It has taken me 15 plus years in the remodeling field to come to the following conclusion: Design-Bid-Build is nuts!
What is Design-Bid-Build, you may ask? It is an approach to a remodeling project that involves a number of parties, many of which you will be unaware of until late in the process. Sound strange?
The first step in this process would be to engage an architect, many of which are capable of developing the plan of your dreams but are not equipped to estimate the job or provide guidance on all of the material selections that go into the project.
Once you have developed a spatial plan that you are happy with, your architect will provide you with what they call Bid Documents. This is a series of documents that accompany the drawings that are intended to allow multiple builders to quote the project in an “apples to apples” way. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Some builders will include allowances for all finishes, many of which you will need to determine the adequacy of. Other builders will provide rough construction costs and refer you to their “Kitchen and Bath” guy.
If you have a remodel on the horizon, whether it be large or small, consider a Design-Build firm capable of designing, estimating and building it all under one roof. Does Mercedes design your new S-Class and then send you out looking for a sound system, navigation and tires? NO. They design the car that meets your needs, produce the car at a fixed price and deliver it to you 100% complete.
Christopher Lux has spent the last 15 years in the residential remodeling industry and is a Design Build Consultant with Harth Builders in Spring House, PA. Chris is available for in home consultations as well as speaking engagements by calling 215-654-0364