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Posted about 5 years ago

Why Design-Build Firms Have Become Popular For Renovations

Seven years ago, we did something that most contractors never want to do. We decided to start handling every aspect of our renovation projects: from designing the space, filing plans, and procuring permits to selecting materials, procuring them, preparing the site, and completing construction. Essentially, we wanted to help our clients complete their renovations with every element housed under one roof.

At the time, the other renovation option for clients in our area was to hire different individuals or vendors for each step of the project. They would also need to file their own permits, purchase and store materials and finishes, and manage their own projects from beginning to end. Though that might be the right choice for some more hands-on clients, it's not for everyone.

The data agrees: By the end of 2017, the top 100 design-build firms brought in a total of $107.15 billion, with domestic projects making up $84.35 billion. Given the time and stress that design and build firms help clients save, they’re becoming increasingly popular for renovation projects of all types — and real estate professionals should take notice.

How You Can Work With A Design-Build Firm

The ultimate goal of any design-build firm is to create a system that offers clients pleasant and streamlined experiences, something that isn't typical when it comes to construction projects on the whole. For real estate firms, saving time, stress, and costs is even more important, as such efforts are necessary to increase their returns. Design and build firms do just that. Here's how:

Project management and construction benefits aside, design-build firms save time by allowing different teams to work on the same project during overlapping times. Design and construction phases can overlap, for example, because everyone’s on the same team and executing the same project.

Full-service firms also provide insight and transparency into projects — a critical component of all types of work, from residential to commercial and one-unit to a full building. Using industry connections, these firms can save money with trade discounts and sourcing finishes directly from manufacturers. They don’t charge a markup for these services because they’re part of the value the firm adds to the project.

Our experience in the real estate industry is mostly with developers and investors. Developers can simply give a trusted firm their budget for the entire project, and the firm can come back with a number of options for getting there. Those options should include labor, permits, drafting, finishes, and everything else needed to see the project over the finish line.

For investors, especially those focused on the upper mid-tier to luxury-style multifamily properties, a design-build firm is essential to saving costs. End users get a space that’s truly their own, and investors don’t have to pay exorbitant fees for interior design and architecture in order to make it happen.

Even individual real estate agents or firms focused on selling to individuals can benefit from a design-build partnership. If they need to sell a property that's clearly in need of renovations, or if they're working with clients they know will want to remodel, having a design-build firm on hand to help clients realize the potential in a space benefits all parties.

Bringing A Firm Into The Fold

The idea of a full-service design-build firm isn't new or revolutionary. But many firms don't operate according to the model because they don't want to take on the extra stress and responsibility associated with the additional work. Those that do choose to take it on offer efficiency, choice, and a personalized touch that clients can't find when working with multiple vendors at once.

If you’re a designer, investor, agent, or head of a real estate firm, it’s more than worth the effort to partner with a trusted design and build firm. The company’s experience in all things construction and renovation will not only help save you time and money, but will also help put your properties and businesses a step above the rest at a fraction of what it would otherwise cost.