We are about to start a remodel and are debating about whether to hire a designer and then a contractor, or whether we should do design-build with a single firm. Your thoughts?
A decision about how you want the design aspects of your project to occur should be made and stuck to. Will you be hands on, making the bulk of the selections and design decisions? Or will you want the contractor or designer to make choices and provide you with selections to choose from? This may seem simple, but in our experience when “HOW” you want to work is decided early on, fewer mistakes will be made.
Know your designer!
Finding and sourcing compatible fixtures, cabinets, tile, flooring, paint colors, etc. are all skills that most designers possess. However, some lack the construction knowledge needed to integrate their choices into architectural drawings and construction work. In a recent project, our client’s designer didn’t read our architect’s drawing properly and ordered a vanity that was too wide, had to be returned, and another reordered causing project delays and high return shipping and restocking fees.
Get to know your project!
First, decide on your level of involvement. Often clients tell us they are hands-off, then change their minds and want to be more involved later in the game. Understand that any changes in the design-build process, including increasing your involvement can significantly affect timelines, budget and choices. Next, make sure your contractor or design-builder has clear expectations on the decision-making process for items being selected and ordered, and their time frames for delivery and budget. Keep in mind that our current supply chains are erratic and having to return and reorder supplies may sideline a project. Finally, in addition to your designer and contractor being a good fit for you, be sure your selections properly fit the space and are reviewed by the contractor, designer and you before being ordered. Measure twice and cut once applies to the design process, too!
Conversations with Your Local Contractor is a new feature by Jim Gardner of Jim Gardner Construction Inc. (with articles finessed by Lisa Gardner). If you have residential, homeowner questions OR ideas for
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Jim is a long-time Piedmont resident and has been doing structural repair and basement renovation in your neighborhood since 1983. To schedule an estimate or for more information please go to our website at jimgardnerconstruction.com.