Design And Build Process

Discover how implementing the design build process can save you time.

Design And Build ProcessThe design and building process can often seem overwhelming to homeowners who have never gone through the process of new construction before. If you have decided you want to build your custom dream home, but are still in the beginning phases of planning, you may be struggling to identify the best plan of attack. Hiring a solid design and building team will get you started on the path to creating the luxury home you’ve always dreamed about.

Understanding the differences between the traditional building process and the more efficient design build process is essential knowledge to have before hiring a designer, architect and builder to complete your project.

Traditional Building Process

Also referred to in the construction industry as the Design-Bid-Build process, the traditional building process is the one you are probably most familiar with. In this approach, homeowners choose a designer/architect that works with them to plan out the layout of the home and drafts the blueprints for construction of the design based on the homeowner’s preferences and design aesthetic.

The design is then put out for a bid to various construction companies, and the homeowner selects a general contractor to hire to complete the building phase of the project. In this approach, the homeowner can select both a superb designer/architect and a reliable general contractor whose work is highly respected in the industry.

Design Build Process

Construction in the design build process starts when one entity – the design build team – is contracted by the homeowner to complete both the design and construction phases of the custom build project. A more unified and consistent flow of work generally shortens the time of the construction phase of both the design and the building processes due to increased efficiency.

In both approaches, the homeowner has ultimate control of the project. In the design build approach, however, managing communication between the designer and the general contractor is not necessary for the homeowner like it would be in the traditional building process, and this is a plus for many homeowners. This collaborative approach between the homeowner and the design and construction team from the outset of the project results in a more successful and productive project, with a more enjoyable experience for the homeowner.

If the design build process seems like it would be a good fit for you, there are building companies such as How Building Services that value the collaborative approach between the designer/architect and homeowner from the very beginning of the project. The value of this approach should not be underestimated, as you’ll see the same results in effectiveness and productivity, and be living in your dream home before you know it.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us today by calling us at 484-483-1690. We look forward to working with you!


Related Tags: Design And Build Process | Design Build Process


Dream Home Designs: It’s All In The Plan

So many of the homes being built in 21st century America are completely devoid of personality. An increasing number of homebuilders are sacrificing quality, craftsmanship, and style for a cookie-cutter model that can be cranked out effortlessly. It’s the easy way out–and it sells. But this model of home construction is utterly lacking in integrity.

You can’t crank out integrity.



You also can’t crank out dream home designs. Quality and craftsmanship distinguish the specialty home building offered by How Building Services from the cookie-cutter assembly line home builders, but it’s the flexible and customizable floor plans that make How homes personalized dream homes.

Planning The Plan For Dream Home Designs

The first stage of creating dream home designs is, naturally, the planning stage. Since the most important custom feature of your home is the floor plan, you might call this the plan planning stage.

The first question to ask during the planning stage is what type of construction will actually make your dream home a reality. The answer to this question will largely be dependent on the following factors: Number of potential residents (and type; i.e. adults, children, disabled residents, etc.), desired room types and layouts, desired special features, furnishings, windows, and satisfaction with your current home and location.

If you’re unsatisfied with your location or the overall effect of your current home, the best option is most likely going to be a new construction project, which allows you to start from scratch and form dream home designs that truly reflect the vision you want to create.

If the number of potential residents is a central issue–namely, if the number or type of residents is changing–then planning an addition will likely be the best option for you. How Building Services specializes in custom additions, including family room additions, sunrooms, master suites, conservatories, guest suites, and kitchens. In other circumstances–such as an elderly parent moving in, or the start of a new home business–planning a new detached building may be desirable. Whichever route you choose–addition or new detached building–this construction will not only expand your square footage, but also significantly raise your property value.

If, when pouring over plans, the most important changes you want to see concern special features, furnishings, windows, or desired room types and layouts, your dream home designs just might be compatible with your present home. Working with How Building Services to plan a remodeling of your current home means that you will finally get to enjoy the custom features or specialized plan you’ve been wanting without any of the stress or anxiety of moving.

Whether you’re looking for new construction, a custom addition, or remodeling of your present home, How Building Services can work with you to make your dream home designs a reality. Afterall, it’s all in the plan!

How Building Services can work with you to implement energy efficient home design for your current home or your new property.

Energy Efficient Home Design: Great for Homeowners, Great for the Planet

Earth Day is on the horizon. On April 22nd, people all over the country will take a little extra time to pick up litter, plant a tree, or cut back on their energy usage. It’s a great way for us as a nation to remember the importance of caring for the Earth and reflect on ways we can reduce our impact on the environment.

But, of course, it’s only one day.

If we want to truly make a sustainable difference, it’s important to look for ways in which we can reduce our environmental impact each and every day, all year long. And one of the best ways we can do that is by investing in energy efficient home design. While it might not occur to us as readily as recycling or planting trees, building a home with an energy efficient design or updating and remodeling your current home to improve energy efficiency is one of the most effective, long-lasting actions you can personally take for the planet’s future.

And the best part? Energy efficient home plans don’t just help conserve the environment – it’s also a financially beneficial investment for homeowners.

Advances and Innovations in Energy Efficient Home Design

Did you know that per-household energy consumption has been on a steady decline over the course of the past three decades? Average household consumption has decreased from 114 million Btu to 89.6 million Btu per household unit.

Does this mean that consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact? Hopefully! But, even more so, it demonstrates how successful the recent advances and innovations in energy efficient home design have been in reducing home energy usage.

Some of the most important improvements aren’t just better architecture, but the efficiency of home fixtures. Outdated appliances and home electronics can guzzle energy–and, consequently, money. New fixtures can go a long way in reducing home energy usage.

If you’re planning a new home, consider investing in the numerous innovative energy-reducing designs that architects are implementing. Installing high-efficiency HVAC (heat, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems can greatly decrease energy consumption and save on long-term expenses.

Consider the many options for improved insulation and air sealing, energy-efficient fenestration (ultra-sealed windows, doors, and skylights), daylighting (the use of skylights and windows to take maximum advantage of natural light), water heating systems with improved efficiency, and an overall design that consciously minimizes the energy usage need for effective space heating and cooling.

If you already are a homeowner and are considering updating or remodeling your house to a more energy efficient home design, your first step should be having a home energy assessment conducted; this will allow your home’s current energy usage to be assessed and analyzed. From there, the best means of reducing usage and the types of remodeled design and fixtures that would best improve efficiency can be determined.

Designing Energy Efficient Homes with How Building Services

If the financial and environmental benefits of energy-efficient home design plans are a priority for you, then you’ll want to look into the innovative energy-efficient home design features offered by How Building Services. This company is renowned for its exceptional design offerings in new construction, custom home additions, and remodeling. Whether you’re starting from scratch, or looking for a new energy efficient interior design for your current home, How Building Services will work carefully with you to create a green home design that takes advantage of the best innovations in the industry.


TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More

If you’ve experienced trouble in the past with a Development company or heard horror stories about separate builders and architects butting heads, you might be interested in hearing more about the design build construction process. Here, we answer some FAQs about the Design-build approach.

4 Questions to Ask About the Design-Build Construction Process

Design-Build-Construction-ProcessWhat is the definition of design-build construction?

Design-build construction, or the design/build delivery method is a construction delivery method where both design and construction services are contracted by a single entity.

How is a design-build contract different than a normal one?

The Design Build Institute of America has a great graphic that breaks down the flow of work. In a traditional design-bid-build project, each phase of the project is separated from the others. That means separately hiring an architect to draw up the designs, and a builder to construct them, and then mediating between the two entities. In a design-build contract, you’re contracting a single firm that works internally to resolve any issues and meet specifications.

Could my project classify as a design-build project?

If you don’t already have plans drawn up, the answer is yes! However, be aware that you should vet design-build firms more closely than their individual counterparts. You might find a builder you like, but still lack the necessary chemistry when it comes to the architect. Vice versa.

Are some design-build approaches better than others?

The answer to that question is, it depends. The quality and reputation of any company should be your number one priority. Not all design-build firms are created equal.

The advantage of doing the entire construction process with a design-build firm is the builder and the architect communicate directly. So many times the homeowner gets caught in the crossfire if there’s a disagreement between them, and it’s your project that suffers.

The disadvantage of that arrangement is that you have less freedom when it comes to architects. And in the luxury custom home business, your vision is king. If you have a hard time being heard by an architect, it’s harder to move on, since the whole process is tied up in that one contract.

However, there are contractors like How Building Services; companies that recognize the benefits for the homeowner of not having to mediate between an architect and a construction company, and so have close working relationships with several architects.

While this exonerates you from the responsibility of mediating between two parties, it also leaves you with the freedom to choose your own architect. In either case, the builder works directly with the architect throughout the entire project, effectively creating a design-build construction process.

For any further questions on the subject, don’t hesitate to give How Building Services a call @ (484) 483-1690.

Design Build Construction Process | Construction Process with Design Build


Tips for ensuring a positive experience in your dream home construction project.

Perhaps you’ve been looking for a custom home builder in Pennsylvania to construct the home of your dreams for a long time, or perhaps your search has just begun. You may feel conflicted over which builder to choose for one of the biggest investments you’ve ever made. Or maybe you are just unsure of what you should be looking for in a builder.

5 Tips for Selecting A Custom Home Builder in PA

custom-home-builders-in-paChanging your perspective when searching for a custom home builder in PA includes a thorough investigation into the builder you’ll be teaming up with to create the home of your dreams. These five tips will help you ensure that you are selecting the right custom home builder for your needs.

Tip #1: Make sure that your builder’s style meshes with your style.

You might be going for the look and layout of a traditional home design, and the builder you are interviewing for the project might only have experience with more contemporary, modern style homes. Or maybe your decision-making and communication styles are more reserved and thought-out, but the builder you’ve been communicating with about your custom home plans has been pushy and you feel like you’re being forced into rushing your decision.

Whether design style or project management style, these are two very important areas in which you’ll want to ensure that you’re on the same page with your builder.

Tip #2: Look for a builder who can give you an overall experience that will mean more than the bottom line cost.

As a buyer, you can take a builder’s price at face value, or you can look at the builder’s business and approach to the project, knowing that a trusting relationship makes for an unforgettable experience. This type of experience is not just about the end result – a home that you love – but also about the process and the journey of creating the home of your dreams, step by step, together with your builder.

Rick Davis, teacher and mentor to leaders in the construction industry, puts it this way:

“Don’t judge business practices based upon your feelings as a consumer. Case Study: Many business professionals shun Starbucks because they perceive it as overpriced yuppie coffee… Enjoy your Dunkin’ Donut coffee, but recognize the power of an experience created by the higher priced provider… You might not like Starbucks, but must appreciate they have created an experience and profit model that is one of the great American success stories of the last half century.”

Tip #3: Tour homes completed by the builder.

When you have a short list of luxury home builders in Pennsylvania, and you’ve narrowed down your search, you’ll want to be sure to tour a home or two completed by each of those builders. There’s no substitute for seeing with your own eyes the quality of work completed by your builder.

Tip #4: Look into the resale values of homes that have been constructed by your builder.

While this is certainly not an exact science, looking into the estimated values of homes constructed by the builders you are considering, and ensuring that they have maintained, if not increased, in value is important. You might also consider calling a few reputable realtors in the area where the builder has completed projects to see what the builder’s reputation is like among realtors and buyers looking for homes. A respected builder will likely also be well known in the network of realtors, and you’re likely to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly from a realtor.

Tip #5: Go with your gut instinct.

Nothing can take the place of your own intuition and personal perspective on how well you and your custom home builder will work together. As long as you’ve done all your homework on the builders you are considering, you’re highly likely to have a sense of which builder will best mesh with you and share the vision you have for your dream home.

How Building Services is a custom home builder serving Pennsylvania, specifically the Main Line and surrounding areas, who has extensive experience exceeding the expectations of our clients in the construction of their luxury dream home. Contact us today to set up a time to meet with you to see if we’re the right fit for your custom home building project needs!

Custom Home Builders In PA | PA Custom Home Builders

Luxury Dream Homes

How can you design your home to best serve you for a lifetime?

At HOW Building Services, we believe that luxury dream homes aren’t just about achieving a look, but also about the memories they will hold.

Imagine for a moment that your home is a scrapbook: someday, when you are reminiscing over the journey that your life has been, you won’t need to pull out volumes of photos; you will only need to look around at the space that you have created. Continue reading “Luxury Dream Homes: Building a Lifetime of Memories” »