Many contractors are quite happy to work with somebody else’s plans and designs as they simply want to concentrate on the building aspect of a project. This means you typically need to hire somebody to come up with the design plans and then find somebody else to carry them out. This is known as the design-bid-build method of construction.
Working with two separate entities can sometimes lead to problems though, especially if the design and construction teams are not really on the same page or share the same ideas and work attitude.
This is where design-build contractors can be a better option since the same company will oversee the entire project from start to finish. They’ll handle all of the designing and planning and follow up by doing the construction. They typically know how long the job will take and what the cost will be and know that the plans can easily be adhered to since they were part of the planning process from the beginning. Design-build is becoming a very popular option for homeowners in Toronto.
Costs When Working With a Design-Build Contractor
A design-build contractor may sometimes cost more upfront but you will typically save money in the long run as a result of less revisions due to design & construction conflicts as well as a faster and more streamlined process. Design-build contractors are skilled and trained in the art of design with most of them having certified architects as part of their team.
With the somewhat traditional home-owner-architect-contractor system, the architect will design a home and then monitor its construction to be sure the contractor is properly following the design without cutting any corners. However, the builder may not always agree with every aspect of the design and claim some of them are impractical or too costly. In this case, the builder may suggest altering the original design. Any disagreements need to be worked out during the bidding stage to guarantee the work will be carried out according to the plans and design.
When hiring a design-build contractor it’s a good idea to ask the same types of questions you would to separate designers and contractors. You may find you’re impressed with their design ideas but not the construction side of things or vice versa.
Be sure to check out their project portfolio and if possible, take a firsthand look at some of their work. Of course, you can also ask for recommendations and references and speak with their former clients. When doing so, don’t be afraid to ask about both the design and building phase separately.
- Simplified process as the same company takes care of all aspects of the project
- One-stop shopping for both the design and construction
- Potential savings when compared to hiring a separate architect/designer and builder
- No disputes or disagreements between designers and contractors over the design
- Less chance for increased costs and/or change orders during construction
- Practical approach since the designer knows the construction costs of the plans
- One team working together towards the same goal
- Clearer communication
- Complete trust needed for a design-build contractor since they’re responsible for the entire project
- Economical and practical designs may lack creativity and innovation
- No competitive bidding could result in inflated costs
- Corners could possibly be cut due to lack of overseeing by third party
If you decide to go the design-build route on your next home renovation project or custom home build, you still need to follow the same hiring guidelines as you would with any contractor. Be sure to check their reviews and reputation online, check out their past project galleries and don’t be afraid to ask for references as well as other documentation to be sure they are the right fit.
Novacon Construction is a Toronto based design-build contractor specializing in high end renovation projects and custom home builds. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your next project.