You’re thinking that the time finally has come to pursue the interior remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about for your Des Moines-area home. The home improvement will be big enough that you expect that a thorough design process is needed, you could hire an architect to start the process, but you’re curious about the design-build process that you’ve heard about. Here is a rundown of how the design-build process works.
A Streamlined Process
Basically, design-build involves one company that dovetails the design process smoothly into the build process, delivering to the homeowners first a design and then a finished product that they love, at a price they expected and are comfortable with.
The Other Way
The other approach typically involves choosing an architect or designer, paying for the design and plans, putting the job out for bids, and hiring a builder and possibly subcontractors.
The First Contact
The process with a design-build firm such as Kaufman Construction starts with a phone call from the prospective client, who will discuss his or her project and get a feel from the professional on the other end of the line if they could be a good fit. If so, they’ll schedule a face-to-face consultation.
The Negotiated Contract
During the consultation, several points are discussed. Homeowners are encouraged to talk about their goals, concerns and questions. These points are compared to the design-build firm’s process for each phase of the project. Another important topic to discuss is the cost range that the homeowner is comfortable investing. The next steps can be quite different – each firm will have their own process; you might be asked to make a decision about proceeding with an agreement, or the contractor may want to meet again to present a design/build agreement, or they might prepare design ideas, drawings, and an agreement with an associated cost estimate. No matter the form, the design-build agreement that you are asked to sign is not a final plan or price. The final plan and price are to be negotiated throughout the design process. Typically this is where you make a decision of which firm you want to work with and make a written and financial commitment. After that is when space planning takes place, the style and price levels of cabinetry and appliances is discussed, materials and finishes are debated. During the negotiating process, both sides work toward agreement on what will make the dreams become reality — at a price that works for the builder and is doable for the client. The result should be a very specific contract for the construction of the project. This process can be viewed as a funnel, with a broad range of possibilities and costs going in and being narrowed down to a final design and price.
The Benefits of Design-Build
Among the benefits of this process is the fact that because the designer and the builder work for the same company (or could even be the same person), communication between the two working sides of a project are streamlined. The homeowner doesn’t have to coordinate among architect, builder, and subcontractors. Because the designers always work with the same builders, they know what can be built, what costs will be realistic, and generally how long a project will take. During the course of the work, finger-pointing over differences between designer and builder is eliminated because both sides have to work together, and one company is accountable. The need to redesign is reduced, as are costly change orders.
Keeping in Touch
During the building phase, the design and build company provides a single point of contact to keep the homeowners informed about the progress of their work and the construction schedule and answer any questions or concerns.
If this sounds like an attractive path to your home-improvement goals, the professionals at Kaufman Construction would like to talk to you. The company is staffed with talented designers and skilled craftsmen who have a passion for excellence. It’s a passion driven by company founder Devan Kaufman, who has a deep appreciation for fine architecture, quality craftsmanship, and excellent customer service.