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  • John Johnson

A Design & Build Company is the Best Solution for a Successful Remodel



Everyone has heard the horror stories about problems with construction companies, budgets spiraling out of control and sites left half-finished. But the reality is that most builders are both professional and capable, and you can do a great deal upfront to avoid bad experiences simply by the way you choose, manage and communicate with your builder. Here’s why it’s worth laying the foundations for a good relationship with your builder — and how to do it well.


Benefits of Design & Build Firm:  Architect / Design & Build Firm / Basic Contractor

When comparing architectural design firm, a Design & Build firm or just a basic contractor, all three offer their own benefits, liabilities, and trade-offs.  Although architects can create concepts and draw design plans like Design & Build firms, they do not manage the actual construction, or the material selections needed. Design & build companies offer construction management services, involving consulting and coordinating with the various agencies overseeing your project. Each profession has its special emphasis, but there can be some overlap in services too.



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1.  Architects and interior designers create concepts and draw plans. They also may offer construction management services, involving consulting.

2.  Design-Build firms offer both design and building services, some with in-house architects, others by contracting out the design work, coordinating with the various agencies overseeing your project.

3.  General contractors build the plans, no design selections.

4.  Landscape architects create designs and plans for outdoor spaces.

But with a Design & Build company, you are likely to achieve the best outcome.  A design/builder remodeler can assist you in developing a construction plan that fits your budget, meets local building safety codes and reflects your personal style.   A design & build firm can deliver a quality result, finding the right products and materials, staying on budget and managing the project.  If you are thinking of remodeling, adding on or building from scratch and want the ease of working with a single firm from start to finish, a design-build firm may be the right choice for you.


Noted in a Houzz survey, customers stated that the most valuable contributions of design & build firms were delivering a quality result, finding the right products and materials, staying on budget and managing the project. 



CHOOSING A REMODELER

There are numerous ways to find a design & build remodeler:  word of mouth from friends and neighbors, consumer ratings, internet searches, reviews, references or design websites like HGTV or Houzz.  Ask friends, neighbors and other home pros you respect for referrals. The key is finding someone you feel comfortable with and who is qualified to do the work you want done.


Take the time to find a remodeler who is an expert at creating the look you want. Ask them to describe the look to you and what makes it different from other building or decorating styles. Once work on your project gets underway, you’ll find that all sorts of questions and decisions about details come up relating to your chosen aesthetic, and you’ll be very grateful that you’re dealing with a professional.



If remodeling or building is new to you, ask the pros you’re meeting with to explain exactly what services they provide, the timeline in which they typically provide those services, how long each phase might take and other benchmarks you should expect along the way. Not only will this provide necessary information for your own planning, but the pro’s response also will likely give you a sense of his or her priorities and working style and customer service.



When builders get involved early in the process, it might affect cost estimates and design schemes since they will be able to contribute insight and pricing expertise from the start.  If you are planning to remodel your home, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Choosing to work with a design-build firm can simplify the process, reducing the stress of project management and reducing the number of people you need to deal with. Once you’ve chosen a firm you trust, this one-stop shop oversees the architect, contractor and subcontractors.



TRUST

Homeowners talk about how the chemistry between pro and client can make or break a project. Maybe learning that your top candidate loves Game of Thrones won’t actually sway you one way or another, but getting a sense of this person’s personality, character, temperament and communication style is always smart. Do your homework but trust your gut. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together throughout the project and interacting on a regular basis, so feeling comfortable with your pro and being able to communicate easily will make all the difference.  Ask yourself:  Do they listen--really listen to what you are saying?  Do they respond quickly to your emails?  Do you feel appreciated?

Homeowners without constrained budgets may be afraid to be too forthcoming for fear that pros will push them to spend more than they would like. That’s where checking references and finding people you can communicate with comes in. The remodeling company should be able to provide recent customers as references for projects similar to yours. Call and ask these homeowners if they would hire the company for another remodeling job. Were there any delays or issues with the job? How were they resolved? Did the contractor, employees and subcontractors do a good job with communication? Was the project site safe and cleaned up daily?



A reputable remodeler will ensure that honesty is truly the best policy when it comes to their website and social media presence. Read their client reviews on their website.  If they don’t list any, that may be a red flag.  In a sharing economy where everyone shares their views online, clients want to know everything about the remodeling company before they even pick up the phone. 



When it comes to remodeling and home building, contractors will do just about anything to make you happy. They’ll meet with you on short notice. They’ll come up with creative solutions to your unique requests.  A great way to ensure you’ll have your contractor’s undivided attention is to set up recurring meetings. Weekly meetings at a specific time are an effective way to make sure you see your contractor in person to get your questions answered.  Find a time that works for both of you and save it in your calendars. That way, no one has to worry about last-minute, pre-weekend meetings.



With every mode of electronic communication at your fingertips, you may have some ideas about how you would like to receive information about your project. Your contractor likely has specific ways he or she likes to communicate too — daily emails, cloud-based schedules or maybe just phone calls or Zoom video chats. Make sure you understand how you will be contacted and receive information.  A good remodeler will ensure he communicates with you no matter if you are around the corner or in another state and/or traveling.



Know what level of communication is reasonable. If you and your contractor have a mismatch in expectations when it comes to communications, you may feel ignored while from the contractor’s perspective, things are running smoothly, and all is normal. If you know you’re tempted to call or email your pro very frequently, it might be helpful to keep a running list of questions and concerns instead, and then set a regular day or time to check in when you can get all of your concerns heard and responded to at once.  Think of it like a good marriage — you want to bring together people who can communicate effectively and resolve problems quickly, efficiently and amicably.


Show us the boundaries. Like any guest in your home, a reputable remodeler is usually eager to know the unwritten rules of your household. Are you comfortable lending us a key to access the work site, or do you prefer to have a trusted neighbor available? If there is a security system, can you share the code with us? Where’s the best place for us to store materials? Consider also if there are valuables you’d be more comfortable securing while we’re in the house. Your guidance and trust will help us avoid unnecessary frustration or misunderstandings.


BEFORE


AFTER


While the three types of construction companies (architectural firms, Design & Build firm or just a basic contractor) all offer solutions, its own benefits, liabilities, and trade-offs, you are likely to achieve the best outcome with a Design & Build company. Especially if the firm has good design and construction departments. Creative Spaces Remodeling believes in having, under one roof, both the design and the construction departments.  A Design and Build model connects the two phases of planning and execution under one firm’s umbrella and one firm’s responsibility.


Creative Spaces Remodeling DESIGN.BUILD.LIVE. sees every project as two very integrated opportunities to build your project twice-once on paper in the planning phase and then in reality with the construction phase.  The Creative Spaces Remodeling website (remodelthebay.com) states that they have “Clear Communication, Innovative Design and Extraordinary Craftmanship”.  The company prides itself on focusing on customer service throughout the entire process, engaging with the client to ensure a seamless experience and to avoid surprises. The client can count on the company to be direct, detail-oriented, and flexible from start to finish, to create the remodel that matches the clients’ desires and needs.  Creative Spaces Remodeling is ready to help you with your project.

CONTACT US

3179 BRAVERTON ST. SUITE 101

EDGEWATER, MD 21037

Email: info@remodelthebay.com

Phone: 410-541-1268

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© 2020 CREATIVE SPACES REMODELING, LLC