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Ask Trent: Why Does Excel Builders Focus On the Design-Build Process?

Trent is the owner of Excel Builders in the Twin Cities. In this periodic series, he answers questions about your building or remodeling project and provides clear expectations for the process of your remodel.

Interior DesignQ: Why is the design-build process a focus for you and Excel Builders?

A: The remodeling industry, by definition, is challenging because we start with an intangible product. There is no car for clients to test drive, no finished home to tour. In addition, the remodeling process tends to be reinvented by each homeowner, making it more difficult to be efficient with the time and money invested in a project.

I read an article the other day about a homeowner who recently completed a remodel. The owner explained how he hired an architect to draw plans, create construction documents, and bid out the project. Once the contractor was hired, the architect then managed the project on behalf of the homeowner for a percentage of the building costs.

This process is often referred to as design-bid-build. Whether the homeowner manages each stage of the process (hires an architect, bids the project, manages the contractors) or hires a designer or architect to bid and manage the job, design-bid-build means reinventing the wheel every time a project is started.

The article explained that the homeowner wanted to change the way he did things for his next remodel — in hindsight the homeowner would have hired a DESIGN-BUILD firm to put all the pieces together for him. While the design-bid-build process functioned for the homeowner, it was NOT as efficient or cost-effective as he had hoped or expected. While he was happy with the end result, the article revealed the inefficiency of the design-bid-build process.

The common misconception is that there is value in the competitive bidding process. Rarely is this true. The average homeowner simply isn’t familiar with the remodeling process and I don’t expect them to realize the significant value of the design-build process. But the old way of getting bids for a project without a design just does not work.

  • Design-build keeps one knowledgeable party in control of the design, construction, and management of all contractors on the project.
  • Design-build is a comprehensive approach allowing us to focus our attention on each client to ensure they are completely satisfied with the project.
  • In addition to providing better estimates and streamlining construction management, design-build eliminates the finger-pointing blame game if any errors occur.

Because there is one point of control the design-build process helps to establish consistency and manage unforeseen problems, and can actually save a client money in the long run.

This savings may not always be quantifiable or feel justified before a project starts. The value is often best seen once a project is completed — with satisfied clients and a great design that works for them.

Ultimately, design-build means your hindsight will be free from any regrets!

Visit www.excelbuildersmn.com/dev_site_excel to learn more about design-build and how to plan for your next remodel.  Excel Builders offers a smooth and flexible design process that can bring excellence to your remodeling projects. Serving Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and areas surrounding the West Metro in MN.

 

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