Why You Should Use a Virtual Designer to Create Your Deck

Archatrak Articles

With continuing improvements in technology and this era where pretty much anything can be done on a computer or via an app, it is no wonder that even contractors and construction companies have turned to technology to help streamline the design and building process. The concept of virtual design, however, is not really all that new. In fact, it was almost twenty years ago that the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California was built, all by using instructions created by a visual design program.


But the benefits of virtual design are not limited only to the design and production of a massive structure such as the aforementioned concert hall. Today, many contractors leverage virtual designers to create plans for exterior decks and patios, and even for interior kitchens and bathrooms.


The benefits of using a virtual designer


Virtual design allows builders to construct three-dimensional, visual models of a project that can be reviewed before the actual building process commences. This allows the end user to better work with the contractor or builder to ensure that the final product will match the intended outcomes. Further, constructions crews can better articulate the organizational and collaborative skills that go into the completion of a project. For example, this can include visualization of the processes that will go into the project and critical information about the materials that will be used.


Construction companies that leverage virtual design can save money in the bidding process. Creating an accurate assessment of the project cost and timeline can be the difference between whether or not a bid is won or less, and leveraging this technology improves accuracy, significantly, which means a happier and more informed buyer.


And, not only is money saved in the bidding process, but these savings can be passed on to the consumer, as efficiencies are added to the project through reduced redundancies and earlier detection of potential problems or miscommunications. With virtual design, both homeowner and contractor can see eye to eye on what the project will look like, what it will cost, and how much time it will take.


Why a virtual designer can result in a better deck


Choosing the design, shape, size, and materials for your deck can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming. And, sometimes it is hard to fully articulate what you are looking for, and the picture in your head might be very different than the picture in the head of the person who is responsible from turning your dream into reality. This can lead to extreme disappointment, and overrun of budget, and an extension of a timeline. Project scope creep in the deck-building process might even mean the inability to finish a project, or missing the ability to use the finished deck for an important home event.


When a virtual designer is used, the homeowner and the builder can ensure 100% alignment on the desired outcomes, both in how much the project will cost and the time it will take to complete, as well as how the finished deck will look. Three-dimensional (3-D) design capabilities will even show you what the deck will look like attached to the back of your home, so you can make sure the design and look you are going for aligns with the look and style of your home.


Let’s use this example to truly understand the benefits. Imagine a homeowner wants to build a deck on the back of their home, and has a very specific budget, and only wants to use cedar decking (more expensive than a treated option, but less expensive than a composite). Further, they want the deck to be flush against the home and then angled in each outside corner, with steps on both sides. If you’re reading this, you might have a pretty good idea of what we’re trying to illustrate, but how you picture those angles, and how we intended those angles, might not be one and the same. When a virtual designer is used, those inputs are entered into the program, with the total budget kept in mind. While the contractor will ask many questions to ensure alignment with the customer, it is still very possible that when the initial design is shown to the customer, that the end product pictured, was not what was desired. So, now, contractor and homeowner can work together to make adjustments to the project to get to exactly what the customer wants. And in some cases, will discover a better option that the customer might not have ever considered. Correcting these issues up front will mean less expense, less time wasted, and less disappointment in the long run.


Virtual designers can also help in kitchen and bathroom remodels


The most expensive home renovations that homeowners undertake are usually related to the kitchen, bathroom, deck, or roof. Because of this, virtual design also brings substantial benefit to those who wish to make improvements to their kitchen or bathroom.


As construction materials and fixtures can be very expensive, and sometimes need to be special ordered meaning a longer lead-time is necessary for the project, ensuring all parties are fully aligned with what the finished project outcome will be can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long-run. With the average cost of a deck running between $2,000 to $7,000, the average cost of bathroom remodel averaging over $9,000, and the average cost of a kitchen remodel averaging over $21,000, the time and cost-savings to virtually design the project up front will pay for itself in the long run.