08 Feb The Design-Build Series: Developing the Initial Design and Plan
Once you have chosen the right design build contractor, it’s time to start making the plans that will turn your remodel dreams into a reality. Depending on your space, your needs, and your goals, the initial design and plan phase can take quite some time to complete. Working with a design build contractor throughout this phase of the process helps you clarify your goals in the project design, and also allows your contractor to obtain a clear idea of how to design and build your space.
Clarifying and Confirming Your Needs
The design phase of your project is where you begin to fully formulate and clarify your vision and goals for your new space. At this stage, it’s critical to engage with the design build contractor regarding how you would like to design your remodel, and what you would like to do with your space in a more specific way. All of the inspiration and design ideas you collected early in the design build process will now be used to develop your initial design and plan.
Gauge Your Level of Involvement
It’s very important to be open, upfront and clear about the level of involvement you as the homeowner want to take in the design phase. Finding the right balance is crucial. On one hand, too much involvement can hinder the progress of the planning stage. Whereas too little involvement can mean that the finished result doesn’t add up to what you want for your project. Talk clearly with your contractor about how you envision being involved in the design phase as the home owner.
Base Design on Budget and Site
Your design build contractor should begin by thoroughly inspecting and analyzing your space, and understanding your budget. These factors are just as important as your goals for the project and will form the basis of the design. It can be useful to identify one area of ‘top priority’ as well. Are you willing to be flexible on budget to get the design you want? Or would you rather the designer make decisions based around what you are willing to invest?
The contractor may provide one or more designs at first to give you an idea of the options you have. After you select one design, you may make additions or alterations based on your preferences for specific features, such as interior and exterior finishes, windows, heating, cooling, appliances and fittings.
You may need to adjust your plans once it becomes evident what your final plans will entail. Any quality contractor will continue to work with you through this stage until you end with a plan you are happy with. It’s important to remain open and be both willing to compromise about what is less important to you, while being clear about your priorities for your remodel.
The design process is when your initial design and plan come to life. Working closely with your design build contractor allows you to find a design that balances your needs, your budget and the constraints of your existing space, to produce an outstanding result.