5 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Design Build Firm
Undergoing a home renovation is no small event. The design process requires a lot of your feedback, the construction process can interrupt a normal routine, and the cost is significant. One of the best ways to ensure that your home renovation not only turns out beautifully, but is a pleasant, rewarding experience, is to make sure your hire the right team to manage it for you.
A design build firm can be an excellent choice, since it's basically a "one-stop shop." Design build firms have designers, architects, project managers and contractors on staff to ensure that your renovation goes smoothly from the concept stage to the big reveal. But how do you know if you've hired the right company? Here are five important things to consider before hiring a design build firm.
1. The team. The most important aspect of a design build firm are the people who work there. Check their credentials -- if you're renovating your kitchen, does the company have a Certified Kitchen Designer on hand? This designation is given to the National Kitchen & Bathroom Association to professionals who have at least seven years of experience, undergo special training by the NKBA, and pass a rigorous exam.
Another important thing to consider: Check if the company's contractors are on staff. Having contractors on staff means the company has trained them, trusts them to do their best work, and most importantly, has control over their schedule. Anyone who has had to reschedule a flooring installation because the electrician didn't show up the day before knows that scheduling contractors can become a nightmare.
Investigating the experience of your team is one of the best ways to make sure your project will go smoothly.
2. The reputation. In today's online world, it's incredibly easy to find out about the experiences past customers have had with almost any company, and that includes design build firms. Investigate the company's ratings and commentary on sites like Yelp and Houzz to see how previous customers have rated their experience. While you're likely to find a few polarizing reviews on both ends of the experience spectrum, looking at whether a vast majority of the reviews are positive or negative should be a good indicator of what you'll be in for.
3. The experience level. While there are certainly very talented companies and designers that are brand new, a company that has been in business for at least five years has proven that they can successfully deliver on their projects, and meet client's expectations. More established companies also tend to have solid systems in place for quoting, creating timelines, ordering product, and invoicing, which can lead to a more seamless process for you.
4. The work. The easiest way to see if you'll like the end results of your project? Take a look at the company's portfolio. Any good design build firm should have a plethora of imagery to show you of completed projects, as well as before-and-after shots, so you can see the types of results they produce. If you notice that all of the works tends to look the same, or that the company seems to be a specialist in a style that doesn't really suit your taste, you might want to search around for a firm that offers a broader scope of work.
Considering a home renovation? We'd love to help. Get in touch with Divine Design + Build here.