Bringing services in house can often help a builder improve customer satisfaction. In slower times, builders and remodelers that bring processes like design in house have an opportunity to increase efficiency and better manage one of those important first steps with the client.

While it is not necessarily considered a wide-sweeping trend, the fact is more homebuilders and remodeling companies are taking design in house in order to help clients through the concept stages. This can help them to better envision the end product right from the onset of the project, which can be the most critical step in the entire home-remodeling process.

Paragon Design and Remodel, www.paragonkc.com, Kansas City, Mo., is one example. The remodeling contractor recently announced it would begin conducting all design work in-house going forward. This strays from the previous strategy of outsourcing design work to local firms.

Part of the transition involves bringing in some new architectural design and drafting software, which Paragon has done with the selection of software from Chief Architect, www.chiefarchitect.com, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The technology chosen by Paragon contains a full set of features focused around architectural design and drafting, with the inclusion of an automatic creation of a 3D model as the design is drafted. Such a feature allows Paragon to produce the plans for construction, as well as put together detailed renderings of what the finished results will look like.

Steven Glaze, head, Paragon, says by bringing the design in house the company will be able to demonstrate to clients what the remodeled project will look like once it has been completed. He says having detailed construction plans and a 3D rendering of the finished project will help to eliminate problems, conflicts, and miscommunication on a project at the early outset.

One of the primary intents is that by producing full mock ups of the planned remodeling designs, Paragon will be able to eliminate any confusion the client might have during the process.

As the residential market continues to shift, what other changes might we see from builders and remodelers? The intent is clearly on solidifying the client relationship right from the get-go, and technology can be a great enabler throughout the entire process.