Discover the Advantages of Working with a Professional Designer

Welcome to the first blog post in a three-part series on the renovation process known as “Design Build.” Here we’ll focus on the all-important up front design component, followed by the Pre-Construction then Construction phases. We hope you and your family will appreciate the significance and role of each distinct step, and how they all come together to ensure your next remodel will be of the highest quality, done right the first time, on time and on budget.

What is “Design Build”? And how does the Design Phase fit in…

In essence, the term is exactly what its name suggests: The design and build phases – traditionally handled by two or more companies – are integrated into a singular project that’s managed and implemented by one firm with expertise in both areas. Advantages are significant, including seamless communication between otherwise distinct specialties, heightened efficiencies, and lower chances of glitches, unpleasant surprises, and change orders.

The “Design” phase is the first of a three-step process that, when followed diligently, will lead to a successful, well thought-out, and expertly orchestrated remodel. Starting with Design will not only help to ensure that the integrity of your creative vision will come smoothly to life, but the effort to fully document your vision before any construction begins will help the entire team “begin with the end in mind,” and align your budget and timeline to the entire project.

Your Remodeling Project Should Begin with Design - designer in remodel process

An experienced professional designer partners with you from the beginning of the project, and is your liaison and manager during this entire phase. Being open and honest with your designer is very important to ensure that your vision not only incorporates all your ideas, but stays on track with your intended budget. Once you’ve established a relationship and make the decision to move forward into the design process, the design team will follow these important steps:

Documentation of your existing conditions is one of the most critical pieces of this process. Your designer and their support team will do a series of measurements throughout your home to create a document typically called “As Built” Drawings, also known as an “ECD” (Existing Condition Drawings.)  These documents will not only directly capture the space to be remodeled, but all surrounding areas of the home that will impact the overall project outcome.

These drawings will include documenting the entire mechanical system, structural aspects of your home, and the exterior conditions of the house and lot.  If an addition is being built anywhere to your home, you may need to conduct a survey of your entire lot. Using this survey, your design team will run several calculations on lot coverage and set back requirements, the goal to ensure their new design does not encroach on any of these vital, set boundaries.

If these boundary lines are indeed too close, you can apply for a variance with your city or township. In that case, the design phase will be extended, since you will be required to submit detailed drawings to a designated building committee, and formally apply to have your case heard at a monthly meeting in your city or township. That does not ensure approval, so the best way to obtain approval is to stay as close to the guidelines as possible, then prove hardship.

Once your ECD’s are completed, the time to put your vision of a dream home on paper. Your designer will meet with you to discuss the initial floor plan and layout ideas, and then it’s time for them to get their creative juices flowing. At this point, the design team will work together to create a floor plan that you and your family love, along with both elevations and perspective drawings of your new space. Now is the time the excitement builds!

Your Remodeling Project Should Begin with Design floorplans

Remember that Design is not the only important element. Building a preliminary budget around your creative vision as it comes together is basically the “secret sauce” that a design build team adds into the ingredients. Without budgeting at this juncture, a remodel can quickly go off the rails, and become a project that doesn’t make financial sense. To prevent that, your designer will work with you on both design as it comes into shape, and the project’s tightening budget.

Freely share your ideas to ensure your project comes together in a clear, concise manner. That helps your project along, and encourages bonding with your design team. Their intent is to bring your vision to life, readying your home for the next phase. In this first phase in the design build process, you will have a vetted set of conceptual drawings, well-designed floor plan, elevations, and perspective renderings that make you feel as if you were walking through your new space.

Thanks to your budget being integrated into the design phase from the start, expect an extremely detailed scope of work to accompany your plans. This document will not only give you the specifics of the project, including architectural drawings and construction details, but a final fixed price for the next phase, pre-construction. Ensuring that the design meets your expectations, and the pricing fits your budget, are the keys to a successful Design Phase.

Coming next: the Pre-Construction Phase of a Design Build Remodel…

Remodeling is Best Done with a Trusted Design-Build Partner

MainStreet Design Build is a full service, design-build remodeling firm dedicated to creating a luxurious end-to-end experience through personal care, accountability, timeless design, and exacting attention to detail. Voted the #1 remodeler in Detroit and #2 general contractor in all of Michigan, since 1991 their in-house design team, staff of carpenters, and deep bench of skilled tradespeople have made the renovation process comfortable, enjoyable, and safe.

Having produced elegant results that transform remodeling dreams into stunning and functional living spaces, MainStreet Design Build is favored by discerning homeowners in Southeast Oakland County who value a high level of comfort and trust in knowing that their home remodeling project will be done RIGHT. Browse our luxurious gallery of award-winning local renovations, and quickly schedule a virtual design consultation. Let’s partner today!


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