TIPS + TOOLS

8 reasons to hire a design-build firm

May 21, 2019

Should you hire a design-build firm? If you’re thinking of a renovation, addition or custom build and are wondering how to proceed, design-build may be the way to go. Here’s why.

Design-build is a streamlined way to execute a project using one team that both creates the design and then builds it. Think of it as one-stop shopping. Rather than having to go to one company to create a design for your project and another to do the construction, design-build combines the process from vision through to completion under one roof for a seamless renovation.

If you plan to renovate, add on or build from scratch and want the ease of working with a single firm from start to finish, design-build may be the right choice for you.

Here are 8 reasons to hire a design-build firm.

No. 1: You’ll work with an overall expert

Combining design experts with construction experts means you benefit from the close collaboration and overall “umbrella” expertise of a design-build firm. And that combination means a true integration of ideas and process that leads to greater client satisfaction.

No. 2: You value a specialist in construction methods

Because the design-build model brings all members of a project team —designer, contractor, engineer and any specialty subcontractors — together early in the process, you can be sure that tricky construction issues are taken into account from the get-go.

No. 3: You want the creativity that collaboration encourages

Under the design-build model, design flexibility and creativity are encouraged, with the entire team working together from the beginning and sharing all their experience and ideas.

No. 4: You want your project finished quicker

With one team, the collaborative nature of design-build means work is completed faster with fewer problems. In more traditional arrangements, disagreements or miscommunication between the designer and the contractor on how things ought to be done can result in serious slowdowns. As well, thanks to the collaboration in design-build, construction can often begin even if there are still a few small finishing touches to iron out in the design.

No. 5: You want your team to work well together

There are no guarantees of a conflict-free renovation, but when you hire a design-build firm, you can be reassured that the key players already know one another and work well together. And since the two pieces of your team are already working as one, dealing with late changes is quicker and smoother. This is important because conflicts between your designer and contractor can lead to delays, inflate costs or even bring work to a halt.

No. 6: You want one point of contact from start to finish

A renovation, addition or new build is a disruptive, challenging undertaking. While there are some homeowners who relish taking the reins and directing all steps of the process, for most, it’s an unfamiliar environment and having a skilled expert lead the way — from beginning to end — is reassuring and reduces stress.

At Amsted, for instance, our Project Co-ordinators are there to make sure you’ll only have to deal with one point of responsibility all the way through the project. And that offers peace of mind.

No. 7: You want to keep costs in check

In using a separate designer and builder, there is the perceived benefit that you can save money on construction. But securing the contract is not the only factor that goes into escalating project costs: Poor communication between your designer and contractor and unneeded or excessive change orders can also wreak havoc. In design-build, your designer and contractor work together under one contract, which can help cut down on unnecessary changes and keep everyone on the same page when it comes to budget expectations. Plus, communication channels are streamlined, which helps with efficiency and avoiding costly miscommunications.

No. 8: You want to minimize risks 

It goes without saying that everyone involved in a project would hope that nothing goes wrong. But if there is a dispute, working with a design-build firm puts more of the legal responsibility for design errors and omissions, as well as defective construction, on the firm. In the traditional design, bid, build model, the homeowner is in a potentially more vulnerable position since the owner is placed between the designer and the contractor.

Having a company that is fully insured with updated health and safety requirements is also essential when hiring for any construction work being done to your home. If someone gets hurt on your project, you don’t have to worry about potentially loosing your home due to any legal action.

Want to find out more?

Our Amsted TV video series takes you step-by-step through the design-build process