When you’re building a custom luxury home, every decision affects every other decision, so the process is ripe with opportunities for disappointment and frustration. That means starting on the right foot is critical.
And that first step is a doozie.
Should you start with a designer? An architect? A builder?
The correct answer is none of the above. Or, more accurately, all of the above—in the form of a point person.
What’s a point person?
In the custom home building process, your “point person” is the advocate and ally who will guide you through the entire process of building your home—from selecting a lot to establishing a floor plan to ordering materials and so much more.
In short, they’re responsible for coordinating every single detail of your build from the ground up.
Now, this point person could be you. If you want to assemble your team, want to have complete control over your home’s build, and you have unlimited time and energy to dedicate to your project, this role might be right for you. But for most people, serving as their own point person is exhausting—and incredibly risky because they don’t know what they don’t know.
To build your home the right way (and protect your sanity along the way), you need an Arizona design-build firm to serve as your point person—your ally—from start to finish.
5 Reasons to Hire a Design-Build Firm
Traditionally, homes are built with a design-bid-build (D/B/B) model. Someone designs your home, then bids your project out to contractors. Unfortunately, this model often means longer projects, higher prices, and less oversight.
On the other hand, design-build firms are one-stop shops, managing every aspect of your build, from design to construction and beyond. They typically include a designer, architect, and general contractor as an integrated team.
Here are five benefits to choosing a design-build firm.
#1 Design-build firms start with the right questions.
If you start only with a designer, they may ask about your ideal kitchen. If you begin only with an architect, you may find yourself in the weeds on Modern European v. Modern Mediterranean styles. If you start only with a builder, they may get you thinking about views from your living room.
These are all critical considerations. But the first question you should be considering isn’t about the number of bedrooms or the size of your garage or how deep your pool is.
Your first question should always be, “What are the goals for my home?”
A design-build firm helps you prioritize your goals and lets you know what’s possible—and what’s not— before you even start designing. That way, you start on the right foot, making it less likely changes will happen in the middle of your build.
#2 Design-build firms have their eye on the entire process.
Building a home is a team endeavor, and without the right partner, coordinating those teams can get messy in a hurry.
A design-build firm has its eye on the entire process, from start to finish. They’re responsible for keeping everyone on track and working together—which means you aren’t responsible for all those moving pieces! That means you’re free to attend to the rest of your life instead of spending an hour on-site every other day for yet another conversation with yet another contractor.
#3 Design-build firms know communication is vital.
Not only do design-build firms talk to every team member, but they also talk to you. You get the peace of mind that comes with clear, transparent communication instead of being burdened by what-ifs and what-nows.
Plus, you’ll have one point of contact throughout the process, so you always know what’s happening now and what’s up next.
#4 Every member of a design-build project is accountable to one another.
With architecture, design, and construction expertise coordinated in-house, design-build teams work together to avoid problems and avert delays. They work like a well-oiled, cohesive machine to serve you both short- and long-term. You’ll be left feeling joyful, not jaded, by the process.
#5 Design-build firms come in on time and on budget.
Most people building a custom home start with an architect. It’s so much fun to see your dream home start to take shape on paper.
But here’s the problem: There’s always a chance your architect will draw up a gorgeous home that either won’t work on the lot you’ve chosen or won’t work with your budget. So it’s critical to have everyone on the same page from day one.
Beyond that, data show design-build firms deliver their projects 102% faster than D/B/B models. That’s because we begin with the end in mind, have every duck in a row from the get-go, and avoid on-the-fly changes that stall projects and waste money.
Questions to Ask a Potential Design-Build Firm
Now you know why hiring a design-build firm as your point person is the necessary first step toward building your home. The next step is to hire the right one!
Use these four questions to ensure you’re partnering with the best firm for you.
#1 As a design-build firm, what’s your role in the process?
If the firm you’re interviewing says anything less than point person, project manager, and communicator extraordinaire, move on.
If they answer correctly (i.e., “We manage the whole shebang.”), go a bit deeper and ask who your primary point of contact will be, what the communication process is like, and what your responsibilities are throughout the project.
#2 What specialists will I have access to?
This question helps you determine what makes the design-firm team unique. The best firms have top-tier experts—project managers, interior designers, landscape architects, and more—at your disposal. First, think about which elements of your home are most important to you, then find a firm that can match you with the expertise you need most.
#3 What’s your process?
Your design-build firm should be able and willing to walk you through their entire process, detailing every step.
Your investment should be honored by a team that leaves nothing to chance. A firm shouldn’t just promise you they’ll get every detail just so; they should be able to explain precisely how they make it happen.
#4 What obstacles might my project present?
A good design-build firm will strike the perfect balance between transparent honesty and fulfilling your goals for your dream home. Be wary of promises of perfection!
This question also allows you to hear about the firm’s expertise and experience. It establishes your confidence in the firm to get the job done.
One More Thing
Building your dream home should be fun! At Calvis Wyant Luxury Homes, we’ve perfected a meticulous process to help you design and build exactly the home you want—and have the time of your life doing it.
Give us a call at 480-905-0200 to start the conversation. From traditional to modern, we can’t wait to hear what you’re dreaming up… and share how our architects and designers will bring it to life.