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Design and Build Team Planning

Bald Head Island Remodel

Building a new home or remodeling an existing one is a time-consuming process. There isn’t a one size fits all floor plan or one architectural style or interior design aesthetic that works for everyone. You will have many decisions to make when building or remodeling to ensure your home fits your lifestyle, meets your everyday needs and reflects your personal tastes and design style.

More and more Design-Build firms are being established to provide a comprehensive process, from planning and designing through the execution of the build process. Hiring a single entity Design-Build firm has the advantage for an owner to contract with one firm for design and construction services, with the roles of the designer and constructor being fully integrated. This eliminates the owner having to mitigate conflicts, disputes and claims between the design team and build firm. That does not mean Design-Build contracts are full proof. Challenges can arise; particularly, if the Design-Build team does not have a great deal of experience or is new to building in your area.

One of Brunswick Design Interiors’ founding principals is “collaboration is the key to success”. We believe an owner can benefit from many of the principals employed by the Design - Build concept, by selecting a team where the builder, architect, home designer, and/or interior designer are able to work together effectively and respect each other’s expertise. Brunswick Design Interiors is NOT able to offer a singular contract for the Design - Build; however, we are uniquely qualified to assist home owners in establishing a team that works together from the beginning and employs the same concepts as a Design-Build firms to ensure you build a home that is in line with your budget, is safe, sound, functional and aesthetically pleasing.

The Team

The build process requires the use of many different design and construction professionals. Depending on whether you are building new or renovating an existing home your team will include your custom builder, an architect or home designer, engineer, interior designer or decorator, landscape designer & other key professionals.

Typically, the architect or home designer usually sets the budget; however, if they are not involved in the day to day business of building, they may not be fully aware of the costs of building in your area. So, it is important to have the builder be a part of this process to ensure the budgets account for the unique issues that might impact your build. Also, when a builder is provided a set of plans and construction documents to provide a price without knowing the specific materials and finish requirements, their price will be based on the materials they normally use and may result in additional charges for things like cabinets, tile and millwork. When using an Interior Designer, it is important for them to be aware of budgets to ensure they recommend cost appropriate materials.

When the design team does not consult with the builder; particularly in renovation projects, construction documents can be incomplete and result in cost overruns and project delays. Brunswick Design Interiors works with your team to define your goals and requirements and develop scope documents, drawings and diagrams to outline your needs and requirements. By getting your team together early to formulate space plans, two- and three-dimensional design concepts and sketches allows for creative and innovative solutions; which often lead to faster project delivery and best cost value.

When your team collaborates together to establish reasonable budgets, a realistic schedule and clearly defined expectations at the start, surprises are avoided.

Team Responsibilities

Home builders are responsible for the physical labor aspect of construction. They price and select building materials, determine staffing needs; obtain permits, estimate costs and timelines. They also work with architects and designers to lay out structural details, survey land, review blueprints and modify layouts based on client needs.

Architects and interior designers both develop design plans; however, they are quite different from each other and their responsibilities often overlap:

Image source: Architecture vs Interior Design – Board & Vellum

Architects are responsible for the big picture pieces like safety, engineering, structure and the façade of a building. They determine how it will look, where it will be situated on the land and where the vital building systems are located.

Interior designers are primarily focused on the aesthetics of the home; finishes (flooring, tile, millwork cabinetry, paint and paper) and furnishings (furniture, lighting and accessories). They are also responsible for making the space, functional and consistent with the client’s design vision. Ideally the interior designer works with the architect on the layout and spatial planning of the spaces with an emphasis on cabinets, furniture and other things that impact the layout.

An Interior designer has to be keenly aware of space planning with respect to how their clients will live or work in a space. They ensure windows are sized appropriately and properly placed with respect to the usage of the room. They are also involved in ensuring plumbing fixtures, lighting and electrical outlets are placed with the client’s individual needs. For example, an Architect will design a lighting plan for an entire home without having furniture in place; which often doesn’t work. If you will be using a bedroom as a home office with a desk in the middle of the room a floor outlet will eliminate the need to run an extension cord across the room.

Typically, the builder provides the leadership and direction during the build. However, in some cases, interior designers are engaged to provide Project Management oversight for clients; particularly when the client is not able to be involved in all of the day to day details.


No matter who is steering the ship, it is important to have clear and open communications. Everyone on your team is working towards the same end goal. There can be so many things going on and it can be a bit overwhelming. In order for the process to work well, it is important for you to understand the roles and responsibilities of everyone.

Someone on the build team might have a great idea about a making a simple change. If they are not fully aware of the overall design and status of procured materials, the simple change could be costly. Unilateral decisions should be avoided if possible. When unavoidable, all decisions should be communicated to the person leading your build. Remember, to rely on your team lead for a successful build and your peace of mind!

Brunswick Design Interiors welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about how we can assist you on your upcoming project!

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