Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about HartmanBaldwin? If you’re new to remodeling, architecture, construction, or interior design and want to learn more these frequently asked questions we will help you learn more about HartmanBaldwin and our design build services.

General contractors can be useful as coordinators for projects involving minimal design. Design/Build firms offer improved integration of design and construction services compared to general contractors, which can translate into higher quality projects and a more seamless construction experience for homeowners.

A design-build remodel is executed by one company from the beginning of planning to the end of construction and any post-construction or warranty work. Additionally, homeowners who prefer not to self-manage their project can allow the design/build team to act as their advocates.

Using a design-build team is ideal for any large-scale, complex project where technical knowledge, thoughtful environmental design, and professional construction management are required. The turnkey approach of design-build firms — one team managing every detail from beginning to end — also appeals to many homeowners for its higher standards of accountability to design, cost and schedule.

Design-Build construction offers a single point of accountability and can be more cost-effective than general contractors, as it's better at creating consensus among all parties involved, especially critical in order to obtain early and reliable cost information.

The design-build process includes (1) Conceptual Design, where schematic designs and costs are explored; (2) Design Development, where the construction documents are developed, interior design selections are made, and construction estimates are finalized; (3) Construction, where the well thought-out design is executed with strict adherence to design integrity, budget, and schedule.

A design/build firm can act as your advocate throughout the course of your project and build upon their expertise and experience. This approach controls the scope of your project and budget, and the homeowner can know what to expect before starting construction while enjoying a single point of responsibility for the entire project.

The Design-Bid-Build approach makes the homeowner act as the middle person between the architect, interior designer, and contractor. Often, putting homeowners in the middle of what can be an adversarial triangle, where each party is seeking different information at different points in time with no contractual obligation to each other to communicate effectively. In the Design-Build approach, one company coordinates all aspects of your project and assures that all project contributors are on the same page to ensure successful projects and better client experiences.

Design-Build is better for projects that are large in scale and have a complex program. This approach provides a single point of accountability to design, cost and schedule.

Yes! It is essential for a successful remodeling and construction project to have a well-developed design, and cost estimates finalized before breaking ground.

Yes, with a design/build firm, a homeowner is able to design and create custom spaces and homes.

A custom home builder is a general contractor that specializes in the construction of custom homes. A design/build firm can also act as the general contractor for a custom home but will also provide architecture, interior design, cost estimating and project management services.

Steps for designing your dream custom home:
1. Outline your needs for the home, i.e. size of the home, number of rooms, amenities, number of stories, and other outdoor spaces.
2. Gather inspiration photos and add them to your wishlist. Narrow down the architectural styles you like, and take note of special features or materials that you may want in your dream home.
3. Find the ideal location. Consider your views, proximity to work, family and friends, quality of the neighborhood, etc.
4. Pick your team. This is an important step, since who you choose will be critical in helping you determine the viability of the lot in question, as well as the feasibility of the project. An advantage to the design-build approach is that you have one firm that can provide you with a single point of accountability from architecture through construction.
5. Explore space plans and begin gathering preliminary cost information. Avoid waiting until you're finished with the plans to get cost information. An advantage to a design/build firm is that they can provide very early cost estimates so a homeowner can make better-informed design decisions as the design process unfolds.
6. Fill in the design details. As the architect lays out the blueprints for your future home, the interior designer pulls together all of the materials, products, colors, and finishes to complete the interior finishes of the home. A design/build firm will have these two in lockstep with each other in order to meet the needs and schedule of construction.
7. Prepare for Construction. Once your permits are approved, it's important to cross-check the plan, last estimate, and construction schedule to identify any possible discrepancies before one breaks ground. A full-service, design/build firm like HartmanBaldwin will take care of all of this for their client.
8. Secure Financing. Ideally, you will have started this process before the final estimate but especially important to have settled by the time construction begins.
9. Relax during construction. If you've done the hard work in planning, then you should be able to sit back and relax as your contractor begins executing the work. A professional design-build firm, like HartmanBaldwin, will conduct weekly team meetings with their clients to answer questions, review progress, and make sure clients are having a good experience.
10. Move in! Construction is complete and now it's time to furnish and style the home. In some cases, the interior design team will install and then style the home. A full-service, design-build firm can provide this level of service.

Usually larger and more complex than a tract home, a custom home will take longer to design and build. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, the average time it took to take a new home from authorization to completion in 2021 was 13 months or more for an owner-built home. This timeframe only considers construction time. The process may be well underway at this point, as there would have been plan development, permitting processes, etc. It's safe to assume that a custom home will take at least 2 years to complete. The pre-construction activity alone could take a year, depending on the location, and the actual construction of a custom home could take an additional year as well.

“The weekly meetings were highly valued. When there was an issue, which construction almost requires, your response time and action made us feel comfortable and assured that we were going to receive quality.”

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