puts contractors into an adversarial relationship with the homeowner.
Trying to turn a profit while charging the lowest possible price motivates some contractors to cut corners, use substandard materials, or hire cheaper subcontractors. It also pushes them to hide problems, avoid communicating with the homeowner, and find ways to earn more through extra charges for any items that were not covered in the original plans or specifications.
When you work with H & H Builders, you (as the client) and the designer and the builder are all invested in cooperating to make the project successful. Your remodel is designed according to your vision, but the process is overseen by the builder that will carry out the construction. Communication is the rule, not the exception, and your budget is not busted by unrealistic plans or by surprise change orders during construction.
Design-Build coordinates design and building.
In the traditional process Design–Bid–Build process, a homeowner may try to avoid the need for changes during construction by having the architect specify the plans in more detail. However, this often forces the remodeler to work in less efficient, more expensive ways. Because the homeowner, designer, and builder are not working together, the builder has no motivation to inform the homeowner that there’s a less expensive or better way to tackle the project.
When you work with H & H Builders, the construction team is involved in the design process from the outset. Working within your budget, we can present alternative designs and methods that make it possible to complete your remodel within your budget. If we know that the results you’re looking for will cost more than you’d hoped, we’ll give you that information before you pay for detailed plans to be drawn up.
An overview of our Design-Build remodeling process:
Phase 1—Design Concepts and Budgeting
There is a relatively small investment for the design and budgeting process. By starting with this smaller commitment, you have the opportunity to evaluate initial designs before deciding whether to jump into the main contract for building your project. We usually split the design/architectural and engineering fees into two parts (i.e., Phase 1 and Phase 2); this allows us to develop cost-effective options and a realistic budget before moving forward with final designs and plans.
If it’s unrealistic to build what your dreaming of for the amount of money that you want to spend, you’ll find out in Phase 1. We are often able to suggest alternatives that integrate what is really important to you while staying within your desired price range. This saves you from either (1) paying architect’s fees and not being able to afford to build the plans, or (2) spending way more than you intended to spend in order to build your architect’s plans.
Phase 2—Detailed Design and Construction
By matching your vision with your budget from the outset, we can work together as a team to come up with a buildable solution that comes in on time, on budget, and gives you spectacular results!