5 Simple Ways a Design-Build Firm Will Make Your Life Easier


Adele came to see us for the first time over a year ago. She wanted to renovate her kitchen and bathroom. I talked to her about our Remodel Clarity Session service and she was interested. She visited the showroom on numerous occasions and called a couple of times.

Then we didn’t hear from her and figured with the Pandemic, she was staying peacefully at home.

She came in a month ago and said that she hired a contractor, who gutted her bathroom, but since she could not make up her mind on the tile and other finishes, he had stopped.

She had been without a bathroom for a year!

A YEAR!! Can you believe that?!

The contractor kindly put the toilet in over the subfloor, but she had been without a sink or shower that entire time.

She told me all her troubles, like buying a tub on clearance when a showroom went out of business. She had gotten a really good deal, but the contractor informed her it would not fit. So, in reality, she had a tub that was NOT a deal at all, but a waste of valuable money.


Adele told me how she had been to every tile showroom within a sixty-mile radius and couldn’t decide what she wanted. She’d also been looking for a vanity and plumbing fixtures and still could not make up her mind. “There are simply too many choices”, she said.

We scheduled a clarity session and visited her home. I felt so bad for her. Her belongings were all boxed up and her bathroom was bare studs and one toilet.

She cried during our visit with her and I could see why.

I thought to myself, “Oh, Adele, why didn’t you have us help you design your bathroom BEFORE the contractor tore it up.”

At first, I was angry at the contractor for doing that to her, but realized he had no choice without the tile, plumbing fixtures, tub, and so forth.

Obviously, this is an extreme story, but I know many of you tell me how you’ve been searching for finishes for your renovation. And many contractors lament to me, how difficult it is for them to get homeowners to make decisions causing costly delays and stressed-out people all around.

It doesn’t have to be that way. 

Which is why, today, I’m sharing the top five reasons to consider hiring a design-build firm in order to ensure a smooth project from start to finish. Let’s jump right in…


1. A Design-Build Firm Excels in Organization

It takes a whole team to renovate your home. You need an interior designer, engineer, contractor, all the various tradesmen (framer, plumber, electrician, drywaller, tile setter, and carpenter), and manufacturer vendors. 

By having all these services under one umbrella of a single design-build firm, it creates better organization and therefore streamlined communications on the project.

It all starts with a one-on-one meeting. I ask you to spill your guts. I listen to your concerns, desires, and priorities to determine your design preferences, requirements, and needs.

We’ll discuss your goals, wishes, limitations, expectations, and aesthetics.

Next, we will need as-built plans. If you have your floor plan, great, if not I can field measure the structure – and I’ll prepare preliminary options and specifications.

I’ll create a full design-build concept to present to you through visual illustrations, such as schematic layouts and concept sketches in 2D and 3D. I’ll also show you all the other goodies, like preliminary FF&E selections on full-color boards, and actual physical samples when possible.


I’ll tweak, adjust, and develop the plans until a comprehensive and buildable design unfolds.  It may take one meeting or it may take 10 meetings – one revision or 10 revisions, depending on your situation.

The good news? You won’t have to do a thing (besides ooh and ahh). I manage this process until resulting drawing sets, complete with schedules of the materials, finishes, fixtures, millwork, and equipment, enable us to generate your investment goals.

And I coordinate with outside consultants as needed (engineer, lighting, or mechanical) based on our design.

You get a full set of floor plans and elevations complete with schedules of materials, finishes, fixtures, millwork, equipment, and products for your approval.

Now that the design concept is determined and approved, it’s my turn to prep the appropriate working drawings and documents (in CAD) for permitting and construction. This is where the project is built—not brick by brick, but decision by decision.

We’ll get all the details ironed out before any construction begins. This is essential for maintaining an orderly and cost-effective project by reducing the need for later backtracking and redesign (we call this – “remodel the remodel”!). And because we will be more efficient – you’ll reap cost savings!


2. A Design-Build Firm Reduces Risk for the Client

Imagine if you have to deal with all the professionals, contractors, trades, and vendors?

Let’s list them:

  • Designer

  • Architect

  • Engineer

  • Code Compliance

  • Building Department

  • General Contractor

  • Trades

  • Vendors 

That’s a lot to manage, all while you work a full-time job and manage your kids’ schedules (not to mention maintaining your household)!

By letting a design-build firm handle all the nuances, you reduce any risk of missing something important.

And no matter how well we plan your project, we have strict procedures and protocols in place to make sure nothing is missed.  

There will always be those unforeseen issues. Will you know how to handle it? We’ve experienced many oops, like hidden water damage, to faulty electrical work by unscrupulous flippers. We let you know what problems we encounter right away but at the same time, we tell you what the solution will be.


3. One Firm Means One Party to Pay

A benefit (that is often overlooked) of having a single shared budget for the project is it is much easier for you to have a single party to pay, rather than dozens of subcontractors. 

And as a former CPA, I am crazy strict about staying on budget. Once the investment goals are set, we rarely go over them. Sometimes you may want to splurge, but I will (kindly) remind you of your goals. This is not to say you can’t spend more, but I will be there to reign you in, should it be required.

You’ll know weekly because we send a report to keep you apprised of all the financials for your project.


4. A Design-Build Firm Provides a Unified Vision

Having a contractor and designer in-house ensures that all decisions, from construction to the finishing touches, are cohesive.

We developed the vision together through several months of soul searching and gut-wrenching decisions. We will have worked and re-worked the design until it is absolutely perfect.

I’ve seen too many times, where my design was turned over to a contractor, who talked my clients into changes. But once one thing, even the smallest thing, is changed, it has a domino effect where the cohesiveness is lost.

I have literally cried when I’ve seen some of the changes without my consent because the design intent is ruined.


5. An In-House Team Shortens the Time of the Project

I mentioned that I’m strict with the budget, but I’m even more strict with the timeline. When the entire team is managed under one umbrella, not only are the desired results superior, but you reach your goals in a shorter amount of time.  

This means your project is completed within the detailed timeline we’ve established and within your investment objectives.

I’ve had projects where I designed it and an outside contractor built it. And this is ok because you might have a trusted contractor that you’ve worked with before. But I have also had projects side-by-side with those outside contractors and we finished our project months ahead of them.

Whether you just closed the deal on a shiny new house or have lived in your cozy home for decades, it’s time to make some major changes!

Hiring a design-build firm, whether it’s for a new build, a home renovation, or even a lighter home refresh, is always a good idea…after all, our team is here to help.

If you’re ready for a team to manage your project from concept to completion, we’ve got your back! Contact us and let’s get to know each other.

Until next time,



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