When a Cleveland Park family needed a kitchen redesign, they chose a company that offered a design-build remodeling approach. With an architect, interior designer, and lead carpenter available to them as collaborative partners, they soon discovered the entire project could be handled smoothly and efficiently by working with one company for the entire project.
Here’s an example of how that collaboration influenced the flow of the project right from the start: Once the architect had drawn the structure and preliminary interior layout of the room, they sent the plan to their colleague on the interior design team for review and fine-tuning. With that level of collaboration happening from the beginning, the client and the entire team participate in a seamless process. Questions get answered on the spot.
The concept of “design-build” is appealing from the perspective of efficiency because you as a homeowner receive the benefit of one team working in unison on your project from start to finish. But what else about the way design-build works would make it the better choice for your project?
Design-build remodeling is about more than efficiency, it is the constant interaction that leads to the most creative ideas and the best solutions to problems when they crop up. It’s a process that fosters collaboration.
When designers are part of the process from start to finish--fully integrated into the scope of work and the cost of the project--creativity flourishes. Design ideas can be thought through as part of the planning, eliminating confusion and “nobody thought of that” moments in the building process.
Having designers working with you and shaping your ideas into the framework of a buildable design, the whole process runs more smoothly. Your needs and desires are top of mind at each step. You can change your mind or give your consideration to new ideas without worry because this is all just a part of the creative process and is built into the workflow.
The power of the design-build approach is the power of personalization. This is your home! In the design-build approach, your design and construction team is set up to do everything they can to determine exactly what you as the home-owner want and ensure it gets accomplished. They are there to ask the right questions, help you to articulate what you have in mind, and get the crucial information needed to realize your vision. That takes more than one meeting, and is a continuing process in the design-build approach to home renovation.
With an architect, designer, and builder working together through every phase of your project, your personal vision can be fulfilled seamlessly. So, what gets delivered in the end is the result of a personal journey that is mapped out just for you.
Your personal vision will encounter obstacles along the way, which is another strength in a design-build approach. Collaboration helps especially when challenges arise.
One of the unique issues faced in the Cleveland Park kitchen remodel was precisely how to reconfigure the new kitchen to make the best use of the existing windows that ran along two walls of the space. The clients felt their options were limited since the home, a duplex, shared a windowless wall with the neighboring unit. They wanted to protect the natural light and views into the trees while gaining extra storage, new counter space and a spot to mount a flat screen television.
The architect was in constant conversation with the interior designer throughout the process of fine tuning interior details to maximize the existing features of the room while incorporating the new elements requested by the clients. The designer developed a kitchen plan that followed a basic L-shaped layout with four different options for making the best possible use of space:
The ability to smoothly work out solutions and make revisions as ideas evolve is probably the single most valuable aspect of design-build remodeling. Changes and revisions aren't a cause of anxiety or finger-pointing, but part of a smooth, coherent development process. Change in that environment becomes no big deal.
Another way a design-build approach makes life easier for everyone involved is around logistics and communication. The carpenter may call from the field to say “the blueprint shows ‘x’ but I am seeing ‘y’ here. How would you like to proceed?” This is not uncommon. Issues come up on the job site that involve fine-tuning the design to account for what the existing home actually presents. When you hire a separate architect, designer, and builder, you as the homeowner will bear the brunt of the logistical challenges. A design-build firm can handle these minor discrepancies between the blueprint and the facts on the ground and involve you as the homeowner only when the solution requires a change in the finished architectural or design detail.
Too often, homeowners will hire an architectural firm with no expectation that they will stay involved beyond handing over the blueprints. In that scenario, you take the blueprints to a builder and hope they don’t have any questions about the architectural details.
There are full-service architectural firms that will follow the project, but those costs are not built into the construction contract. So you as the client are keenly aware every time a question is raised and the architect starts the meter running. Those consultations can add up quickly, running up the bill beyond whatever contingency you might have built into the project. Whether you choose the hands-off or hands-on approach, hiring an architect separate from the builder may require you to take on more responsibility than you wish to.
It’s hard to think of every last detail from the very beginning. Knowing architects and designers are there when you need them, that you won’t have to pay by the hour to add small details that weren’t in the final set of drawings means you can proceed with confidence. Design-build has that extra level of flexibility built into the process.
This gives you more time to think about and work with the designer to make decisions about details as the project progresses. The exchange of creative ideas that get the project rolling is able to continue throughout the process because it is built to accommodate change in the form of new information or more refined ideas.
We hope your expectations of a remodeling project are high and working with a firm that has developed a credible design-build process can help you meet those expectations.
Learn more about home remodeling by downloading our eBook titled "The Essential Elements of Renovating an Older Home," or reach out to Gilday Renovations today to discuss your renovation goals. To learn about the Gilday Renovations approach to home renovation, please get our eBook about how our integrated team delivers the home of your dreams today.