Design-build companies are a great solution for many homeowners preparing to start a new home improvement project. A design-build firm provides design and installation services for your project. They work with you from the first concept through the completed installation, significantly simplifying the process. Here are a few of the benefits to using a design-build contractor and questions to ask when hiring.
Reduction in Time to Project Completion
When planning to build a new deck, patio, screen porch, or some other sort of addition, the traditional approach has been to meet with a designer, an engineer, and a contractor. This takes a significant amount of time and leaves more room for error with each company your project passes through. With a design-build company, you would work with one company from start to finish. This usually means fewer meetings required and more time saved. There is also greater efficiency and less room for error when the same company is designing, creating the architectural plans, and building. Your project will move through the channels more quickly and the carpenters will be at your home in no time.
Elevated Costs Are Prevented
One of the greatest benefits to the design-build process is that your project is designed to your budget. With your budget discussed early in the process, your entire project is planned to fit within the parameters you create, preventing elevated cost. No one likes sticker shock, especially after all the time and work put into creating the perfect design.
Simplified Design Process
The design fee is often rolled into the total project cost. Because the design is created in house, the cost is often much less than if you were to hire a designer separately. Also, because the firm is creating your project from start to finish, there is no question as to whether or not the design can actually be built. There is nothing worse than taking your new design to an engineer, only find there is much more to building that new pergola than you fathomed. A design-build company eliminates these all too frequent time consuming and costly issues.
Knowledgeable in Construction Methods
Part of the uniqueness of a design-build company is the amount of knowledge they bring with them. Because the designers are in-house, they have a greater knowledge of how their company builds. They know what is and is not acceptable, what village codes they need to adhere to, and more. A good design-build company will keep up to date with the latest in construction standards and should have procedures in place. This simplifies the process and ensures your project is built with high quality workmanship and care.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Design-Build Company
- How much experience does the company have with your type of project? At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we only design and build outdoor living companies. Sure, we could renovate a kitchen, but a company who specializes in kitchens will probably build it better.
- What is their background and history? Look them up on Angie’s List, Yelp, or the Better Business Bureau. How do their previous clients describe their experience with the company?
- What is the company’s design and construction process and what systems do they have in place to ensure your project runs smoothly? Knowing what to expect from the beginning is beneficial, and understanding how a contractor manages the multiple issues that can arise during the course of the job should be important in deciding who you want to hire for your project.
- What safeguards do they have in place? Every design-build company should have Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance and licensing in place.
- What kind of warranty do they provide and will they stand behind their work? All too often we hear about contractors or companies that hide behind a clause in their warranty. A good contractor will stand behind their work and do the right thing, regardless of the warranty terms.
See our article, How to Choose the Right Contractor, for a more detailed list of what to look for while interviewing design-build contractors.