When embarking on a home remodeling or construction journey in Dallas, homeowners are often faced with a crucial decision: should they hire a residential architect or opt for a design-build team? This choice can significantly impact the project's outcome, cost, and overall experience. Explore the pros and cons of each option with us, focusing on the unique aspects of residential construction in the bustling and diverse Dallas market.

Open-concept first-floor of Dallas, TX home interior with vaulted ceilings and modern light pendants

Understanding the Role of a Residential Architect in Dallas

The role of a residential architect professional involves creating custom designs that reflect a homeowner's vision and lifestyle. Their services often include comprehensive planning, overseeing project design, and ensuring compliance with local building codes and regulations. In Dallas, residential architects can provide valuable insights into maximizing a property's potential while navigating the intricacies of local zoning laws. 

However, it's essential to consider the nature of your project. For comprehensive projects like whole home renovations or significant additions, where multiple trades are involved, the coordination and integration of various elements become crucial. In these cases, a design-build team, which offers a cohesive approach from design to execution, might be more advantageous.

Three pendant lights above kitchen island with seating hanging from coffered ceiling with wood beams

The Cost Factor of Hiring an Architect for a Home Remodel

One of the most significant considerations for homeowners is the cost. Hiring a residential architect in Dallas can be a substantial investment. Architect fees for residential design can vary widely based on the project's complexity and the architect's experience. Typically, the cost of an architect for a remodel ranges from a percentage of the overall project cost to a fixed fee based on the scope of work.

While architects bring a wealth of creativity and expertise, it's essential to consider how these costs fit into your overall budget. Homeowners should know that architectural fees are just one part of the total expense – construction costs, materials, and any unforeseen changes can add to the financial outlay. Has your architect designed a realistic plan that can be built within your budget? You may not know until you’ve already paid your architect fees and engaged your contractor.

Open-concept living room and kitchen design in Dallas home remodel by Sardone | McLain

The Design-Build Approach in Dallas Residential Construction

The design-build approach, increasingly popular in Dallas, offers a cohesive solution to home remodeling and construction. This method consolidates the design and construction phases under a single team, streamlining the entire process. At Sardone | McLain, our design-build model has proven particularly effective in managing projects within the typical Dallas home value range and client income bracket.

One of the primary advantages of a design-build team is the integration of design and construction expertise from the outset. This ensures that each aspect of your project, from initial concept to final construction, is aligned with your vision and budget. It also simplifies communication, as you have a single point of contact throughout the project lifecycle.

Interior of front entryway of Dallas, TX home remodel by Sardone | McLain

Cost-Saving Strategies and Efficiency

Cost is a pivotal factor in any home remodeling or construction project. In the design-build model, cost efficiency is enhanced through comprehensive planning and coordination. This approach often leads to more accurate initial cost estimates and helps in avoiding budget overruns.

Moreover, the design-build team’s ability to leverage their extensive knowledge of local market conditions, including material costs and availability, labor rates, and regulatory requirements, can result in significant savings.

The design-build approach allows for more flexibility in adjusting project scope and materials to fit within a specific budget without sacrificing the overall aesthetic and functional goals. This adaptability is a key strength, especially in the diverse and economically varied Dallas market.

L-shaped modern green kitchen remodel with vertical subway tiling by Sardone | McLain

Pros and Cons Comparison

When deciding between hiring an architect and opting for a design-build team for your home remodel in Dallas, it's important to weigh the advantages and drawbacks of each approach. Here’s a detailed comparison.

Working with an Architect


  • Design Expertise: Architects bring specialized design knowledge, ensuring your remodel is aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • Creative Solutions: Ideal for unique or complex designs that require an inventive approach.
  • Compliance and Permits: Experienced in navigating local building codes and obtaining necessary permits.
  • Detailed Plans: Provides comprehensive architectural plans that can be used for future renovations or for selling the home.


  • Higher Costs: Architect fees can add significantly to the overall project budget.
  • Separation of Design and Construction: Often leads to communication gaps between the architect's plans and the construction team’s execution.
  • Time-Consuming: The process from design to completion can be lengthy due to the back-and-forth between different parties.
  • Potential for Budget Overruns: Without a construction team involved early, designs may not fully account for practical construction costs or constraints.

Double vanity in front of walk-in shower with glass door in Dallas, Texas home remodel by Sardone | McLain

Working with a Design-Build Team


  • Streamlined Communication: One team handles design and construction, ensuring seamless communication and understanding of the project.
  • Cost Efficiency: Early involvement of the construction team often leads to more accurate budgeting and fewer unexpected costs.
  • Time-Saving: Reduced project duration as the design and construction phases overlap.
  • Adaptability: Ability to make adjustments during the project with less bureaucracy or delays.
  • Integrated Approach: Ensures the design is always in sync with practical construction considerations, a key factor in older Dallas homes.
  • High Success Rate: Projects are more likely to be completed on time and within budget.


  • Perceived Lack of Design Specialization: Some may feel that a design-build team may not offer the same level of bespoke design as a specialized architect.
  • Limited Options for Bidding: Unlike separate architect and contractor models, you commit to one team for the entire project.

Living room remodel with French doors to patio in Dallas, TX by Sardone | McLain

In choosing between an architect and a design-build team for your home remodel in Dallas, it's crucial to consider your specific needs, timeline, and budget. While architects offer specialized design expertise, a design-build team like Sardone | McLain provides this wealth of knowledge and a seamless, efficient, cost-effective path to realizing your dream home. 

Ready to transform your home with a tailored, stress-free approach? Contact Sardone | McLain today. Let's discuss how our design-build expertise can align with your vision and bring it to life.