Getting Bids From Architectural Design Firms? Here’s How To Make the Most of the Process

If you’re starting the custom home design process, one of the most important steps is choosing the right design/build firm. An architectural design firm will turn your vision into a reality, and they can help you navigate the custom home construction process, making the journey hassle-free — if you choose the right partner.

Selecting the right design/build firm, especially when you’re faced with multiple bids from different custom home builders, can prove to be an easier process than initially believed. If you want to navigate this process with ease, keep in mind these four key tips that will make the bidding process smoother.

1. Make Key Design Selections

Before approaching an architectural design firm for a bid, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your project. This includes making key design selections such as the style, layout, and functionality of the space. Where will it be located? How many square feet will it be? How many bedrooms do you need? What is your budget for landscaping? What is your preferred type of architectural style?

The more selections you make, the more accurate the bids will be. This will help avoid any unpleasant surprises for both you and your design/build firm later down the line. Even if you haven’t nailed down the details, such as paint color or countertops, giving them all the decisions you have made, will go a long way toward ensuring you’re receiving reliable bids.

2. Decide as Many Details as Possible

In addition to general design selections, it’s also helpful to have as many details nailed down as possible. Of course, there will be plenty of small details to decide throughout the process, however deciding on details, like materials, will help ensure the budgets are accurate and be compared meaningfully.

Some details to provide before bidding include:

  • Type of foundation – raised or slab on grade?
  • Type of water heater – tank or tankless?
  • Inclusion or not of a generator 
  • HVAC system preferences
  • Window color preferences
  • Interior and exterior door quality
  • Type of exterior materials
  • Driveway style and materials
  • Landscaping idea

3. Meet In Person to Discuss Budgets

While it may be tempting to request bids solely through email or phone calls to maximize efficiency, it’s always recommended to meet with architectural design firms in person before securing your decision. Meeting in person will not only give you a chance to familiarize yourself with the design/build firm and their team, but it also provides the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and discuss your project details face-to-face.

Many design/build firms make assumptions when submitting bids, as there are some factors that are not known until later in the process. This is another reason why in-person meetings allow you to understand and clarify any assumptions that were made in the budget. You can also discuss other options available to further refine the budget and make it more accurate.

Personal meetings also allow you to get a feel for the company’s communication style and how well they understand your vision. You’ll need to have a strong relationship with your architectural design firm to ensure a low-stress, and successful, project. Given the extent of time you spend together, the overall team dynamic can be just as important as the financial details.

4. Select Your Architectural Design Firm Quickly

Receiving bids from architectural design firms is an involved process, and your candidates should have an intimate knowledge of your project that they can begin to take action on right away. To sustain the momentum generated during the bidding process, it’s best to make a decision about your design/build firm quickly.

Waiting too long to choose a custom home builder can squander the momentum you’ve built up, resulting in you potentially losing out on your top choice, having the project delayed, or even increasing final costs. If you decide quickly, the architectural design firm can get started right away with their pre-construction to-do list, which can require months before breaking ground.

Of course, you don’t want to rush into such a major choice. If you still have questions or hesitations after your budget review meetings, reach out to the companies with any follow-up questions, talk to more of their references, or inquire about visiting one of their job sites. Any reputable design/build firm will be happy to accommodate your questions and requests in any way they can.

If you’re searching for a truly luxury custom home construction experience, C&C Partners is the premier choice. We offer unmatched and unwavering customer service, paired with exceptional craftsmanship that guarantees you’ll love your custom home for decades to come. During every stage of the custom home design process, your vision and budget are kept at the forefront, exemplifying the client-centric approach that has helped us become the premier luxury custom home designer in Southern California. We’ll work with you one-on-one, ensuring that you’re comfortable and confident throughout the design/build process and guaranteeing your dream home comes to life. If you want to experience the C&C Partners difference for yourself, contact us online or give us a call at 310-322-0803 today.