Is Design-Build Right for My Remodel?

We’ve all heard that old practice of soliciting three bids before a remodel. You hear the pitch, compare the numbers and pick your favorite. But is that really the best way to approach a job as complex as a home remodel? Ask the pros and many will tell you there’s a smarter approach.

“Typically, when you take your project to three contractors and ask, ‘How much will it cost to build this?’ you’ll get what we refer to as apples, oranges and bananas,” says Christine Jurs, co-owner with husband Todd of Advance Design Studio in Gilberts. “They might get three different price ranges because they haven’t finalized every part of the design or selected specific product.”

The answer for many remodelers is the design-build approach. With a process that emphasizes relationships and a single source of coordination, design-build firms like Advance Design Studio avoid surprises by completing every element of design, selecting every product and specifying exactly what the project will cost. This approach puts clients in the driver’s seat and allows reverse-engineering to meet a budget.

Advance Design Studio follows a process Jurs calls Common Sense Remodeling. It starts with a consultation between the client and a professional designer, and it includes a serious conversation about expected cost ranges. Next, the designer and client work together in creating a custom budget, selecting materials that fit the budget and consulting with in-house tradesmen.

“We develop a complete, cohesive package that says, ‘Here is what we have designed and chosen together, here are real numbers on paper, and here’s a fixed design agreement that safeguards the homeowners from surprises and cost increases,’” says Jurs.

The design-build process has many advantages, and it’s appealing for complex projects, says Jurs. If a remodel will touch multiple rooms or involve structural changes, design-build firms are equipped to handle many moving pieces.

“It’s a cohesive process that’s meant to alleviate all of the natural challenges that come with this type of remodeling project,” says Jurs.

Advance Design Studio is located at 30 Railroad St., in Gilberts, (847) 836-2300.