What Does Design Look Like at a Design/Build Firm?
You have great plans and ideas for your renovated space. We have design experts who can make these visions become a reality. As a company that applies the design/build approach, our projects are comprised of two distinct phases – the design and then construction.
Emphasis is placed on the design phase where we explore the possibilities of your space and help you envision the optimal end result that fits within your budget.
All projects start with a design contract, an agreement with us to provide your project’s design. Designs will either have one phase if it’s small, like a bathroom remodel, or two phases if it’s a larger project, like a kitchen remodel, addition, or any remodel that changes the footprint of the home.
The design phase gets kicked off with the design meeting, a time for the creative discussions to begin. This meeting is conducted at your home or virtually. Virtual meetings are held using video conferencing. Measurements, photos, and documents can be shared via email.
We began offering virtual meetings as a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, when social distancing was first encouraged. After discovering that many of our clients preferred these, we decided to continue to offer them as a convenience.
What to Expect During a Design Meeting
Our designer will meet with you to gather:
- Your vision for the space, where you got inspiration, why you want to undertake this project
- Project nice-to-haves and must-haves
- Your budget, so our designer can share ideas that work within it
- Measurements and photos of existing conditions
At the end of a design meeting, our designer provides initial recommendations and together you’ll agree on the general direction of the project. Our designer provides suggestions for where to look for products and suggests vendors with proven track records for quality and reliability (e.g., where to find unique tile or that perfect light fixture).
What happens next?
Our designer presents a floor plan and elevation drawings. A floor plan shows the space from above; an elevation drawing shows the space from the front or side.
For large projects, we conduct a budget review to provide you with a rough cost estimate based on historical data. This will help you decide if you want to proceed or make changes to the design.
For all projects:
- You continue to share your ideas.
- Our designer makes recommendations.
- You make product selections.
- We schedule a walk-through of the project space with our subcontractors. They can provide insight into any unforeseen issues.
- Perspectives (2 dimensional representation of a 3D image) or 3D renderings of your project are created and shared either in person or virtually (using screen sharing via video conferencing).
After this iterative process, our designer presents the best design plan that includes everything wanted that fits within your budget. Equipped with the floor plan, elevation drawings, your product selections, and the perspective or 3D render, we can walk you through the proposed design plan together.
Once the design is finalized and approved, the construction contract is drafted. The construction contract is a fixed price proposal that outlines everything about the project – the construction documents, specifications, timeline, communications plan for project status, process for change orders, and the fixed price project cost. A meeting is held to walk through the construction contract line by line. (Learn what’s included in a construction contract and what your rights are in our article, Remodeling Contracts: What to Know.)
After the contract is signed, the project is then underway.