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Build & Remodel

Recommended Cost Effecive Workflows for Remodeling?

We have had both contractors who are design\build and contractors that typically base bids on plans.  He have ideas\concepts for remodeling the kitchen, two bathrooms, and basement.  The proposals are not very detailed.  There is a cost for each main area, with a small list of assumptions and allowances.  The cost vary considerably.   We struggle with the cost for a designer, Home Depot, Lowes, offer the design service as free wear as others have fee structures that vary considerably, on top of the designer fees,. we will need an architect for the permits, because non load bearing walls are being removed.  The architect services over lap with with bathroom and kitchen designer, but is less visual.  There are so many companies, most of which boast good ratings\reviews.   Do you recommend design then build with an architect or design build everything with one contractor?  Any recommendations for Northbrook Area (near Chicago)?

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Posted 2017-09-24T04:32:14+0000  by cubicalrat cubicalrat
 
It will come down to the scope of the project, budget, and your comfort level.  As you've discovered there are typical contractors who build from plans and it's up to you to get those plans.  There are also design/build firms who have design professionals in house or work with local firms on a contract basis.  Is one "better" than another, it depends on the firms involved and the scope of the work.  For example, you really like the designs of Joe Architect, then it might be better to go with him but I might suggest that the remodeling needs a fairly typical upper middle to upper class home would probably be met by a design/build firm.

It's helpful if you have a fairly clear idea of how you envision these spaces to look.  The simple truth is that everyone involved in the process is essentially selling their time.  So an architect will redesign your home 50 times if that's what you want but expect a hefty bill at the end of the process.  There's no such thing as "free" and wages that Home Depot or Lowe's pays their folks and overhead is just built into the cost.  I don't want to sound disparaging but the design folks at the big box stores are probably not the best either.

On the flip side without an unlimited budget there are, say, only so many ways to layout a kitchen.  Everyone need a refrigerator, stove, and a sink plus workflow needs to be considered.  So it doesn't make much sense to put the stove 20 feet away from the sink.  The same thing applies to bathrooms.  So you may not need so much of an architect as you do a interior designer for finishes.

So we're kind of back to where we started - scope, budget, and what you want.
Posted 2017-09-24T10:19:14+0000  by Adam444
Hi cubicalrat.

Adam 444 has made some good points, Home Depot kitchen and bath designers will work with you to determine the scope and budget of the project. Based on those decisions they can show you the options are available based on your budget.

All of Home Depots kitchen and bath designers work with licensed and bonded contractors who are knowledgeable and experienced. Building permits and inspections are part of the process. We do not work on projects where structural changes such as removing walls are involved. In those cases we can supply the kitchen or bath plan and a contractor of your choice can complete the work.

In major projects such as yours, using one general contractor is the best choice, as they will select subcontractors who they know and trust, you have the advantage of going to one and only one source if there are any issues with the schedule or the quality of the work.

Mike
Posted 2017-09-25T20:24:31+0000  by Mike_HD_OC
 
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