If someone were to ask you, “What is the definition of design-build?”, would you be able to confidently answer? A lot of times there is a misconception of a design-build firm’s services and procedures. We have even heard residential design-build being referred to as a “general contractor with the perk of a designer”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Let me explain.
When a general contractor is approached prior to having an interior designer (or sometimes, an Architect) on retainer, the general contractor may offer an “in-house designer” or “design team that they work with” (in some cases) as part of their services, and may even be referred to as an extra or added bonus. In this case, the interior designer may be considered secondary to the general contractor or even (in some cases) the Architect. It is also often sold as part of a package upgrade.
Also, in some cases, the general contractor may even feel that hiring an interior designer or third party project management team is not required.
Here, at Four Point, we are rewriting the structure of power and process and redefining expectations for residential and commercial design-build. Our design-build firm approaches projects with a holistic, equally-valued, hands-on partnership from the very beginning. This integrated approach also includes consultants, vendors, suppliers, installers, and finishers, alike.
One of the most frequent realizations that occurs during our initial interview meetings, is that most homeowners don’t truly understand the time and money saving value and services provided when hiring a design build team, and they often experience “sticker shock”. This is often the case due to the fact that they are asked to entrust ONE ENTITY with their entire project vision, home, budget and timeline. So looking at it all at once, can be a bit of a freak out. We understand.
However, consider that this is likened to planning a big wedding. You know you will have a multitude of invoices for such items as the cake, dress, venue, photography, flowers, staging, rentals, video, food, prep, and so on. You know you have a budget that you cannot exceed. You also understand that there are MANY moving parts to manage strategically to pull it all together, and you know that a wedding planner is a VERY GOOD IDEA. You also know that they charge a fee to provide you with seamless communication, project management, billing and administration, event oversight, ground work, meetings, negotiations, etc.
Further, a great wedding planner will deal with all the issues and meltdowns that (will) arise (they always do) associated with such an emotional and important milestone, and the coordination of ALL the moving parts to deliver a spectacular event. You accept that the success of your family’s wedding, including the mental sanity of all parties, rely on that one entity. Also consider that that one entity delivers a beautiful finished product that has actually SAVED you time, stress, and money.
Remember, each bill and invoice alone has a value and requires time, research, follow up and follow through. An experienced wedding planner KNOWS all these values ahead of time and has time-honored relationships and resources. THESE are the treasured resources that will save you time and money, and will prove to reduce stress, which will allow YOU to focus on the joy.
Now that we have considered the wedding analogy, let’s look at our top tips.
ONE | We provide you with the project [do’s and don’ts] early on to inform the development of a realistic expectation and project budget.
When you hire FOUR POINT as your design-build team, the site inspection of existing conditions, project discussion and discovery, construction feasibility and analysis, design and project management will happen simultaneously from day one! The analysis and initial intake by the complete team at the onset will inform the future and ongoing development of the project as it relates to current building codes, structural integrity and the seamless development of design and construction concept, documents and build out. Determining the construction do’s and don’ts of the project right away, streamlines the entire process, potentially reducing and/or preventing overall delay, stress and cost.
This initial step also greatly reduces the overall risk of a misguided design scope, construction revisions, and project delays, and provides you with a realistic project expectation and budget keeping all members of the team involved and informed during every step of the project from on-boarding to close out. This builds trust which can ultimately save time, and reduces the potential of misunderstanding and time spent in speculation rather than reality. Thus, the expectations and budgets are developed and managed realistically.
TWO | To reduce overall confusion, which can save you time and money and reduce stress.
By having the Four Point team on your project (general contractor, interior designer, and project manager, as well as our extended team of sub-contractors whom we’ve worked with for over 20 years) you greatly reduce the risk of miscommunication and misinterpretation during all project stages. During the design and construction documentation phases, your project is developed in the most streamlined and efficient way possible.
With a fully integrated mindset and approach to the whole project value, we can maximize the time spent in development and save treasured time while developing conditional and situational solutions and/or construction resolutions.
THREE | To provide you with ongoing streamlined communication, expedited responses, and integrated solutions.
By determining construction feasibility during STEP ONE of the project development, and by providing ongoing immediate review and resolution of all design and construction challenges throughout the entire project, we can greatly reduce project delays and cost. This ultimately streamlines and focuses the project stages, delivering your project on budget and on schedule.
The FOUR POINT “in-house” design, construction, and project management teams work together. We collaborate, troubleshoot, and maintain an ongoing integrated discussion during all aspects of every job to ensure that EVERY detail is accounted for.
This communication is vital to the success of every project. When details and information are passed onto our clients in weekly project meetings, and they are involved in the ongoing transparent and all-important conversation, any issues are addressed systematically and with unique immediacy.
We hope this helps you as you embark on your project!
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