Discover the Importance of Close Collaboration
& Open Communication
Welcome to the second post in a three-part series on the renovation process known as “Design Build.” In the first post, we revealed how your remodeling project should begin with design, and shared the advantages of working with a professional designer. In this post, we’ll focus on the next, Pre-Construction phase. We’ll cover Construction in the final part. The entire series shows the vital role of each step, and how they all come together to ensure a successful remodel.
“Design Build” Refresher:
With a focus on the Pre-Construction Phase…
The term “Design Build” is exactly what its name suggests: The phases of design and build – 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.
Design Build, when followed diligently, consists of a three-step process leading to a successful, well thought-out, and expertly orchestrated remodel. The key is seamless connectivity between the Design and Build phases, perfectly bridged with a detailed and closely followed Pre-Construction Phase. At that point, you’ll transition from working with your Lead Designer to involving the Production team. This is where you’ll meet your Interior Designer (ID), a newly designated position at MainStreet Design Build.
With the Design and Production teams now closely working together, every detail in the process is important to nail down and effectively communicate. Keeping all of your project information in one place is therefore critical for a well-run remodel, so using an “construction portal” is highly recommended. A good ID will set you up in the system, enabling access to your project information 24/7 through a personalized dashboard that contains every detail from daily production updates to detailed financials, selections, and your weekly production schedule.
Now is the time to work through all the minute details, so plan on several meetings with your ID over the first few weeks. The goal is to smoothly translate your Design vision into reality, made possible by reviewing product selections in a design studio, and visiting as many showrooms as possible along the way. Since delivery times vary based on product, a skilled ID will help you prioritize the process, starting with windows and doors, then moving to cabinets and other materials.
As your design imagination turns into viewing and choosing actual products, you’ll have the exciting, but sometimes stressful, opportunity to select from what seem like countless options. From key features to subtle styles, finishes, and colors, choices of everything from lighting to tiling to molding, your ID will guide you every step of the way. Then, it is the ID’s responsibility to coordinate your decisions and review your ideas with each specialist, from architects to plumbers to electricians.
Alongside this process with your ID, you’ll also be introduced to your Project Manager (PM), who leads the Production Team working steadily behind the scenes.
Another key player is your Construction Coordinator (CC), who helps ensure your project stays on schedule by working closely with your ID to ensure product availability and sufficient lead times. The Construction Coordinator, in coordination with your PM, will also ensure that the carpenters, tradespeople, and materials are available at each milestone in your schedule.
During this critical Pre-Construction Phase, your PM will also frequently meet with you to discuss any areas of concern or complexity that need to be addressed prior to Construction starting. At the heart of these meetings is the “Pre-Construction Walk-Through,” where your PM visits your home to dig into the detailed project plan. Knowing which questions they are likely to ask will help you answer them. Here is a general list to guide you:
- INSURANCE: Have you contacted your home insurance company? Since a renovation will likely increase the value of your house, you may need to notify them of the impending project to ensure adequate coverage.
- SIGNAGE: Will your homeowner’s association or local city ordinance allow you to place a yard sign in front of your home during Construction? Some might not permit the signage, so now is the time to find out.
- NEIGHBORS: Do you need access to your neighbor’s property, and if so, have you obtained written permission? Sometimes property boundaries are so close that ladders, scaffolding, or equipment traffic might cross over.
- STORAGE: Do you have a designated and secure location to store construction materials and tools? An area in your garage is typically recommended; regardless, your PM will want to know ahead of time.
- PARKING: Will work vehicles be able to park nearby and have easy reach to the construction area? To help avoid inconveniencing you or your neighbors, are there any preferred parking areas the teams can utilize?
- MAIN DOOR: What is the designated main entry door? Choosing your preferred entrance will help minimize any inconvenience, and help ensure minimal disruption to your household and potential dirtiness or damage to your house.
- ACCESS: How will the construction team access your home when you are away? Typically, a “real estate” style lockbox is installed to enable access to the property when you and your family are not able to be home.
- ALARMS: Do you have a security system monitoring service, and if so have you notified them? Construction will be disruptive, of course, and can set off your security alarms. Also make sure to turn them off each morning.
- PETS: Anything the team needs to know about regarding your pets? Securing or removing your pets from the Construction work is important to help ensure their safety and that of the construction team.
- HEALTH: Should any family medical conditions be noted, such as allergies or asthma? Construction creates dust, and introduces many materials into your home, making it important to ensure health and safety.
- UTILITIES: Is access to your utilities open? The team will need clear access to electrical panels, water shut offs, furnaces, and basically your entire home’s infrastructure and controls. Make sure to show the team their locations, too.
- DUMPSTER: Where is the best designated location for the Trailer and/or Dumpster? Construction results in debris, which must be removed quickly and efficiently. Locating a dumpster conveniently but unobtrusively is important.
- HOME OR AWAY: Will you be away from home at any point during construction? If so, should work continue in your absence? Any special instructions for doing so?
As you can see, the Pre-Construction phase is the vital second part of the Design Build process, and one where important information is shared with your remodeling teams. Being open, straightforward, and honest with your answers to their questions is the key to choosing the best products and materials, ensuring the Construction process is safe, efficient, and timely, and you and your family experience is as pleasant and successful as possible.
Coming next: the 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!