Design Builders: The Value Engineers

Design builder Framing Custom Home Design with handsMany people have heard of the “Design and Build” method of construction, but few understand what it means.

All consumers want their construction project completed as quickly as possible, spending as little money as possible in the process.
But what is actually needed to achieve their plans is precisely what Design Builders provide.

The Concept of Design-Build

The traditional method of residential construction has been “Design/Bid/Build”, whereby the owner contracted one party to design the home, then a design document was put out to selected builders to bid for  construction rights. The problem with this method is that there can be a disconnect between the design and building phases, with the owner carrying the risk for errors or oversights by either party.

The better method today is the Design and Build scenario where one contractor bears full responsibility for all phases of the project.

By cutting out the bidding stage, the process is streamlined, resulting in saved time, saved money, and easier communication.

Owners still have major input into the design of their home, but the Design Builder bears ultimate responsibility and liability for the quality of both design and construction. As BC Comfort says, “Design build in Vancouver provides more opportunities for owner involvement compared to traditional design bid build processes.”

The Design and Build Process

Young Couple Looking Inside Custom Kitchen and DesignWith the advent of construction “reality” TV shows, most homeowners have a good basic knowledge of what they want in their homes. Many don’t, however, have the expertise or experience to realize their goals. Moreover, the “horror” renovation stories they hear evoke feelings of fear and apprehension. TV shows give an unrealistic impression that suggests a huge renovation can be completed in, seemingly, no time at all. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, just fly off to Disneyland and when you return, all will be done beyond your wildest dreams.” Yeah, not so much.

What people do know is that they want to be involved in the decision process. They want to be made aware of what will affect the budget and want to see options that will keep costs under control.

  • Design Phase. In the first phase of Design-Build, customers have total creative control to express their desires and whims. They can bring web pictures, dealer samples, magazine clippings and even holiday snaps to the inspiration table. The Design Team will take all those ideas and return with a cohesive and intelligent concept plan.
  • Value Engineering. The Design Builder works with the Design Team to evaluate the choices made alongside the proposed budget. As plans unfold, the Design Builder can adjust the design away from costly extras while still aiming for the goals. Any “must have” items can be costed before workers and equipment go on site. This fine-tuning is called Value Engineering.
  • Construction Documents. Once the planning team, including the client, has explored every layout, finish option and aesthetic, interior designers can complete their work. They create construction drawings and a specifications package that the Design Builder can take for permit approval.
  • Construction Phase. With planning finalized, the Design Builder activates his team of professional tradesmen and licensed sub-trades to begin construction and fit all the pieces together.

The True Value of Hiring Design Builders

  • Build Your Dream" typographicFirst, the client can relax in the knowledge that she has been an essential part of the construction of her home. She knows exactly what will be done and how much it will cost.
  • A single point of contact for the entire building project simplifies communication and reduces the likelihood of oversights.
  • With proper planning, cost blowouts and time delays are all but eliminated, including in bidding. The contractor can even start excavations and foundations before the design is complete, thus saving even more time.
  • Teamwork and communication in the design phase reduces construction time and costs. The building team will use its experience in procuring materials and installation to assist designers in producing a cost effective solution.

If you intend to build a new home around Vancouver, take the risk out of your hands and invest wisely in a contracting firm with years of experience, a rock solid reputation, and a design-build team at your disposal.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction and a clickable link back to this page.

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