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Building your dream home may be one of the biggest personal investments you will ever make. If done right, not only will you have the home of your dreams, but you may have a home better than you ever imagined. But done wrong it can be a huge disappointment never fulfilling the vision you had. And it will likely cost more and take more time than you ever imagined.
So how do you build or remodel your home the right way to minimize costs, save time, and get the home of your dreams or something even better? Then you are going to want to use the design-build method of project delivery when building. Maybe you have heard the term “design-build” but don’t know exactly what it means.
BENEFITS of Design-Build
Too many times, with a design-bid-build project, one hires a designer usually an architect or drafting firm first to draw up their blueprints. Then they go in search of a builder to take the vision that they have on paper and make it a reality. But much can get lost in translation. And some things get missed if the architect and builder are not on the same page from the start.
By getting all the key players on the same team with one entity from the very beginning, challenges that arise are handled with your vision in mind, and you get a house or any project built on time and on a budget that is truly the home or project of your dreams. Remember, you have one shot at getting your project done right. The success of design-build around the world delivers superior results for both horizontal and vertical construction projects regardless of the type of project.
So what exactly is involved in the residential design-build process? Here are some of the basic steps to help in the design and build of new construction and remodeling of unified residential projects by project owner making recommendations and addressing changes by this one design-build entity to aid in a smooth as possible turn-key-process. This "Guide to Residential Design Build" is created in collaboration with design-build professionals from the United States and around the globe.
With this Design-Build Process Guide, you get checklists and more detailed information on each of the 13 steps for residential design-build.
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13 Design-Build Steps to follow in the construction process:
#1. Select Your Design Build Team And Have Your First Meeting
Select your design-build team and have your first meeting - This first step is probably your most important step to integrated project delivery. You are only as good as your team so choose your team wisely. See How To Select A Design Build Contractor Article for more help.
Look at houses you like in your area and find out who built them.
Ask area lenders whom they like to work with for custom home builders. Lenders will know which builders are the most reputable and which ones to avoid.
Get references - we cannot emphasize this enough. You have to check out work that the prospective design-build entity has done.
If you are obtaining a loan to finance your dream home, be sure to ask all prospective design-build firms which lenders they prefer. The entire process can go much smoother when the lender and builder have worked with each other on numerous occasions and know what to expect.
***Get your lender before you hire your design-build firm. Your design-build firm will need to know that you are pre-approved before working with you if you are financing the construction of your new home.
#2. Create Your Vision
Create your vision - This is where it starts to get fun. It's time to bring your dreams and ideas to your selected design-build contractor. What is your vision for the construction of your home? These Days Less Is More... especially with the huge selection of quality products available.
When looking through various photos of houses that you like, including photos you have taken, social media, pinning and saving, bring those pictures and make notes of any details including architectural details that you like.
Get ideas from your design-build firm. View their photo galleries, 3D tours, interactive galleries for ideas and inspiration? Ask for links and visit their web site. Ask your design-build firm for new construction ideas that might work with your overall vision. Remember they are the professionals and they will listen to you.
Don’t worry about costs yet. Your team can work with you on how you can get your vision to fit your costs. Maybe you keep the same beautiful detail but make the square footage smaller. Or maybe your team can suggest other materials such as engineered hardwood instead of real hardwood floors. So don’t rule anything out at this stage of the selection process.
#3. Establish Your Needs and What You Want in Your New Construction or Dream Home
Establish the Wants and Needs of Your Dream Home - Now that you have taken the time to dream, and brainstorm with you design-build company to create your vision, you need to do a reality check. You have to decide what are essential to your new home construction and what are just wants.
What are the essentials that you must have in your dream home? Think here of family circumstances. Any children? Are they just being born? Are they moving out? The number of cars that need to fit in your garage? Think of the basics here.
What are the wants that would be nice to have but are not essential to your dream home? Think about rooms in your house that would be nice to have but not necessary to live - exercise room, library, conservatory, sport court, etc. Also, think about the design and architectural features that you really enjoy. For example, if you like archways in your dream home, be sure to list that.
#4. Determine your budget so you know just how much house you can afford
Determine your budget so you know just how much house you can afford - Now that you know what you need in your new home, determine the costs of those needs and then find out how much you can actually afford.
When paying all cash, this is the easiest to determine. You know how much cash you have to spend and the design-build team will set allowances that you cannot go over with material selections.
When using a lender you got a pre-approval amount before you hired your design-build team, and now its time to work with that amount to figure out how much square footage you can get with what material selections within your budget.
#5. Choose the neighborhood you want to live in
Choose the lot, acreage, or neighborhood where you want to live. - You may already have a good idea of where you want to live. But once you know the style of house you want to build, you will know whether or not you can do that in the neighborhood you want to build in.
Check covenants and building restrictions. Different neighborhoods have different covenants and restrictions on the types of houses that can be built. Your design-build team will help you to work with local officials to find out what you can and cannot build. Too often when building a new home people buy the lot and then realize they cannot do what they wanted to do. Let the builder help you find the right lot.
Research the neighborhood and area. Does the neighborhood have a reputable school district? Is it growing or declining in population? What is the crime rate? If you ever need to sell your home, these will all be important factors that will affect the resale value of your home.
#6. Select Your Site and the Placement of Your Home on that Site
Select Your Site and the Placement of Your Home on that Site. - Once you know the neighborhood you need to find the exact piece of land or lot you want to build your dream home on.
Once again, your design-build team will help you go through the process of discovering what is best suited to the type of home and amenities like walkouts, lookouts and so on, It is also important to know what is not allowed on that lot too. Your design-build team will get all the necessary permits to build your new home.
Walk the site with your team to determine the best place to situate your new home on that lot. Be precise. If you are off by three feet after you have poured the foundation, you can’t pick it up and move it.
#7. Personalize Your New Home’s Floor Plans
Personalize Your New Home’s Floor Plans - Whether you are creating your floor plans from scratch or using a generic floor plan that you saw online, this is your time to really add in the personal details with the design-build team.
Now you will look at your wants and needs. Make sure your needs are met and then start adding the wants.
Make any final changes before construction begins. Take more time here to make sure you have it right so you are not moving walls later.
One unified flow throughout the design-build process starts from the initial concept through to the completion by following your contractors workflow.
#8. Lay the Groundwork to Start the Building Process
Lay the Groundwork to Start the Building Process - At this point you are going to begin getting the site ready for building your new home.
Permits will be pulled by your design-build firm in a timely manner.
The design-build team will go through a final lot walk with you to go through details of where exactly the house will be situated so no mistakes are made.
#9. Schedule Design Consulting Meetings with Your Design Build Team Leader
Schedule Design Consulting Meetings with Your Team - This step may be the most important to get the rest of the project right. It is much better to spend a few extra hours in planning sessions with your builder instead of moving walls around after they have been built.
Make sure your architect, builder, interior designer, and other members of the team are all on the same page so that the rest of the project will flow smoothly.
Your builder will make sure your design-build team of sub-contractors has been lined up and their loyalty will pay off in the construction timeline.
#10. Pre-Construction and Foundation
Pre-Construction and Foundation - Let the work begin!
Any final changes to the blueprints can be made but should be finalized in the final plans at this time.
City water and sewer, or if you're on an out lot or rural location the well and septic connections will be finished.
A rough grade will be completed and the foundation will be placed.
#11. Construction and Process
Construction - This process will take the most time during the construction phase. Remember to be realistic especially with construction timeline expectations. Understand certain factors may come into play, like inclement weather, which can affect the project completion deadlines.
Be sure to have your scheduled meetings with the entire design-build team as your leader instructs you on their timeline to make sure that everyone is on track and that issues that come up are getting resolved quickly and correctly with no to few change orders.
Your design-build contractor will make sure the entire team is on budget and on time. It is their job, and as a team player, your part is being on time as they request your input when and how needed.
Continue to work with the interior designer on any final details so they can add the finishing touches so that your home is move-in ready.
#12. Closing - Time to close on your dream home!
Closing - Time to close on your dream home! You may be using a one or two step closing process when building your new home. Your lender will have a preferred method based on the work being done and the loan process along with your builder just follow their lead.
You will most often use an attorney, title company, and closing agent recommended by your design-build team and lender. Lenders, attorneys, and title companies who have worked with your design-build team will know exactly what is needed for closing and can make the entire process go smoothly.
Get the keys to your dream home!
#13. Final review and welcome to your new home!
Final review and welcome to your new home! - This should be the fun part. You get to see the finished project, your dream home. The home has everything you want. Your favorite architectural details have been added. And the interior design makes it truly feel like a home. The only thing left to do is to move in and enjoy your new home!
Design-Build For A Successful Outcome
For too many people, building or remodeling their home becomes a nightmare of budget overruns and time delays ending up in disappointed hopes and dreams. With the design-build process, remodeling a home or building a new house can actually feel like a dream with lower costs, less time, and a home that exceeds your expectations.
So follow the steps listed above to have a wonderful experience in design-build of your dream home can be a reality. Be sure to sign up to get our free guide to building your home the right way with time and money savings using the design-build process.
We are just finishing up the final 2018-2019 guide for you and it will be available shortly. Enter your email address and we will send you that guide along with a detailed checklist to keep you on track. We wish you all the best as an integrated design-build team successfully the building your dream home faster, and more effectively! Stay informed and also get updates when we post new information like the soon to be released Design Build Case Study, of actual stories of design-build clients successful outcome using the design-build process.
“Design-Build For A Greater Tomorrow, Today!”