Many potential homeowners go through a great deal of time and expense to have home plans fully developed for tender purposes, only to find that the cost to build or renovate their home is well over their budget. Worse still, during the build phase, more costly issues arise from an inadequate evaluation of the existing house during design.
In the traditional “tender-to-build” model, the homeowner hires a designer or architect and then takes the finished design to builders to price. The “design-build” model comparatively, has the client, builder and architect all work together from the very start of a design to complete the client’s vision based on a set budget.
Design-build has been gaining popularity because it’s a proven method to help homeowners get quality work completed on time and on budget. By having the builder and the architect working together from the project’s inception, the team can make sure that the design takes into consideration the overall project budget – including materials, appliances and contingencies. On renovations, it allows the designer to access the builder and subcontractors expertise to evaluate problems with the existing house prior to starting construction.
Other benefits of Design-Build
Everybody is on the same team: We’re all in this together and we all have the same goal –to arrive at a successful project that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations for their project. When challenges are encountered on a project (and there are always challenges), pointing fingers is not an option, everyone rolls up their sleeves and works on solutions.
Total accountability: One entity is accountable for everything –including how the end result looks, how much it costs and the timeline of completion. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, there tends to be much more attention given to pricing and scheduling in the design phase.
Professional guides: We’ve all heard the stories that design and construction can get out of hand and messy. Design and construction shouldn’t be chaotic or stressful. Design-build refines a system from beginning to end and manages the chaos into orderly steps.
Involvement: Design-build operates under the assumption that the client actually wants to be an active participant in the design and construction of their renovation. We’ve found that such an involvement is inspiring and gives people a lasting sense of pride about their home.
Collaboration: Design-build cuts out the big egos so common in the design industry. In design-build, the client retains total control over the project and the team is there to empower them.
The best kind of communication is open, honest and often: Design-build is transparent because we want clients to understand the process and to know what’s going on. The best partnerships work, not because people say what everyone wants to hear, but because they say what everyone needs to hear. Through clear communication, the budget is defined early on and it becomes the agreement for the entire project.
Nick Leko is a Registered Architect with 20 years’ experience whose work includes residential design and build. If you have any questions on house renovations you would like him to address in Vibrant Hutt, get in touch.