Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Advantages of Design-Build Remodeling

One of the biggest problems during a remodel is coordinating and mediating between the designer and contractor. The designer will have specific ideas on what should be done and these are usually conceived in association with the homeowner. Similarly, the contractor will have his own ideas on how the work should be executed and what the end result should be. These are normally based on his experience on what will work and what won’t, Engineering/Construction issues, cost and time considerations. Unethical designers and incompetent contractors do exist and if you should fall into the clutches of one or both you will have major problems. But even if you have an honest, experienced and skilled designer and contractor, they will not be in agreement on many issues.

The Homeowner’s Headache

Both the designer and contractor are specialists in their fields. You probably have only a layman’s understanding of both. But you are the one who has to mediate between the two and find a solution. The wrong decision could ruin your home. Getting second opinions is not viable and for something this important you can’t rely on a coin toss. You could try to get both sides to accept a compromise that will stop the arguments, but will the result give you the home you want? And who is responsible if things go wrong?

The Solution

The solutions lie in design-build remodeling. Design-build means that one agency has the skills and experience to do both the design and the construction. This offers huge advantages to the homeowner:
  • There is only one party to deal with for all aspects of the project
  • There will be no questions of disagreements between the designer and contractor because they are the same.
  • When working with the homeowner during the design stage, the contractor will be able to advise the client about any construction issues that may be caused by the client’s wishes. Workable alternatives can be found.
  • If some of the homeowner’s plans exceed the budget for the project, economic alternatives can be developed.
  • A final remodeling plan is automatically approved in terms of both design and construction
  • There can be no lack of coordination or communications gaps between designer and contractor
  • Any problems that may arise during project execution are quickly resolved without having to refer the matter to different agencies.
  • There can be no excuses or buck passing between designer and contractor
  • The homeowner has a single project manager to deal with for all aspects of the project
  • With one agency in control of all aspects of the remodel, the chances of delays and cost escalations are minimized.

Not Everyone is a Design-Build Contractor

The growing popularity of design-build remodeling has caused a spurt in the number of remodeling contractors who claim to be able to do design-build projects. Before accepting a design-build bid:
  • Check on the contractor’s experience in both areas
  • Ask for references and details of nearby projects you can visit
  • Check on affiliations to associations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and other relevant bodies
  • Check out insurance and bonding issues and
  • Spend time talking to the contractor to see if he understands what your vision is for the remodeled home and his level of confidence in giving it to you.

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