5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Design-Build Firm

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Design-Build Firm

Choosing a Design-Build firm is a smart move for many reasons. (Not sure why? Visit our previous post for more information: What is Design-Build?)

Now that you’ve decided that design-build is the route you want to go, it’s time to get to the business of choosing a firm to hire. There are more and more design-build firms popping up across the country, and chances are that you’ll have several options in your town or city when it comes to choosing a group.

There are a few things you’ll want to consider as you begin seeking out a design-build firm, and today we are sharing a list of 5 questions that are important to ask each potential firm before making your final selection.

Determine what makes their team special.

1. What kind of specialists will I have access to as a result of choosing this design-build firm?

One of the key benefits of working with a design-build group is that they often offer top-tier specialists who are available to contribute to your home project. These specialists include project managers, interior designers, and architects. Think about which elements of your home project are most important to you and ask specifically about specialists and resources within the firm that pertain to that area.

Get references; discuss timing & budget reliability. 

2. What is the firm’s history when it comes to keeping projects on schedule and on a budget? (Is there a reference list that I can call on?)

Don’t be shy when it comes to gathering information about the history of a design-build firm. Asking whether or not the business is reliable when it comes to timing and finances is a fair question and one that might help you dodge headaches and disappointments down the road. If a firm hasn’t prioritized time and budget parameters in the past, chances are that it won’t in the future either.

See their past work examples.

3. May I see a portfolio of past projects that are similar to the one I’m interested in doing?

One of the best ways to get a good feel for the work that a design-build firm does is to view a its portfolio (You can view our portfolio here!) . It’s a good idea to specifically ask to see examples of projects similar to the one that you want to hire the firm to complete. For example, if you’d like to do a master bedroom addition, ask to see some samples of completed master bedroom additions to get a feel for the look and quality of the firm’s work. This is a great way to gather ideas and inspiration for your project as well!

Confirm the firm is covered legally.

4. Is the firm licensed, insured, and well versed in obtaining correct permits?

One aspect that prospective clients often forget about when it comes to interviewing a design-build firm is the technical, but very important details when it comes to items like licensing, insurance, and permitting. It’s extremely important that the firm you choose is up to date in regard to its insurance, up to code in its dealings, and legally wise.

Communication is key.

5. How does the firm handle communication? Will there be a “point person” assigned to my project?

Ask plenty of questions about communication. What are the communication protocols for when you need to get in touch with the firm throughout the project? Will you have a point person or project manager tasked with your communication needs? A good experience revolves around good communication practices, so this question should be a major priority as you consider a design-build firm.


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