Tips on Choosing a Design-Build-Remodeling Company In Madison, WI

Hiring the Right Design-Build-Remodeling Company

If you're considering a home remodeling project hiring the right design-build-remodeling company will be the most important decision you'll make.

You'll be living with the results of your decision for many years into the future so you want to find a company that understands every aspect of your project from setting a budget and design style right through the construction phase to the finished job. Your design-build-remodeling firm will need to understand your lifestyle, your needs, your aesthetic sense and your creative vision. On the technical side, they'll also need the expertise to orchestrate and coordinate numerous tradesmen, manufacturers, suppliers, permitting, and any other services you may need including engineering.

Here are some tips to help you find, vet and hire the perfect design-build-remodeling firm to meet the needs of your project.

Debunking the 3 Bid Myth

We've all heard of the concept of soliciting three bids for your home improvement project. Generally the “rule” is to speak with three contractors, solicit bids, then discard the high bid and the low bid and choose the firm that came in in the middle. The though being that the choosing the middle bidder minimizes the risks. The process is driven solely on price, but is that really the best way to choose the right design-build remodeling contractor? Is the middle company going to provide the best quality for the “best” price?

Design-build is not like buying a car. When you purchase a new car you can see what it looks like, take it for a test drive and make a decision based on how it feels. You can visit three different dealerships and get a price based on the same make and model of car.

With a home improvement project, you're purchasing a “design concept” that you can't see or “drive” until the project is complete long after the contract is signed. With your building project the products, quality of craftsmanship, timeliness and warranty can all differ widely.

The Key to Making the Right Choice

…three words – research, research, research! While it may seem like a headache, you need to understand that your home improvement project will cost you more than almost anything you will ever purchase, short of your home itself! You need to make sure that the end result is of the quality and craftsmanship that you expect from your builder.

The process begins online. Search for and research local design-build-remodeling firms. Visit websites, view online portfolios and compare their design style. Read their blogs and gather as much information as you possibly can. Narrow you choices down to three or four firms whose work you admire and then contact them to set up a meeting.

Interviewing Design-Build-Remodeling Firms

A job interview never starts with the salary negotiation and hiring a design-build remodeling firm shouldn't be any different. Before you discuss scope of work and budget you need to make sure that they are qualified to handle the project, and you should make sure that they're a good “fit” with you personally. A home improvement project is often a long process and you will be working with your firm closely for many days, weeks, or even months depending on the scope of work. Any firm that you choose to work with should be able to understand and cater to your needs, schedule, and lifestyle as much as possible.

If a design-build-remodeling firm passes this initial interview ask them to see examples of their work, (in person whenever possible) review their portfolio and ask for a list of references that you can contact. Then keep the following criteria in mind as you ask their past clients a lot of questions.

Questions To Ask A Design-Build-Remodeling Firm's References

• How was your rapport with the company?

• Did they communicate effectively?

• Did they bring creative ideas to the table to enhance your creative vision?

• Were they up-to-date with the latest technologies, products and design trends?

• Did they show up on time, every day?

• Was the job site kept clean?

• Did you feel you were charged fairly?

• Was your project's scope of work outlined, discussed and provided in writing?

• How did you feel about the overall quality and experience?

And most importantly...

• Would you happily hire this design-build-remodeling firm again in the future?

The Final Decision

If you get positive feeling during your initial meeting and enthusiastic answers from past clients then you're ready to make your final decision. Add up all you've learned and you can be sure that you're choosing an excellent company who will work with you to create a quality product. 

If You're Interested in More

Are you curious about how our company stands up to these very questions? We have several resources for you.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 7/27/2018.


About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.