It’s Not Just a Job; It’s a Canvas!

Not all design-build firms are created equal!

There are two types of design-build companies when planning a high-end custom project; you know, the kind of kitchen or bathroom you would see in the magazines. The first is a building company that hires a design staff member or design subcontractor. The second is a designer who is also the builder! Both provide the “one stop shop” convenience.  They both provide a design first followed by the build process, which is very important! But the question is, which one is better? Hi, my name is Richard Ryder, owner of Clearcut Construction and I am a designer who also builds. I would like to help answer this question with a couple of points.

The best part is in the trenches!

Recently, I contemplated with my wife the idea of just being a designer and letting someone else build my projects. Her bold response, “YOU COULD NOT HANDLE SOMEONE ELSE DOING YOUR WORK “. Of course, after 24 years she knows me; and she is right. As a builder, I know there is a long list of decisions, both easy and difficult, to be made that can affect the design vision of the project.  As a designer, there is also a long list to consider.  Some ideas you simply cannot put on paper.

Yes, remodeling can be tough.  In spite of exhaustion and the temptation to let someone else do it, the onsite presence is a key to a great and special project! You see, when the design phase is finished and we start building (in the trenches), I still remain in design mode mentally.  I am constantly looking here and there, manipulating shapes in my mind, drawing on walls, negotiating with myself and adjusting as needed. Sometimes a treasure is found after demo and turns into my best design element. I even think about this stuff lying in bed at night.  I admit, I have even been known to get stressed about it. This is especially true when the vision is not living up to my expectations!

The essence of design-build

So, to add to the questions above…can a two-part company (designer first then builder) do this realistically?? Does the hired designer have that kind of control and dedication in the prospective of company profit? The heart of design-build is in the title! The point is, the designer is also in control of the final outcome of the project, not only the builder. I believe that is what people truly want from a labeled design-build company.   It has been by experience that the designer seeing it through builds the customer’s trust and excitement. Pencil to paper can only go so far and there is a “not all about money” factor here… You see, I love it when a plan comes together! But I love it more when a plan develops beyond the initial blueprint. This can only happen on site in the “front lines” so to speak.

When describing me, you could say I am a designer first and then a builder.  Every project I do I go into it thinking it is going to be my best yet.  I get great joy when I am recognized for design above the building side.  So, the essence is that the remodel is not just a job from a designer’s perspective, it is like a blank canvas to an artist!

“Keep the end in mind.” Colossians 3:1

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