Word of advice: when choosing the best home remodeling company, don’t act too fast! If you’re anxious to sign a contract just so you can start your project, it can be hard to pump the brakes. But you must proceed with caution. Giving this decision plenty of time and careful consideration is essential for doing right by your home and your family. If you’ve already completed the important first steps to finding the best design build company for you, that’s great! But now, you’ve got to finish the job by following through on the crucial last steps in this process. You’ll find those six steps right here.


6 Final Steps to Finding the Best Design Build Company

1. Ask for licensing and certification for each design build company

The best design build company for you will keep everything they do above board. That means they will have the specific licenses and certifications they need for every job. The legal requirements for home remodeling companies vary by state. So, contact the licensing division of your local government to learn the exact requirements the home remodeling companies should meet.

You should also ensure the remodeling companies on your list have liability insurance in case they damage your home. Additionally, these remodeling companies should have worker’s compensation for their crews. Ask for a copy of their insurance policies and verify that they’re up to date.

Award extra attention to the best design build company with certain designations and certifications. For example, they may have designations from professional associations like the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the National Association of Homebuilders. Home remodeling companies can also have certifications for aging-in-place home modifications, living-in-place home modifications, and interior design.

If a design build company has many of these designations and certifications, especially ones that are relevant to your project, it might be the best design build company for you. Drop any company that doesn’t have the right credentials, hesitates to give them to you, or takes too long to give them to you.

2. Investigate the business experience and management of home remodeling companies

As much as you want the best design build company to beautify your house, you also want them to value your patronage. Therefore, how well they operate their company is as significant to your search as how well they improve a space. To gauge the success of their business management, start by reading the About page on their website.

Here, you can learn facts such as:

  • long they’ve been in business
  • how long they’ve used their current business name
  • if they have an established presence in the community
  • how many employees they have
  • how much experience their employees have

If a design build company has been in business for over 10 years, it should be a reliable choice.

Community involvement indicates how trustworthy, ethical, and dependable a design-build remodeling company is. Find out if they support schools or athletic teams, participate in fundraising events, or donate to local charities. That way, you can confirm if they give back to the neighborhoods around them.

3. Check references for design build remodeling companies

At this point, your list should be shrinking. What’s more, your comfort levels with each remaining home remodeling company should be increasing. You’ve made contact, so they know you’re interested and should be working with you to help you decide. One thing they should certainly be ready and willing to do is to share references with you.

Typically, the best design build company has a list of 10 or more completed projects that include each customer’s name, address, and telephone number. The mix of customers should include recent jobs and older references. Work from various neighborhoods should be represented as well. The home remodeling company should provide dates for each job. You should ask for the dates if they’re not already present.

Questions to Ask References

Call at least 5 references, and when you do, take good notes. You should also request permission to see the project in person. Ask questions such as:

  • Did the company finish the job on time?
  • Were problems addressed quickly and professionally?
  • Were the team members punctual?
  • During which hours did the crew work?
  • Did they keep the job site neat?
  • Did the project stay within budget?
  • Has the work held up?

If a design build company doesn’t have enough references or has a significant time gap between references, ask for more information. The company might have put work on hold for some reason.

When speaking with past clients, pay attention to their attitudes and tone as they report their experience with the home remodeling company. If they stay positive while mentioning small problems, you’ll know they were impressed with the company. Conversely, if they hesitate or answer indirectly, you’ll know they were generally displeased. Any home remodeling company that receives an ambivalent or bad review from a reference shouldn’t stay on your list.

best design build company

4. Interview at least 3 best design build company candidates

Now that you’ve done a significant amount of investigation into a handful of home remodeling companies, you can take another big step toward narrowing your list down by conducting interviews. Speaking with at least 3 candidates is essential, but you certainly don’t have to stop there. Some prefer interviewing 5 candidates, while others don’t mind speaking to upwards of 10. Basically, you want to have this experience with enough design-build remodeling companies that you can make an informed decision without getting overwhelmed.

Phone Conversation

Before you schedule a face-to-face interview, you can talk with each design build company over the phone. Doing so helps them plan for your arrival. It also ensures you really want to meet with them. During your phone calls, you can ask questions like:

  • Do they take projects of your size?
  • Are they willing to provide financial references from suppliers or banks?
  • How many other projects do they have going on at the same time?
  • How long have they worked with their suppliers?
  • Can they provide proof of their incorporation date?
  • Do they have any areas of expertise?

In-Person Conversation

When you meet face to face, you can discuss more of the specifics of your project. You can inquire about who your point of contact will be and how involved company leadership will be in your project. Will there be a renovation supervisor? What measures will they take to protect your home and contain the job site? Will they allow change orders? How will they solve disputes? Do they have a warranty for their work? What will the scope of the work involve? How much will the down payment be? How and when will they secure materials?

As you ask these questions, take detailed notes. Also, assess the vibe you get from everyone you talk to at the company. If you sense any tension or feel that something is off about your interactions, don’t be dismissive about that part of your experience. You’ll be interacting with these people for quite a while as they improve your house, so you want to find a good fit with the personality and culture of your design-build remodeling company.

5. Start the design phase with the best design build company for you

You’ve collected so much data while seeking the best remodeling company that you should be able to decide by now. You know what you want from this remodel, what you want from a design buiild company, and which company in your area can deliver what you want. So, you’re ready to take the next step of working with your favorite one: the predesign phase.

Careful planning and constant communication are foundational to the design-build process. And these practices begin in the first step of design-build remodeling: predesign.

The predesign phase encompasses initial conversations about your needs, budget, and timeline. To conduct thorough project discovery, your design-build company will ask why you want to remodel, your goals for your space, which features you want to prioritize, how much you want to spend, etc. They want to hear your ideas, understand your needs, and determine how your budget will impact your project.

Your design-build company will then use analysis and historical data to develop realistic expectations for your remodeling budget. With this information, you can focus on the total remodel cost instead of any separate costs for design and construction. And thankfully, your project manager will be dedicated to tracking and controlling the remodel budget.

best design build company

6. Inspect the contracts from the best design build company

At the end of the predesign phase, you will have the opportunity to sign a design agreement. This agreement verifies that you want to pay your preferred design-build remodeling company to design your remodel.

At the end of the design development phase, when a very detailed design for your project has been finalized, you’ll have to sign the construction contract for construction to commence.

In the documents you receive at the end of the predesign and the design development phases, you should see information such as:

  • Company’s business and contact information
  • Company’s insurance and licensing information
  • A detailed description of the work to be done
  • A list of the materials, model numbers, and suppliers
  • The project design
  • A sequential schedule of primary construction tasks
  • A timeline for finishing the project
  • The project price
  • The terms and schedule for payment
  • Permits the company will acquire
  • The change-order clause
  • A termination clause to protect both parties
  • A written procedural list for close-out
  • An express limited warranty
  • A dispute resolution clause
  • A waiver of lien, which prevents the suppliers from putting a lien on the house if the company doesn’t pay their invoices

Scrutinize these contracts very closely to ensure everything looks professional.

Payment Schedule

In particular, review the payment schedule. For a large project, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, you can expect to pay around 10% as a down payment when you sign the contract. Then, you’ll make 3 evenly-spaced payments of 25% for the duration of the project. Finally, you’ll pay the last 15% once you feel everything on the punch list is done. Don’t continue with a company that wants the full amount before work begins or make that final payment until you are satisfied with the results.

As you review the contract, you should communicate with your design-build company as much as you need to. Good communication will be essential to keeping everyone happy as your project progresses, so start the habit of asking questions and expressing your concerns right now. You don’t have to be best friends with your remodeling company, but you all should be able to work well together. And the best design-build remodeling company will treat you like family anyway.

If you’ve found that company, sign the contracts and let the fun of design-build remodeling begin!

Working with the Best Design Build Company

Finding the best design build company for you is a big job that requires lots of time and energy. However, it’s the only way to guarantee satisfaction with the results of your remodel. Home remodeling is a significant endeavor, so partnering with design-build remodelers who will give you an extraordinary experience is worthwhile.

For homeowners in northeast Ohio, Capozzi Design Build is such a company. We are creative designers and expert craftsmen who will change your life by transforming your home. Our innovative approach breathes new life into your space and curates unique and unforgettable surroundings.

Contact us today to receive the best possible Cleveland home remodel!