The design-build process carries so many benefits: better communication with your remodeling professionals and a guide throughout the project, all the details consolidated with one team, minimized changes and cost increases, smooth transitions between phases, and faster completion of the job. But there are some misconceptions about design-build in Portland, and here are the answers to some of those common questions.
Q: Because one company is taking care of both the design and construction, won’t the lack of competition drive up the price of a project?
A: A design-build scenario actually increases the homeowner’s chances of getting a competitive price. In the design-build process, the design-build company is able to start seeking bids earlier than a general contractor would before the design is even completed. Taking advantage of this wider window, the design-builder can seek more bids from a larger number of subcontractors. A general contracting company’s shorter time frame forces it to choose from a smaller group of bidders, potentially missing out on the subcontractor with the best price.
Q: Do I really need to go to the trouble and expense of having an architect or designer draw up plans, especially for a smaller project?
A: You might be surprised at all the permits that are required by your local building department. Almost all remodeling projects require permits, which in turn first require detailed construction drawings. Demolition, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and structural work all require permits, and then the building department will need to inspect the work to make sure it complies with codes before further work can proceed. A design-build company has experience in the design — and plan-drawing — process as well as the construction end of the work.
Q: In a typical design-bid-build situation, you have an architect or designer who can keep the builder honest and go to bat for you in disputes, and vice-versa. With a design-build company, aren’t those checks and balances lost?
A: This question emphasizes the importance of doing your homework and finding a top-rate design-build company. Only in the case of a disreputable design-build company will you be taken advantage of because one company has control of all phases of the project. In fact, having a single design-build business streamlines the process, with a single point of contact for the homeowner. The different divisions of the company are able to communicate easily and work out issues among themselves, with less chance that things will slip through the cracks. COOPER Design Builders has internal checks and balances in place to make sure that the homeowners end up with the final result that they dreamed of, at the price they agreed to in the contract.