How Design Build Remodeling Saves You Time

Every home has to start with a great plan. It stands to reason then that every remodeling project needs to also have the same dedication and planning put into it. But perhaps you have been putting off deferred maintenance in your home for a long time simply because you don’t know where you will find the time to live through a remodel.

1. Setting a Realistic Schedule

Estimating how long a remodeling project will take is far from an exact science. However, using a design build remodeler can help you understand a realistic time frame. You may know that too many remodeling projects can stall, leaving part of your home in disarray for an unknown amount of time. But a design build firm will always make sure that your project will stay as close to your originally agreed upon schedule as possible. The connections of design build remodelers can come in handy if there are material delivery delays or unforeseen issues that need to be fixed before the original project can continue. Since the scope of work is part of the work contract, you can be sure that the work will get done.

2. One Stop Shopping

Another way that design build saves you time is that many design build remodelers offer one stop shopping. Many subcontractor services such as plumbing and electrical are handled by the remodeler so that you don’t have to find those trades people on your own. Also, you won’t have to haggle with prices and try to fit subcontractor’s schedules since the design build remodeler will be handling these aspects of the work for you.

3. Time Saving Techniques

Another major advantage of using design build remodelers is that they often will be aware of time-saving (and cost-saving) new materials or techniques that will improve the quality of your project. Also, any potential delays are figured into the scope of work, so the estimate of the work completion date will be as accurate as possible. Of course, factors that you have no control over such as weather cannot be figured in. But since the scope of work is planned out, indoors work can be moved up to be done during bad weather days.

4. Fitting all of the pieces of the puzzle together

The greatest advantage of using a design build remodeler is that they do a lot of the legwork for you, especially with the design and finding the right suppliers and subcontractors to do the job. The hardest part of undergoing any home remodeling project is fitting all of the pieces of the puzzle together. It can become an overwhelming process doing it on your own. Some remodelers will be happy to do the work, but you have to figure out more of the details than perhaps you would expect. But by using an expert team who does these types of projects on a regular basis, you can save lots of lead time and get your project done as soon as possible.

Why It’s Best to Have a Scope of Work

There are many companies that claim that they offer design/build services. But if they don’t offer scope development, then they really aren’t a true design build firm. So what’s so important about having a scope of work? You may be familiar with the expression: the devil is in the details. That’s definitely true in remodeling. While you can’t plan for every contingency, a developed scope of work will help cover details that may otherwise be overlooked. It can also help you form the best possible estimate for what your project will realistically cost.

So here is what a scope of work actually entails, thanks to this definition from Udemy.

“The Scope of Work (SOW) is a formal agreement document that specifies all the criteria of a contract between a service provider (vendor) and the customer. It clearly documents the projectDesign-Build-Remodeling requirements, milestones, deliverables, end products, documents and reports that are expected to be provided by the vendor.”

Because it’s part of the work contract itself, the scope of work allows for a clear understanding for all parties involved. Everything from homeowner requirements to the complete outline of the project is included. Every tiny detail is scrutinized and included for the protection of all involved. The last thing you want is for some important detail to be forgotten. By having everything spelled out in a document, everyone has a chance to be on the same page at all time.

One of the major parts of a scope of work is setting objectives and realistic project timelines. You’ve probably heard lots about projects being broken down into phases. This is all outlined in a scope of work. Each phase has to be spelled out completely. While working out of all this can take some time, it’s well worth it to dispel any potential confusion. If any communication breakdowns do happen, you always have the scope of work to refer back to in that case.

Also, the scope of work includes any maintenance agreements, warranties, and any other terms and conditions that apply. Of course, there are likely going to be unforeseen issues not covered by the scope of work. The scope of work actually has to make allowances for these sorts of things. Many projects, especially those being done in older homes, have a percent of the estimated budget dedicated as a contingency. This is the most common way of dealing with this. If that contingency isn’t enough, this is when the scope of work helps protect the homeowner by not allowing for cost overruns unless authorized by the owner.

You’ve probably seen on many remodeling shows how something will come up and the contractor has to discuss modifying another part of the project in order to keep it on budget. This is actually because there is a scope of work governing the project. Without having this contractual protection, you could suddenly find yourself spending more money before you even realize what is happening.

So why is it best to have a scope of work? It acts as protection for both the homeowner and contractor, as well as any other parties involved, that the project is being executed as promised. Without the scope of work, there become gray areas that can lead to problems on both sides. By having a written, legal agreement, the likelihood of any potential problems is reduced by leaps and bounds. So if you’re working with a contractor, make sure that they follow up with a scope of work before work begins. You’ll be happy you did.

Advantages and Disadvantages of “Bridging” With Design Build

Home remodeling is a complex process, but the end results can reap great rewards for the homeowner. When planning a remodel, you may find yourself working with a designer or architect early on in the process. For a variety of reasons, you may later seek the services of a design-build firm. This may even come during the design process. But likely, this decision won’t be made until the actual construction is about to be underway. When you take the design work from a different firm and decide to work with a design-build company, this is known as “bridging.” Is this a good idea, and are there are any potential drawbacks? Read more

How Using Design Build Can Reduce Project Cost Overruns

Cost overruns are a nightmare for any construction project, whether it be new building or remodeling. Exceeding expected costs can cripple a project if they go too far. There are 5 common things that can lead to cost overruns, but are almost completely avoidable if scope of work is used with a design-build contractor. Here is how design-build can overcome these common problems that lead to such costly overruns. Read more

Building a Custom Home Library

When planning and building a custom home library, there are many things to consider. From sufficient space, to usage, design, comfort, and more, there could be a great deal to think about. This is where an experienced design build contractor will come in handy. In fact, there are many reasons going with the design build process can be the best choice for your personalized in-home library. Read more

Design Build Done Right – General Guidelines & Best Practices

Design Build is a popular process for homeowners that undertaking major remodels. But how do you know that you are getting the most out of the design-build process? To help you set some expectations, the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) suggests four best practices DesignBuildwhen it comes to executing design build projects. We promise to deliver on these promises and more.

Our whole construction firm, from inception, is founded on the goal of delivering a superior remodeling experience, and delivering projects that stand the test of time.

#1 All design-build team members should be educated and trained in the design-build process, and be knowledgeable of the differences between design-build and other delivery systems.

Design-build teams should always have members that are well-educated and experienced in the process, but also must be well suited to the necessarily collaborative nature of the design-build process. In design-build, the design and construction teams work closely at each stage of the project. It’s not design then build, but rather an ongoing collaboration. Also, the best design-build teams will either have experienced tradespersons on hand or have access to tradespersons that are used to working on design-build projects.

#2 The project team should establish logistics and infrastructure to support integrated project delivery.

A project’s success is always going to depend on the collaborative abilities of the team, but communication is paramount in design-build projects. It’s recommended that design-build teams should always try to have their design and construction teams both working on location whenever possible to streamline communication so that unnecessary delays don’t occur. The process should be well-understood by all and any changes that need to be made should be expedited as soon as possible.

#3 The project team, at the outset of the project, should establish processes to facilitate timely and effective communication, collaboration, and issue resolution.

One of the best things about the design-build process is that there should be regular monitoring of the project’s progress and clear communication with the homeowners. These open lines of communication are paramount during the design-build process so that all parties involved understand where everything stands at any given point.

As a homeowner, however, it’s important to be prepared to make timely decisions when they are needed. You should have the expertise and experience of the design-build staff to help you, though, and should quickly and completely explain any issues that may impact the overall project cost or schedule as outlined in the original scope of work/contract. If you need to make a decision, it should be a very well-informed decision.

#4 The project team should focus on the design management and commissioning/turnover processes and ensure that there is alignment among the team as to how to execute these processes.

Essentially, this means that both parties, homeowner and contractor, should understand the level of involvement and effort required depending on the scope of the project. The DBIA suggests that the contractor should also dedicate sufficient resources to foster the most collaborative environment for the work. Also, per the DBIA, it is our responsibility to develop a design plan that keeps you as the homeowner engaged in the entire process. It’s our job to make sure that you get to meet regularly with key members of our design-build team to know exactly where things stand.

Both homeowner and design-builder should be in agreement on how the design and construction processes will go.  There should be a realistic plan which does everything possible to be in harmony with both parties’ schedule and other project-specific goals.

It is up to us to ensure that advances in design and any changes to the project and related documents are completely tracked. There should be a clear understanding as to when the homeowners are integrated into the decision-making process and be notified of any design changes.

Design-build teams also establish what is called a “trend system” towards the beginning of the design process. Using a trend system helps identify, track and evaluate any potential changes before they can adversely impact the project’s cost or schedule. It is also our responsibility to clearly and immediately communicate any potential issues that would be found using the trend system to the homeowners.

Using these best practices, you can be sure that your design-build project will be done right. Peace of mind and a fantastic end result are two of the greatest benefits of using such a collaborative system. After considering these points,  we hope you will choose us as your design-build partner for your next project.