Conscious Environments, Inc.

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What to Look for in a Design-Build Company?
You come home every day and something’s nagging at you.  It’s been bothering you for awhile, but you’ve been putting it off.  You want your home exterior and landscape to greet you, to mean something more when you come home and for many of us we just don’t know how to make that happen. For others, you may have an idea, but can’t seem to translate that into a plan, a meaningful design that literally describes your vision.  Where do you start? You’ve watched home improvement shows and read the latest magazines with design tips, projects, and instructions and it seems a little overwhelming.  You may have found too many of these “do it yourself” projects are labeled at a skill level of easy and should only take 2-3 hours.  Two weekends of work later and you know better. You have found out the hard way that sometimes it’s not that easy and took considerably longer than anticipated.  Unfortunately, it didn’t come out the way you planned or wanted either.  At this point you realize you need help from professionals. So, the question is what to do?

A great place to start when seriously thinking about a major home renovation and landscaping project is to seek out the assistance of a professional design-build company.  A beautifully built project begins with a well thought out design and working with a company that has the ability to effortlessly carry you through the design process to project completion will ultimately lead to a successful project.  Below is a list of things to look for in a company when determining whether they’re not only the right builder for you, but designer too.

  • The design vision needs to be a collaborative (team) effort
  • A  shared partnership philosophy between you and your contractor is essential
  • Contractor commitment to you personally throughout the entire design-build process
  • Look for an eco-friendly builder who can suggest “greener” solutions for your project
  • An ability to think “out of the box”
  • A successful track record of built projects and design consulting activities
  • Design-build companies that are licensed, bonded, and carry adequate insurance for both design and construction services

These are just some things to consider before signing a contract with anyone. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but should give you a starting point and company attributes to consider when contemplating this type of investment in your property.

So, what are the next steps to a successful project?  We highly suggest working with one company to design your project the way you want it.  This company could be a “design only” (Architect, Engineer, or Landscape Architect) firm or a construction company that specializes in design.  It’s important at this stage to consider how much you’re willing to spend and let the designer know, so that a specific project budget can be developed throughout the design process.  Once you have a plan with detailed specifications you have the ability to shop around.  A detailed plan will be helpful in the permitting process, alleviate confusion during bidding, and keep contractors competitive as they will be bidding “apples to apples”.

This is just one step to put you on the right track and we’d be glad to talk to you about the next ones.  Good luck in your search for a design-build company that will help you envision your outdoor living dream.