Looking to build a home? If you want to stay within budget and have a good experience, you might consider doing design-build.
What is a Design-Build?
The term design-build means the design/architecture and the construction are integrated. Sometimes the architect/designer and the general contractor are the same firm, and sometimes they are independent firms that work together. Either way, the goal is the same-providing a more inclusive and seamless process for the client. Putting a team together from the beginning offers several benefits. Mainly, it’s the best way to control and stay within budget.
Traditional Home Building
Traditionally, people will buy a piece of land, engage an architect/designer to draw plans then put the plans out to “bid” with general contractors. This system stems from the commercial world, where architects were necessary to design large scope projects. Developers would then put the plans to bid and most of the time choose the general contractor based on cost and speed. Eventually, homes that could be custom-designed began to enter the market and the same system was adopted.
Issues arise though, when attempting to adopt the commercial method into the residential world.
Mainly, it’s crucial to understand the builder does not control the cost of the home. While residential builders have their unique methods and fees, the main drivers that determine the cost of building a home include the overall size, the finishes (materials used), the complexity of the design, and the integration into the lot/land (infrastructure costs). Understanding this is crucial and will help us understand why it helps to have the builder involved from the beginning.
I like to run the entire process “backwards.” If you want to control costs, I suggest putting together the entire team – architect, landscape designer, interior designer and general contractor – before you even buy a piece of land!
Interview folks, find out how they work, find the right fit and then use them as consultants throughout the process. That way you can know if what you want is even viable. This is especially true when building in the mountains where our terrain is unique and can present unforeseen challenges and costs! It also helps in this “exciting” market when material costs are fluctuating – as well as time frames. Dollars can grow and shift quickly today!
Contact Katie Rice and Altamont Property Group
As a broker and former owner of a design-build firm where I co-designed and built high-end, award-winning homes in Western North Carolina, I’d love to talk with you further about design-build and how it could be an option that will support your home building goals. Please reach out and we can have a conversation and complimentary brainstorming call.