Melton Construction, Inc.


February 2011

Do You Need an Architect for Home or Commercial Remodeling?

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Do You Need an Architect for Home
or Commercial Remodeling?

Many homeowners and business owners wonder if hiring an architect should be the first step in their home or commercial remodeling project. While there are many excellent architects in the Boulder area – and while we at Melton are delighted to work on commercial and residential remodeling projects with architects – a design-build approach, using our in-house architect, design team and interior designer can often offer an easier and more affordable solution. The key to deciding what’s right for you is to understand the differences between the two approaches.

Architect design build project photo

Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

Working with an independent architect to remodel or renovate your home or business, you’ll use a process that’s known as design-bid-build. The project will begin with the architect providing design concepts, drawing up preliminary plans and then refining those plans to produce the plans that will be used to build the project. Once those plans are final, a remodeling contractor will then break out all the components the architect has specified and develop a bid for how much it will cost to build. Where the architect didn’t specify a component in detail, the contractor will determine the quality of the component and/or use an allowance. Once you approve the estimate and sign the construction contract, the remodeling contractor then starts construction.

With the design-build approach, you'll note that the middle step – the bidding part – is not part of the process. A design-build firm like Melton handles your project from start to finish, so the costs of fixtures, finishes, moving walls and other details of the project are taken into account as the project is designed. This helps eliminates surprises that can occur in the design-bid-build process.

Design build commercial contractor photoFor example, working with an architect, you can get great plans only to discover that those plans are simply too costly for you to build. At that point, you’ll literally have to “go back to the drawing board” and pay for the architect to revise the plans and then you’ll have to repeat the bid phase. Sometimes you will have to compromise on the quality of materials, craftsmanship and/or service by going with a lower quality contractor to get the job done.

Stronger guarantees

By providing both design and construction services, we can almost always reduce the cost and length of a remodeling project, make the project easier for you and provide stronger guarantees. For instance, here at Melton Construction, our control over both design and construction enables us to guarantee the price specified on your construction agreement is the exact price you will end up paying for the project. We can also design the project to fit your budget in the first place. In fact, we can even give you that same guarantee on any changes you decide to make to the project. Plus, we can also guarantee the date on which Melton will finish your remodeling project.

What about the quality of design?

Good architects are certainly up to date on the latest building materials and fresh ideas for design. But so is our in-house architect and our entire design team. So with Melton, you don't have to sacrifice the quality of design with design-build. And, because our company also handles construction, we have more practical insights on how certain materials perform for actual families and businesses and in the specific environmental conditions here in the Boulder area. Our team can also advise you early on how design decisions will affect construction costs as well as maintenance or energy costs down the road with much more accuracy than an independent architect generally can.

Here at Melton, we have the experience to work with your architect or to use our own experienced in-house architect and design team. If you are thinking of working with an architect, let us take a look at your plans early in the design process so we can help you avoid unpleasant surprises when the project goes into the bidding phase. To learn more about the Melton design-build remodeling process, click here.

Ty MeltonSee you next month!

Ty Melton

Ty Melton, President


Construction, Inc.

5075 Chaparral Ct. #3
Boulder, CO 80301


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