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Five Questions To Ask Your Design-Builder

There’s no one way to design/build. The question is, which one is right for you? Here are 5 questions that will help you to narrow down your choices and align you and your project with the right firm.

1 Will a dedicated in-house design team be assigned to my project?

Team and project structures can vary greatly based on company size, specialty, and the number of active projects. It’s so important to understand who will be handling your project, what their contribution will be, and what’s expected of you as the client/homeowner.

Many design-build firms are best described as construction firms that offer a design service. Some with no full-time designers on staff hire outside designers/architects to provide floor plans and layouts. Most lean heavily on trade partners (like tile, plumbing, and cabinetry showrooms) to help make finish and fixture selections. With this approach, clients may be expected to independently visit showrooms to make selections with only the help of sales associates. Implementing a cohesive design through the selection of multiple fixtures and finishes across multiple showrooms becomes the responsibility of the client alone.

Simply put, Erika Jayne Design Build is design-focused. Each project team consists of 2 in-house designers, a dedicated lead, and an associate designer, who work with you from conceptual design to construction completion. Working from inspirational images, site visits, and in-depth analysis of your needs and desires, the design team will present a fully realized design with all product selections and samples.

2 Will a dedicated construction project manager be assigned to my project?

It’s important to know who is in your home and who is in charge.

Toward the end of the design process, we bring your project manager on board to walk through the existing space, get familiar with the plans, and (most importantly) meet you!

Once the project is underway, your project manager is responsible for the scheduling and performance of our subcontractors, procurement of tools, equipment, and materials, job site safety, weekly progress meetings, and the scheduling of county permit inspections. They will be the familiar face you see daily and your go-to contact in addition to the design team. Despite the change in phases, the design team also remains on board for important site visits, collaboration, and making sure the vision is coming to fruition just as we envisioned it!

3 How many construction projects will my project manager oversee simultaneously?

As a small firm, we prioritize a seamless client experience. Your project is our priority and your project manager is dedicated to your project. Your project will be 1 of 1, possibly 1 of 2 (depending on the scope of work and project location).

4 Are you a cabinetry vendor or will the cabinets come from an outside vendor/showroom you work with?

We are kitchen experts. So, we know the ins and outs of cabinetry construction, design, and installation. We work directly with our trusted cabinet crafters to design and procure the cabinetry for your project without the need for an outside vendor. We offer cabinet lines ranging from semi-custom to fully custom construction and will make that selection based on the needs of your individual project. Door style and finish selections will be presented in your home during the first design presentation. While we do not work from a dedicated showroom with permanent displays, we enjoy the flexibility of bringing samples directly to you without the burden of a physical footprint.

5 What project management software/tools do you work with?

With so many moving parts during a renovation project, project management tools are essential in centralizing data, keeping things running smoothly, ensuring transparent and accountable project management, and connecting the team.

We use two software services throughout the course of our projects. Both are accessible to our clients through apps on their smart devices and we can even customize notifications to alert our clients of updates and changes to their schedules!

During the design phase, we centralize all proposals, invoices, and procurement into Houzz Pro. Detailed design projects innately come with many material and furnishing selections! Houzz Pro allows us to separate each room or area of your project into easy-to-envision boards. You’ll find each item submitted for your approval in your Room Boards with product images, descriptions, and pricing. A click of the “Approve!” button is all you need to do!

During the build phase of your project, we’ll utilize for our procurement and project schedules. These schedules provide easy-to-read details on where and when your items are arriving and what tradespeople will be in your home on any given day. These schedules are updated as the project progresses. So, you’ll always know exactly where we are in the design phase, procurement phase, and every week of construction.



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