Design-Build

 

or

 

General Contractor?

Which Should You Choose?

Figuring out what construction model works best for you is one of the first things you need to do when planning your project. There are pros and cons to both the traditional contractor model and the newer design-build model of home building. Here is the inside scoop I have gathered from past clients, friends and colleagues who have shared their experience in working with both models. 

The Design-Build Model

A design-build firm is a company with all facets of the home design and build process in-house. This means they can design your architecture, handle permitting, provide interior design services and construct your home. 

THE
Pros

It’s a turn-key solution

One company handles everything.

One central point of communication instead of multiple people at multiple companies.

THE
Cons

No Architect on Staff: Many companies say they are design-build but they do not have a licensed architect on staff which is  misleading and means you would be working with their architect partners which are at a separate company, defeating the benefits of design-build.

 

You're Stuck: All your eggs are in one basketOnce you begin you may feel stuck, since all services are wrapped up into one company they makes it difficult to break away early on if you are not happy.

 

Cost: Although they often tout savings, there is a large amount of overhead to run these companies, they have a higher head-count  and may end up being more expensive in the end.

Communication Lapses: The construction process alone is very complex, and when you add in architecture, interior design and permitting-the process is even more difficult to control and oftentimes communication can lapse within the different company departments leading to mistakes and delays.

 

Services You May Not Want: Interior designers are fantastic, but may not be necessary for your project, especially if you have a keen eye for home style, and the time to do research for what you want. Since they are a part of the design-build model you may be pressured into using them. 

When Design-Build Makes Sense

Partial Home Remodels:

When the architecture services you  need are not of a grand scale, and your project is small, having an in-house architect design your project may be easier.  If your project is not complex, and you are looking for a quick turnaround with the budget to spare this model may suit you well. 

The General Contractor Model

Hiring a contractor to focus on the building portion of your home project solely is the traditional route. They still require communication with the architect and will oftentimes handle permitting for you. 

PROS: 

Checks and Balances: By having your contractor hired early on they can work with your architect to  make sure the design is realistic for your budget. They can also foresee any building issues the architect may have missed as a concerned 3rd party to the design.

 

Focus: Since their expertise is in building and that is all they handle they can focus their efforts on your project completely. 


Cost: Since most contractors have less overhead, they can oftentimes beat out design-build on price for the same quality build.

CONS: 

Communication: You will be working with 2-3 different companies (Architect, Builder, Interior Designer) and will need to establish good communication between the groups early on. 

 

Design Vision: Their job is to build homes not design them, if you have questions about which wallpaper will work bes t with your flooring choice they may not be the right person to ask. 

 

When Design-Build Makes Sense

Custom Home Builds, Large Home Remodels

When you have a vision of the home and lifestyle you want, you need to select an artist, an architect with an undestanding of your style and creative vision to deliver that dream and a general contractor to bring it to life. By having the freedom to select the right architect partner and contractor you can ensure the overall design is to your liking. We believe that this will probably be your best bet for your project scope.

At C.M. Peletz we continue to offer the traditional General Contracting Services, we have not changed our model because we find that our methods are tried and true. We are great at building, and leave the architecture and interior design to those who have the incredible artistic vision to fulfill your needs. We have been building homes for over 70 years and continue to do so with pleasure. If you have any questions about a build you are considering feel free to drop us a line. 

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