What Are The Benefits Of Being A Design-Build Contractor
As a contractor, you'll find that a few clients know exactly what they want, hire you to do it, write you a check, and you're done. Many clients, however, have only a vague vision of what they want, and need your help in bringing that vision to life. For those particular clients, you can add a whole new level of service if you have design expertise or an interior decorator on your staff.
Traditionally, contractors are called in to carry out the plans of an interior designer, who may have prepared an elegant open plan that failed to account for the realities of construction within a budget. When you start work, you may find the need to add costly hidden steel support beams add posts to a room, or reroute extensive plumbing, heating, and electrical wiring to follow the plan. You discuss your dilemma with the homeowner, who may refer you to the designer, a person with whom you have no direct relationship. You may be able to come to a compromise, the client may come up with more money, but often things can get ugly between all three parties.
Benefits Of A Shared Vision
Having a designer work with you on your team assures that aesthetics, function, and structural integrity are all in harmony. Often called the design-build concept, this approach benefits your clients in many ways.
Designers, contractors and architects who work together in the earlier stages of a project understand the goals and desired outcome, resulting in a shared focus on how to get things done. If unexpected problems pop up in the construction phase, the team can more quickly make decisions as to how to proceed. There is less territoriality and more respect among the professionals, and the client benefits from the unified approach.
Many contractors have a great sense of design, and some interior designers are familiar with proper construction techniques; however the team approach assures that the customer is getting the joint expertise he needs. The designer might suggest how to better configure rooms for traffic flow, and how to add details such as electrical outlets, that will make a room functional. The contractor, however, has expert knowledge of building codes and what is physically possible given the underlying structure of the building and the budget. When interior designers and contractors work together, there is better communication, which eliminates mistakes and the need to redo things.
In the world of home repair and remodeling, many customers appreciate one-stop shopping. Once a customer indicates what he or she wants, agrees to a budget, and approves design choices, the design-build team can offer a turnkey product to the busy homeowner, often at a lower price.
A good design-build team communicates about projects. If a customer decides on a change or upgrade, everyone on the design-build team feels the repercussions and makes the appropriate changes. An extra window the customer wants may require budget adjustments in other parts of the project, or changes to other decorative or structural items.
How Design-Build Benefits You
As a contractor, you may forge an ongoing professional relationship with the designer you have worked with on a particular job, or hire a new designer to your staff. You can even build teams that include specialists, such as lighting designers, to provide more comprehensive services. Since some clients will want design services, but not continue with the project, you may be able to obtain revenue from just the design side of your business.
When you can offer potential customers design-build expertise, you put yourself in the running for more extensive and more lucrative jobs. Your portfolio and in person referrals will reflect client satisfaction with the total package achieved.
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