A home remodel is an ambitious undertaking. It can require completely rebuilding a significant portion of your house. Such a project is a big investment of time and money. So, you want the best results possible. Well, the key to getting those results comes down to one critical decision: the home remodeling method you choose. These days, you have options for the approach you take to your remodel. And the best option for you may be design-build remodeling.

The design-build remodeling system saves time and money by encouraging problem-solving innovation and highly communicative collaboration. It also empowers you to minimize risk and secure the high quality you value. Considering how important your Northeast Ohio home is, you should know everything you can about design-build remodeling and other remodeling methods before you begin your project. That way, you can be sure your home is in good hands. Discover the definition, process, and pros and cons of design-build remodeling as well as the more traditional method now so you can get your remodel on track for success.


What Is Design-Build Remodeling?

According to the Design-Build Institute of America, design-build is, “a method of project delivery in which one entity – the design-build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion.”

Design-build is the opposite of design-bid-build. With design-bid-build, design and construction are split and completed by separate entities with separate contracts and separate work.

This definition of the term design-build applies to both design-build construction and design-build remodeling. Design-build firms can create office buildings, schools, shopping centers, stadiums, etc. Whereas, design-build remodelers complete home remodeling projects such as kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, living room remodeling, room additions, whole home remodeling, and more.

In traditional design-bid-build project delivery, a homeowner selects both a designer and a contractor. Then they coordinate the steps of a home remodel between them. In design-build project delivery, the homeowner works with just one entity, the design-build company. The design build company takes the project from concept to completion.

Specifically, the design-build company handles the design, estimating, planning, and construction aspects of the remodeling project. Therefore, design-build remodeling provides a single point of contact for the interior design, architecture, and construction of a home remodeling project.

The Design Build Construction Process

For many design build companies, the design build construction process adheres to versions of the following steps. Though, the specifics may differ.

Design-Build Remodeling Step 1. Predesign

The foundation of the design-build construction process is careful planning and constant communication. Consequently, the first stage of the process is pre-design. Predesign begins with initial conversations about your needs, budget, and timeline. Your design build company will conduct project discovery in which they ask why you want to remodel, the goals you have for your space, which features you want to prioritize, how much you want to spend, etc. The purpose of these discussions is to hear your ideas, understand your needs, and determine how your budget will impact your project.

During predesign, your design build company will use analysis and historical data to establish realistic expectations for your remodeling budget. This information will help you focus on the total remodel cost instead of various separate costs for design and construction. Ultimately, a project manager will be responsible to track and control the budget for your remodel.

The predesign stage ends with a design agreement in place.

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Design-Build Remodeling Step 2: Design Development

In this stage, a design consultant or project developer will meet with you at your home to assess the existing condition of your house. They will evaluate your house as intensively as possible. That way, they can essentially eliminate unexpected surprises during the renovation. This in-home consultation allows your design build company to detect any structural concerns. They can also take the accurate measurements they need to produce your design plans. All of the sub-trades involved in your project will also complete a walk-thru of your home. Then, they can provide feedback on the design choices and confirm the options available.

With this information, the design team creates conceptual drawings and 3D renderings to help you visualize the reimagining of your space. These drawings could include a few optional layouts and a selection sheet of products that fit within your project’s scope and budget. After you and the design team have finalized the framework for your renovation, you’ll choose all of the necessary materials. These materials include cabinets, tile, flooring, plumbing, lighting, accessories, and more. Once every last detail of the project has been addressed, the design team will update the renderings to include all the selections. After everyone reviews the project scope once more, you’ll sign the construction contract and pay the deposit.

Design-Build Remodeling Step 3: Pre-construction

During this stage, the design build company begins gathering permits, receiving approvals, ordering materials, and scheduling the timeline. They’ll also assign a project manager to your remodel. The project manager will be responsible to carry out detailed budget tracking while the materials are being ordered. Doing so keeps everything on time and on budget and could result in cost savings for you.

To ensure your project is smooth and timely, your design consultant and project manager will meet with you at your home to delineate all of your expectations for the remodeling process. They will also supply you with a written project schedule covering the start and finish dates.

Lastly, you’ll receive a completed construction agreement with a fixed cost. This agreement guarantees that your project costs will be within your agreed-upon budget unless you initiate changes during the project.

Design-Build Remodeling Step 4: Construction

After your pre-construction meeting, your design build company will commence construction on your home. Your project manager will be your main point of contact and will keep your project on track in every way. You may meet with your project manager on a regular basis, and you can also communicate with them via phone, text, or email. You will also receive access to your project portal where you can get updates, check the daily schedule, see pictures, monitor balances, make payments, and view all change orders in one place.

Construction of your project encompasses job site protection, demolition, framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, installation, painting, a final inspection, and a client walk-through.

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Design-Build Remodeling Step 5: Project Completion

The final stage of your remodel begins a few weeks out from project completion. At that point, you’ll get together with your project manager again for a close-out that reviews a final punch list. The punch list details any remaining items that your design build company needs to address. Once they can cross everything off the punch list, they will schedule check-in and warranty visits with you.

Some design build remodelers provide the optional service of interior decorating. So, at this point, you can continue to rely on your design build company for the space planning, organization, and furniture layout of your space. They will also help you pinpoint and procure the perfect custom furniture, upholstery, window treatments, and more. With your beautiful, new, fully furnished space, you’ll have nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy it!

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What Are the Design Build Pros and Cons?

As mentioned, design-build remodeling differs from traditional design-bid-build remodeling in several ways. Each approach has positive and negative aspects, so you should consider all of these aspects before you move forward with one approach over the other.

Pros of Design-Bid-Build Remodeling

If you go the design-bid-build route, you will be the ringleader of your remodel. You will get to decide who you work with, what changes you make to your space, which materials you use, and more. What’s more, you may choose to do some of the work yourself or outsource everything. You may follow your contractor’s recommendations, or you may even base your decisions on your own independent research. With traditional remodeling project delivery, you manage your remodel for better or for worse.

For some homeowners, this remodeling system saves them money, moves at their own pace, and grants them creative liberty. So, if you’re prepared to take charge, investigate everything, and make a lot of calls, the design-bid-build approach may be for you.

Cons of Design-Bid-Build Remodeling

If you don’t have much experience with designing, building, or remodeling in any capacity, you may find the design-bid-build method to be a bit tricky and overwhelming.

1. Tricky Numbers

Design-bid-build can be tricky because the cost of your project may go up as it progresses, even if you haven’t made changes to the design plan.

Typically, materials account for 30% or more of the total project cost. However, some contractors purposefully underestimate material costs for a project in order to win the bid. When the materials cost more than they quoted, these contractors pass the blame to the designer, homeowner, or someone else in the industry.

The total for your project can also increase unexpectedly because the costs for each part are determined separately. Accurately budgeting for labor, materials, design, and more in advance is very challenging when all of these figures come from different sources. And that’s just the monetary costs. The amount of time required to plan the project and coordinate with all the involved parties can also be almost impossible to estimate precisely.

2. Overwhelming Specifics

When you operate your remodel under the design-bid-build system, you should be the one in charge. But in reality, you will probably have a lot of questions and no objective source to answer them.

For example, you might end up wondering: Who is responsible for mistakes: the designer or the contractor? What party pays for any errors: you or the contractor? Which individual is in charge of the job site: the contractor or the designer? Who orders the materials: you or the contractor?

With so many undetermined factors, your remodel can get very frustrating for everyone. Worse still, your project could end in litigation. Try as you might to get these details squared away in advance, you just never know comfortable the dynamic will be among you and your selected professionals.

Pros of Design-Build Remodeling

Again, in the design-build approach, one company handles every aspect of your remodel. And the benefits of this approach are numerous.

1. Less Initial Hassle

With a design build company, you sign a single contract that covers all services. Therefore, you only have to research and vet a company once and can avoid the bidding process.

2. More Creativity and Expertise

The designers and builders of design build companies know each others’ capabilities, so they know what’s really possible to achieve with your remodel. Consequently, they can conceptualize very unique and creative solutions to the problems with your living conditions. What’s more, they’re product specialists. So, they can help you choose the ideal products for your project.

3. Faster Delivery

Due to the fact that design build remodelers have all of the information about your project at all times, they can save you time (and ultimately, money) by reducing unnecessary labor costs, human errors, and supply chain delays. Whether or not they are working in your house on a given day, they are always working on your project in some way to keep it moving forward. Concluding your project within the predetermined timeline is one of their top priorities, so they always make good use of every minute.

4. More Accurate Budgeting

The design build companies know the costs of labor and materials, so they can produce a more precise budget right away. And because the design-build remodeling approach keeps the design and construction efforts of a remodel so closely connected, they can continue to budget time and money accurately throughout the project. Lastly, they can show you different options with the right price points so you can get what you want without overspending. In all these ways, design build companies save you money.

5. Team Effort

Everyone from the design build company is on the same page regarding your project, and they form the team you need for excellent project execution. This team has decades of combined experience, so they’ll work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

6. Better Communication

The design build approach to remodeling streamlines all of the responsibility for your project into one entity, so you only have one point of contact for your entire project. As a result, you can maintain clear, fast, and productive communication with the right people for the duration of your remodel. And because your design build team can easily communicate with each other, they can achieve smoother transitions between project phases.

7. Better Quality

With the entirety of project delivery riding on their shoulders, your design build company is strongly motivated to produce quality work and earn total customer satisfaction. With this motivation, they will present a superior performance at every stage of your remodel. They don’t just want to exceed your expectations: they want to blow your mind by changing your life with extremely innovative and impressive results.

8. Better Responses to Issues

The same company is handling both the design and construction of your remodel under the leadership of one project manager, so that company feels almost wholly accountable for the success of your project. Your design build company is dedicated to the success of your project, so they will do everything in their power to minimize risk and resolve issues.

9. More Informed Decision-making

With your design build firm guiding you through the design phase of your project, you don’t have to feel so daunted by all the decisions to make regarding features, fixtures, and finishes. They’ll know all about the quality and pricing of the products, so they can help you choose the best products that enable you to achieve your goals.

Cons of Design-Build Remodeling

Many design build remodelers feel that the design-build system is the most logical and cost-effective. It spares the homeowner from dealing with high labor costs, subpar materials, and large amounts of wasted time that can induce great frustration. With design-build remodeling, you still have to wait for your project to be finished. But, you don’t have to stress about it in the meantime.

With traditional remodeling, you might make all of the design decisions yourself. So, considering the fact that design-build remodeling definitely includes design services, that part of your remodel can be more expensive with design-build. However, the job costing of design-build often comes within 3% of actual project costs. Therefore, design-build provides very accurate cost projections. And by doing so, it can actually save you money.

For these reasons, design-build remodeling doesn’t really have any downsides!

Design-Build Remodeling with Capozzi Design Build

As you can see, design-build is an extremely advantageous home remodeling approach. And not only is design-build remodeling good for your house, it’s also good for your well-being. The way the design-build approach prioritizes the homeowner minimizes the headache of home remodeling. It also fosters healthy relationships with other people.

For example, at Capozzi Design Build, we are passionate about creating beautiful spaces and caring for local families. We are experts with decades of experience in design-build remodeling. But we are also individuals who prioritize healthy living. We have focused on keeping our own bodies and homes healthy for years, and we exist to do the same for our clients. Capozzi Design Build transforms homes in order to change lives. We design with the health of you and your family in mind. After working with us, your house will have stunning style and ideal functionality: the best possible results. Learn more about our design-build remodeling services today to experience the home remodel of your dreams!

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