By Marty Morse
Like most things over time, the remodeling industry has gone through some changes. It would be safe to say that the remodeling industry has been renovated over the last few decades. The old norm of performing a renovation was to seek out a designer/architect, plan the project, create the construction drawings, bid the project, and finally choose the contractor to perform the work. The contractor would either work under the supervision of the homeowner-hired architect, or report directly to the homeowner. The design build model for residential remodeling has many benefits over this dated method of performing home improvement.
Over the course of this year, I will explain the four distinct benefits of the design build model of renovating homes; Communication, Timeliness, Cost Savings, and Accountability. Let’s get started today with communication.
BENEFIT 1: CLEAR AND CONCISE COMMUNICATION
Communication is one of the most important elements of a renovation project. With the design build model, the design team is in constant communication with the production team. The employees work as an orchestrated team under one roof, and have a common goal of creating satisfied clients. If a design question or production issue arises during the construction phase, an answer or design solution is available immediately.
Through experience, I have learned that communication can be broken down when there is a working triangle of an independent design/architectural firm, Client, and general contractor. During construction, quick answers can be critical to maintaining construction timelines. However, when issues must be coordinated through three independent parties, delays are often inevitable. Additionally, information can be miscommunicated.
With design build models, communication is constantly being updated within the organization. Systems are streamlined and communication within each department flows freely and easily, without pointing blame on the design, or faulting the construction crew for mistakes. Working as a team, the production staff can send photos and project information to the designer, who understands that timing is critical. Field modifications can be approved swiftly by the Client, and communicated properly back to field technicians. The team understands the goals and objectives, and also realizes the importance of time.
Another critical aspect of the home renovation communication is the organic nature of the construction drawings. As construction projects progress, the drawings are constantly updated to insure all field technicians have the most current information. Updating plans due to field modifications or last minute design modifications is easily communicated within the same design build team. For example, a client request to add a new window to a room during production can quickly be estimated, approved, designed, drafted for permit, and implemented within the internal communication channels of one organization with greater simplicity than even the best coordinated efforts of multiple agencies.
Communication is vital in the remodeling industry. I just touched base on timely communication as being a major benefit to the design build model of renovating homes. Stay tuned for benefit 2 in this four part series as I will discuss other timely aspects of the design build process.