Pretty descriptive title, right? Well whether you’re looking to build a house on your new land, a new family room addition, remodel a kitchen, or repair an old porch, you have options. And those options are largely dependent on the type of thing you are building.
If you’re reading this, the first step for most projects is easy - give me a shout, because other than small handyman repairs, you’ll need drawings and specifications. Let’s assume for the rest of this post that we’ve already met, had a wonderful chat over some earl gray, and the plans are underway.
Here are a few of the most popular ways to have something built:
In this scenario you would pay the designer directly, work through some design iterations, make selections, and more-or-less finalize your plans. You would then take the drawings of those plans and share them with different builders. The builders would give you their bids, you would pick one, and then the builder would build your new space (there’s probably another step in there somewhere where the bids come in too high and you grit your teeth through a redesign).
“Builder” can mean a lot of things here:
Notice the word “bid” has been removed. At a design build firm, everything is under one roof, so the company that is designing your project is also building it. The designers, project managers, estimators, accountants, marketing team, HR, craftsmen are all getting paychecks from the same place. I love design build. The projects go so much smoother because there isn't any finger pointing if an issue comes up during construction. If I am working on a project and have a question, I can walk down the hall and get an answer in 2 minutes, instead of sending an email and waiting for a response.
It’s also great because it is very easy to offer a fixed price contract. Since the materials and labor are supplied by the same firm, all the costs are known up front. This also reduces the amount of redesign. Since I’m walking you through the design options, and I have an understanding of how decisions are going to affect the cost, I can guide you accordingly - ahead of you having your heart set on the car-wash style shower only to reason you can only afford a single shower head…that wouldn’t be very :DH
If there’s a downside to design-build, it’s that you don’t typically see a new single family house built this way (yet - I think that is going to change in the next few years).
Every neighborhood has a local handyman. A guy with a truck and a ladder who has a good reputation and offers low prices because he doesn’t have any overhead. If the job is straightforward with few unknowns, a handyman might be your best bet. The downside to hiring a handyman is you’re not going to get help with design selections, and as the project gets bigger, he/she is probably going to take a disproportionately longer amount of time to finish it.
So there you have it - a run down of how to pick someone to build something. Hopefully what you build will ultimately make you happier where you are. And hopefully, I can be part of that happiness.
Bye for now,