An Interview with CQC Home’s CEO Kenneth Combs
What is the biggest benefit of using a design-build company vs. finding your own architects and contractors?
The design-build process saves time, money, and reduces much of the stress associated with residential remodeling. When you work with a design-build company, you’re able to design your project to fit a specific budget. Our team thinks creatively — we collaborate with you to choose materials that exceed expectations and meet costs.
The alternative? You pay for a design from an architect without knowing what the actual cost will be to build it. Then you have to bid the design out to multiple contractors, with the possibility of finding out that what you’ve designed is too expensive. This process is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. It’s devastating to discover a design you love far exceeds your budget.
One of our clients had worked with an architect for almost a year to create a beautiful home remodel design, and her family absolutely fell in love with it. Their budget was $275,000. Her architect designed what she asked for, but he wasn’t a builder, and didn’t have experience pricing construction projects. 11 months later, as the customer was bidding this project to contractors, she learned the cost was over $600,000.
They were back at square one, heartbroken, and feeling like they had wasted so much time and energy. Had they worked with a design-build company like CQC from the outset, they would have collaborated on a project they loved that was also within their budget.
Is CQC the only company that offers design-build with the majority of the staff being full-time employees?
I wouldn’t say we’re the only company, but we are the only company in Durham and the greater Triangle area. It’s very expensive to have employees instead of subcontractors, but we see the value of having everything in-house: from the design, to the project management, to the construction. By doing this, we offer the same level of care and commitment to our clients as we do to our employees.
In our model, there’s more collaboration between the designer and the person who’s actually assembling what is designed. One of the biggest benefits to design-build is how much time you save, and time equals money. When you hire a company who relies on a tightly knit team of full-time employees for the majority of the work, you save a lot of time. You don’t have to coordinate or wait for various subcontractors to show up on their own schedule.
By choosing CQC, you’re also getting a higher quality customer experience. Our in-house staff is directly involved with your project from the start. We communicate a clear understanding of the expectations, the process, and what the final product will look and feel like. The alternative (and more common) model relies on subcontractors who come in as needed, so they may not be very familiar with your family or the project. Are they motivated to do excellent work for you? Or are they motivated to do the work as fast as possible in order to get paid? If they’re not responsible for the final product, they may not feel the responsibility to do excellent work.
We offer a warranty for our work and teach our entire staff to treat clients and their homes with respect. This respect matches our commitment to deliver renovations of the highest quality in the least amount of time.