Do I choose the Builder or Designer first?



Which comes first, the builder or designer?  Sounds a bit like the chicken before the egg scenario.

However, prior to building your custom home, you have a very important question to ask yourself.  Do I choose the builder or designer first?  Why does this matter, don’t they both have the same goal in the end?  Ultimately the objective is the same yes, however, they each take a different path to get there.

Believe it or not, choosing the designer first is like putting the cart before the horse.

A designer helps you envision what you want for your home, by working off estimates. Meaning the amounts for the items you choose, are for the furnishings themselves. That figure doesn’t take into consideration the base costs for building.  Such as permitting, trades for installation, and building materials, to name a few.

On the other hand, when working with a home builder, they take into account all the pieces of the puzzle.  More technically speaking, home builders work by value engineering your home.  This path uses a multi-step, systematic and organized approach.  They analyze systems and equipment, along with building features and material selections.  This presents you with a project that saves you money, while being consistent with quality, reliability and safety.


Let’s look at an example of value engineering vs. estimation


Jack and Jill started with a set of plans.  Plans to their dream home.  Over the course of several months, they met with their designer.  Revision after revision took place.  They had to get their home just so.  Jack and Jill worked tirelessly to get each room just right.  They added extra room in the kitchen for the six top burner range, because they love to cook.  Made their closet a bit bigger, to accommodate all the built-ins.  The home had all latest technology and energy upgrades too.  The plans were done, and they were ready to build.

They met with the home builder and the moment of truth arrived.  The house they labored over, had dreamed of, ended up costing 40 percent more to build than they expected.

How did this happen?  Because the designer they worked with based his prices off estimates only.  This is where the problem lies.

On the other hand, home builders are trained to value engineer your home.  They start with your budget and goals.  This basic step is an integral part of the design stage.  Ultimately leading to seeing your vision through, while saving you money, but not sacrificing features.



Which comes first, the Builder or Designer?

Which comes first, the Builder or Designer? Do you have it within your budget to afford the six top burner range?

Which comes first, the Builder or Designer?

Which comes first, the Builder or Designer? Energy upgrades are a bonus, but are they affordable?