(408) 374-0900 CLIENT LOGIN


Design Bid Build vs. Design Build


What are the big picture steps of a well planned remodel?

  1. Design Development
    a. Part I: Define goals for the project along with expectations on timeline and budget. Identify and address the flow and usability of the space, structural needs and style objectives.
    b. Part II: Refine the design details. Create plans and elevations that define the function of the space along with materials and fixtures. Complete the design with desired finishes, textures, colors, and design features.
  2. Financial Management: Cost estimates, options, and thoughtful discussion on how design can impact budget.
  3. Permit, Engineering and Title 24: Create working drawings and elevations for approval for the building permit.
  4. Material Management: Timely ordering, receiving, and delivery of materials to jobsite.
  5. Project Management: Putting all the pieces together. Interpreting and building the design, getting the project done on time and on budget with the right quality.
  6. Warranty and Maintenance: Enjoy your new home with the knowledge that the contractor stands by their work.

Who is the right remodeling company for you?

Your choices usually depend on the time you have available and your desire to manage all the details. All of the following companies would need to be licensed by the State of California. Here are some examples of construction companies and their offer:

  • General Contractor: Manages two or more subcontractors to build from your set of plans and specifications. Usually completes an estimate with allowances for selections that are later made during construction. Management of materials and fixtures may fall on the homeowner’s shoulders depending on the contractor. You will find out the final cost when the project is complete. Most professionals recommend you leave 20% – 35% for extras and things you haven’t considered.
  • Time and Material Contractor: The homeowner is expected to complete upfront work with design, material and budget management. This is a no risk offer for the contractor…you pay as you go. Extremely difficult to know what the final cost will be because it is constantly changing. The pace of the work, skill of the trades people and how detailed your plans are will dictate the final cost.
  • Installer: An individual that installs what you design, select and provide. This can be a carpenter, handyman or a specialist in one area. As a homeowner you act as the general contractor for project management and hire individuals to do the work. All fingers point back to you on this one. Normally there is no warranty for any labor work. If something goes wrong, you run the risk of paying to redo the installation.
  • Subcontractor: Usually performing one trade where they provide the material and the labor or just the labor.
  • Architect and/or Building Designer: Typically designs the flow of the structure, drafts the working drawings, works with a structural engineer and submits for the building permit. Usually completes Part 1 and Part 2 of Design Development. For additional fees they may provide Project Management oversight.
  • Interior Designer or Selection Specialist: Helps specify the layout and the materials for function and patterns, assists in the selections of products and colors, looks for the function of the rooms and how the owner will live in the space. Provides plans and elevations so the installation outcome is understood by all.
  • Design/Build Firm: Design/Build is a method of project delivery in which one entity collaborates with the homeowner to provide design and construction services. One firm, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion. Design/Build is also known as the single-source responsibility for the entire project.

What are the typical phases of a construction project?

Every property has a specific set of zoning requirements that are defined by your planning department. Many of the requirements and building codes can be researched or you can work with your city or county building and planning department. Most Architects and Design/Build firms complete an extensive feasibility study during the design phase.

How do I know if a Contractor is licensed?

Anyone who works on your home where the amount is over $600 is required to be licensed by the State of California. You can check a Contractor’s license, bond and workers compensation by searching the California government website: www.cslb.ca.gov.

How can I find out on my own if my building department will let me build what I want?

Every property has a specific set of zoning requirements that are defined by your planning department. Many of the requirements and building codes can be researched or you can work with your city or county building and planning department. Most Architects and Design/Build firms complete an extensive feasibility study during the design phase.

Plans & Permitting


Do I need a permit for my project?

In most cases the answer is yes, you need a permit. Every building department is different and each has their own building guidelines and pricing structure.

How long does it take to get a permit?

Many remodels can acquire a permit within one month, but this varies depending on home location and complexity of the design. Most single story additions can be permitted in one to two months, where second story additions will often take two to three months or more.

Whose name should the permit be in?

The name that goes on the permit is the name of the person or company that is ultimately responsible for the project. We recommend putting the permit in the contractor’s name for homeowner protection.

Should I get my own plans?

Our advice is no, do not get your own plans, and there are a few reasons why:

  1. Homeowners who get their own plans first are often surprised later of the cost of building their project, and as a result their project must be put on hold, or further revised with additional costs from the architect/designer.
  2. During the building process, there are often changes that need to be made to the plans. This puts the responsibility back on the homeowner, which adds additional costs, as well as puts the job on hold.
  3. An experienced design-build contractor working with the homeowner during the design and planning stage will foresee and prevent most obstacles. As a result, there are fewer plan changes, minimal future costs, and less project delays.

if(document.createStyleSheet) { document.createStyleSheet(“https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Source+Sans+Pro:300,400,600,700”); } else { var GQstylesheet = “@import url(‘https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Source+Sans+Pro:300,400,600,700’);”; var createCss =document.createElement(‘link’); createCss.rel=’stylesheet’; createCss.href=’data:text/css,’+escape(GQstylesheet); if (document.getElementsByTagName(“head”)[0]) { document.getElementsByTagName(“head”)[0].appendChild(createCss); } else { document.write(”); } } /*handle pseudo selectors*/ var css = ‘.gq-reviewcontent-blockquote:before{content: \’\\201C\’;font-size: 48px;line-height: 42px;position: absolute;left: 0;color: #b9c4d7;}’, head = document.head || document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0], style = document.createElement(‘style’); /*set css for blockquote:before*/ style.type = ‘text/css’; if (style.styleSheet){ style.styleSheet.cssText = css; } else { style.appendChild(document.createTextNode(css)); } head.appendChild(style); /*end pseudo selector code */ function embedGQwidget(html){ document.getElementById(‘gq-reviews-widgetv1’).innerHTML = html; }