The Outer Banks are consistently rated as one of the most desirable places on the East Coast to vacation. Once you visit, you’ll want to return, so there’s no better time to consider building your very own home away from home. But with so many options for architects, engineers, builders, and subcontractors, the process can become overwhelming. Choosing a design-build contractor may be exactly what you need to make your homebuilding experience fun and stress-free.
WHAT IS DESIGN-BUILD? Design-build is a construction delivery method that provides owners with one contact point for both the design and construction phases of homebuilding. One company holds the contractual responsibility for the entire process of building, including coordinating subcontractors.
WHY USE A DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTOR? In traditional building projects, the owner serves as the middle-man, managing multiple companies and contracts. Synchronizing schedules, resolving disputes, and coordinating communication can quickly become exhausting and frustrating. With a design-build contractor, the owner communicates with only one entity. The designer and builder are on the same team (or are the same person) and handle all aspects of the build. This not only relieves stress for the homeowner, but also can result in a smoother, more cost-effective construction process.
When architectural design is completed separately, designers and contractors may not be in sync, or may even disagree, which can result in unforeseen delays and costs. In contrast, packaging design and construction allows a single team to know the project inside and out, adhering to a defined budget and timeline. In addition, design-build firms tend to use their own carefully chosen construction crews and subcontractors who they have worked with extensively and, therefore, trust to complete outstanding work.
HOW DO YOU SELECT A DESIGN-BUILD CONTRACTOR? To limit risks, you’ll benefit from using a qualifications-based selection process. Rather than choosing a contractor based solely on lowest bid, qualification-based selection involves choosing the company that has the best credentials, expertise, and reputation. It’s important to hire a licensed and insured company who offers an experienced team and has a satisfied client base.
On the design side, you want someone whose tastes are compatible with your own. Ask to see their portfolio of designs and talk with former clients about how responsive and open they were to suggestions. On the contractor side, you’ll want to ask about the types of jobs they’ve completed, how much work is completed by employees versus subcontractors, and any speciality expertise (such as green building). To read more tips, click here.
Homebuilding should be a rewarding and exciting experience, not a nightmare of delays, miscommunication, and surprise costs. Design-build can help alleviate these stressors. Contact the Coastal Cottage Company to learn more about design-build and custom vacation homes!
Blog by Jessica T. Smith for the Coastal Cottage Company