back to the blog

Design/Build Remodeling Firm or General Contractor?

If you are planning to renovate a kitchen or bathroom in Snohomish County, you probably already know it is well worth your time to research who will be the best fit for you and your project.  However, deciding whether to hire a design/build remodeling firm or general contractor can be a confusing process with plenty of questions:

    • How can you get the most out of your budget?Choosing between a Design Build or General Contractor
  • Will your project require an architect?
  • Where can you get design advice?
  • How long will the remodel project take?
  • Should you choose a General Contractor or a Design/Build firm?

That final question may be the most important one of all. Choosing between a contractor and design/build remodeling firm can make a big difference in your kitchen or bath design, the project’s cost, timeframe and how easy you find the renovation process.

Remodeling With A General Contractor:

Working with a General Contractor or Design Build Remodeling FirmA general contractor is responsible for the construction phase; they handle permits, create the schedule, and hire and supervise subcontractors for framing, tile, flooring, electrical and plumbing work. The homeowner is responsible for the planning phase: creating the design plan, selecting materials, and managing the budget. For most clients, this means hiring an interior designer, architect, or both.

Once the design plan is complete, the homeowner may send it to a few general contractors and ask for a price bid. The bidding process does put pressure on the contractor to keep prices low, which is a plus. However, there is no guarantee against cost overruns (which can be 20% or more).

A successful general contractor will bring along reliable tradespeople that do quality work. They may be working on several projects at once, which can make it difficult to keep the remodel moving along. With a general contractor, keeping the design and construction teams working smoothly together is a job that usually falls on the homeowner. Communication is complicated, and mistakes can cause significant delays. Any issues that come up during construction are communicated to the homeowner, who may need to meet with the architect or designer to make changes.

Since everyone involved in the project is a separate business entity, working with a general contractor has some risks. You will have to work with both architect and contractor to determine your budget. A contractor might have large projects that take precedence over your kitchen or bath remodel. If there is a serious disagreement between the architect and contractor, they will naturally act to protect their own interests. Their solution may not be in the best interests of the homeowner.

Remodeling With A Design/Build Firm:

design build partnership

Design/Build firms like the team here at Vanderbeken Remodel specialize in turn-key renovation projects. This approach has become increasingly popular over the last few decades because it is more efficient and less stressful for the homeowner. With a combination of in-house design and construction teams, Design/Build firms handle the entire project from concept to completion.

Design/Build remodelers are contractors as well. We have ongoing relationships with Snohomish County’s top tradespeople, who understand the level of quality that we expect for our clients. Since we keep them busy, they save room in their calendars for our projects. Our relationships are the secret to completing kitchen and bath remodeling projects quickly, without sacrificing craftsmanship.

When design and construction teams work for the same company, remodeling can be done quickly and more efficiently. Our design team is responsible for producing a viable plan that is designed to work with your existing home and budget. We help you select materials and finishes that stay within the budget, and allocate your funds efficiently. Everything is decided before the construction team begins work. This reduces the need for changes and helps prevent miscommunication and delays. If any changes are necessary during construction, everyone is on the same team – so problems can be discussed and resolved quickly.

Specialty Trade Partners Involved in Design Build Construction

At Vanderbeken Remodel, our design and construction teams work together on pre-planning, so your fixed investment price is accurate – you will know exactly what to expect. Plus, collaborating with your design team can actually help you save money on your new bath or kitchen.

How To Choose The Best Kitchen Or Bathroom Remodeler

Choosing the right professional for your home renovation will make a big difference in efficiencies, timelines and the quality of the results. Even if you have extensive experience managing home renovations, working with a general contractor can be stressful and time consuming. Some folks enjoy the hands-on management, but a homeowner who is deeply involved risks disrupting the construction schedule. Ideally, you will want to choose a remodeler who is efficient and focused, and can keep disruption and mess to a minimum.

Six Quick Questions to Ask Any Remodeler

Since the Design/Build business model has increased in popularity, some contractors have even added “design services” to their offerings. However, it is important to confirm they have a trained architect or designer on the team, not just a builder willing to toss ideas around. Qualified design professionals will provide a creative, up-to-date and viable design plan – and help you get the most out of your budget.

Our designers are credentialed, and our construction team is made up of experienced management professionals and highly skilled tradespeople who work together every day. To read more about everyone on the team, visit our About Us page.  To see some of our award winning remodels, click here.

At Vanderbeken Remodel, we have embraced the Design/Build approach because we believe it produces higher quality results. Our turn-key system provides our clients with a seamless, low-stress experience, and builds relationships that make the project enjoyable for everyone.

We are here to help, from day one – Click here to schedule an initial call to get the conversation started or read about our remodel process here.