If you plan on having a custom home built, or you want to add an addition to your current home, the first obstacle you will have to tackle is figuring out who you should work with. The number one question you will ask yourself is whether or not you should hire an architect to design the plans and a builder to do the building, or go with a design build firm. A design build firm is basically a one stop shop.
They will be able to draw up the plans as well do the construction. Both options have the potential to give you exactly what you want. However, there are a few key differences you need to be aware of.
When you hire an architect to design and create plans for your project, there is a good chance you will get exactly what you want as far as design goes. However, when you are dealing with both an architect firm and a construction firm, no one party is responsible for everything. Because of this unwanted conflicts can occur.
For example, in some cases the initial design by the architect might not fit within your budget. The problem is, you won't know this until you put it out to bid. At this point you only have two options. Spend more money or abandon the project all together.
With a design build firm you generally don't run into this type of problem. That's because you will set both your budget, and your schedule, up front. The team will then go to work to come up with a plan that will fit within your budget and time frame.
When it boils down to it, the success of either approach will ultimately depend on how well you research each company. Always get references and talk to previous clients before deciding who you will hire.
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