What is a Design-Build Firm, and When Do You Need One?
Professional of team pf design build firm, foreman in helmet working new construction project architectural plan with blueprint and construction tool on table at the building site

Whenever you take on a home remodeling project, there is a lot of stress involved. Whether the project is big or small, it disrupts your life and your schedule. Even more stressful is when you try to do it all yourself—hire the subcontractors, establish the budget, and plan the build. 

Hiring a contractor can make a home remodel go smoother. But you don’t want just anyone in charge of the project—you want someone to help you from start to finish. A design-build firm is someone that can do that for you. Not only will they help the project go smoothly, they’ll also help you with the concept, design, and installation of your beautiful new remodel. 

In this blog, we’ll cover what a design-build firm is, why you should work with one, and situations when you should (and shouldn’t) hire one. 

What is a Design-Build Firm? 

Design Build Firm team brainstorming, discussing plan, project on blueprint ,paperwork at workplace, office. architecture, interior design, construction working people concept.

A design-build firm provides a homeowner with every person they need to complete a home remodeling project. This includes an interior designer, architect, and general contractor. The firm manages all these people for the homeowner, including any subcontractors needed for the project.

Design-build firms are not a new method for home remodeling, but it is a much more streamlined process than the traditional design-bid-build method. In design-bid-build, you as the homeowner are much more involved in the process, meaning you hire each person for each job, manage the projects, and monitor the timeline. Some homeowners like having this level of control, but others are simply looking for a project manager to do that work for them. 

At VADA Contracting, we believe the design-build model is the best way to serve homeowners and reduce the stress of a home remodel. It also keeps the process running smoothly and the finished product cohesive. 

Why Hire a Design-Build Firm? 

Design-build firms have several distinct advantages depending on the type of home remodel you’re looking for. Here are a few reasons you should consider hiring a design-build firm for your home remodel. 

Easier Project Management

When you work with a design-build firm, you only have one point of contact—the contractor. Your contractor will manage communication with architects, subcontractors, and any others involved in the building process. This makes for much easier project management and takes communication off your plate and placed into the hands of a professional. 

Take Complexity out of Projects

Even DIY warriors need help sometimes, especially when you have complex areas of your home to remodel. If you’re making any significant changes to the electrical, plumbing, or structural aspects of your home, hire a design-builder. When you have a contractor managing a home remodel, they can hire trustworthy subcontractors they’ve worked with before to take care of these needs for you, so you don’t have to worry about hiring a plumber or electrician. 

Renovating an attic into a study space or adding a bathroom to your master bedroom? If you want to put a room in your house to a different use, a design-build firm can help you. Not only can they coordinate all of the subcontractors you’ll need to transform your space, but they can also put together a cohesive design so you love your new room! A design-build firm can also secure all of the proper inspections and permits needed to start a room renovation so you as the homeowner don’t have to worry about them. 

Predictable Timeline and Cost

The project management side of a design-build firm can help your home remodel project stay on time and on budget. In a design-build process, the cost is established upfront, after a conceptual design is created. In a design-bid-build scenario, the cost is established when the bid is submitted—after you’ve seen the final drawings. That means your designer might have to go back to the drawing board. When your home remodel is managed by a design-build firm, you can expect your contractor to manage the timeline and tell you the cost up-front. They’ll also be able to monitor your budget and determine if anything is going over. 

When Should I Hire A Design-Build Firm? 

Home remodel of kitchen in progress

As you think about your current or next home-building project, consider the scope, budget, and timeline of your project before hiring a design-build firm. Below are a few indicators that you should hire a design-build firm for your project. 

Your Project is Much Bigger than a Simple Touchup

Some homeowners will simply stain their cabinets or add some backsplash to their kitchen to give it a refresh. But if you want to gut a room, rip out flooring and cabinetry, and replace large appliances, a design-build firm is a great option for you! Having the right contractor in charge can take the overwhelm out of your next home remodel

You Want a Project Manager You Can Rely On

Home remodels are stressful enough without having to manage everything yourself. With a design-build firm, you’ll have a project manager on your side from conception to construction to completion, hiring and managing subs, controlling costs, and keeping you aware of updates. 

You Have a Tight Timeline

When you take on a home remodel project yourself, the timeline can quickly unravel due to delays or budget. With all of the other stressors of daily life, your remodel project can fall by the wayside. If you want your new kitchen completed before a major holiday, or a bedroom added to your home before a baby is born, call a design-build firm. They’ll keep the timeline on track and running as smoothly as possible. 

You Want to Be More In-Control of Your Budget

It’s easy to throw money at a DIY home remodel and lose sight of your original budget. A design-build firm can keep track of your budget, warn you which areas are going over, and find the most cost-effective ways to complete your home remodel. 

When Not to Hire a Design-Build Firm

While hiring a design-build firm is a great option when you’re doing a total home or room remodel, there are times when you shouldn’t consider hiring a design-build firm. 

Small Projects

A quick project like replacing a sink, ripping up carpet, or painting a wall does not need the help of a design-build firm. These are jobs for handymen or subcontractors that you trust—or it could be a DIY project if you prefer. 

Specific Projects 

If you have a specific idea for a project and want full control of it (or have designed it already,) hiring a design-build firm might compromise your control. When someone hires a design-build firm, they’re usually giving the contractor the freedom to make executive decisions and control the flow of the project. 

Tight Budget

Design-build firms aren’t always compatible with small budgets. They tend to have a higher sticker price since you’re paying for a contractor, designers, and subcontractors up front instead of a la carte. However, a design-build firm will steward whatever budget you have in a way that gets the job done well. When you hire a design-build firm, you’re paying for a quality remodel and exceptional experience—and it’s an investment on the value of your home.  

Hire a Design-Build Firm You Can Trust

In this blog, we covered what a design-build firm is and when you should hire one. At VADA Contracting, we bring together the collective talents of a licensed builder, a master carpenter, an architectural engineer, a 3D modeler, a degreed designer and a team of skilled craftsmen to provide an all-included remodel service. Sourcing each of these parties on an individual basis could take a lot of time and is almost guaranteed to be more expensive if you do it on your own. For your next home remodeling project, schedule a free consultation with VADA Contracting and find out how we can help you!

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