The Pros and Cons of a "Design Build" Remodeling Contractor
by Allison E. Beatty
Kitchens and Cabinets Columnist
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Remodeling contractors offer a wide range of services from specialized carpentry skills to "design build" services. If you are planning a kitchen remodeling project, consider whether a "design build" company will fit your needs.
Kitchen Remodeling Involves Many Professionals
When planning a kitchen remodeling project, you might interview three to five professionals to handle various aspects of the project. They include:
- A remodeling contractor to oversee the carpentry, plumbing, electrical details, and mechanical work
- An architect to create drawing of the kitchen design, submit plans for zoning approval, and submit detailed construction documents
- A kitchen designer to oversee selections of kitchen cabinets, kitchen sink, appliances, etc.
"Design Build" Remodeling Contractors Offer Full Service
Instead of interviewing people from several remodeling and kitchen design companies, consider whether hiring one company with all those services makes sense. This type of "design build" remodeling firm is growing in popularity, as some people turn to the "one stop shopping" concept.
Why Hire Just One Remodeling Contractor?
By hiring one company instead of two or three, you can streamline the kitchen remodeling process. Another benefit is the potential for better communication among the various contractors. If the architect and remodeling contractor work for the same company, chances are they can work together more smoothly. Among the other benefits are:
- It reduces the amount of time needed to interview, accept bids, and hire a remodeling contractor
- It streamlines the communication process during the kitchen remodeling.
- Potential cost savings because the kitchen remodeling project runs more efficiently
- It can reduce the timeline, assuming the remodeling contractor works efficiently with the company architect, etc.
Disadvantages to Using One Remodeling Contractor
There are disadvantages to using just one remodeling company, however. You might find that:
- You work well with some, but not all of the employees
- One person is not as creative, skilled, or personable as you'll prefer
- You miss working with a favorite architect or kitchen designer
Do Some Homework Before Hiring Remodeling Contractor
Before committing to hiring one remodeling contractor, talk to other homeowners who have gone this route. Find out how they liked the kitchen remodeling process and the company. Among the questions to ask are:
- Were you happy with the "one stop shopping" concept? Would you do it again?
- Did the process save them time and/or money?
- How well did the people work together?
- How did the cost compare to using separate companies?
About the Author
Allison E. Beatty is a syndicated real estate writer. She has been a writer of home improvement columns for 15 years. Her articles have appeared in numerous national newspapers and magazines, and on home improvement Web sites.
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