Working with a design build company for your next remodel project can save you a lot of time and a lot of resources. Their business model alone guarantees cost-effectiveness and efficiency—two things that most well-meaning homeowners undoubtedly want.

And since most design build companies are, by nature, tailored for minimizing waste and saving resources, it comes as no surprise that many of them now market themselves as “eco-friendly.” With terms like “sustainable” and “environmentally aware” popping up in their company information, it’s easy to be swayed.

But how do you sort fact from fiction? Which design build companies are reputable, and which ones should you steer clear of?

Here are five characteristics to help guide your decision:


1. Strong Leadership

When choosing a design build company to work with, look at the people in charge. Do they seem capable? Competent? Do they inspire confidence in you—an unspoken reassurance that they know what they’re doing?

If so, congratulations. You’ve found a solid, reputable business to partner with.

If not, then a word of advice: you might be better off with a different company.

Strong companies need strong leaders. The people in charge need to know how to handle a team, build strong relationships (internal and external), and keep group morale high when the demands of a business get to be too much. They need to ensure that everyone is performing according to company standard and they need to be able to keep people fully accountable for their work.

2. Passion Over Paycheck

You know a company will be great to work with if they are passionate about what they do.

Yes; every business owner wants to make a sale. That’s a fact. The lifeblood of every company—and every person who works in it—is dependent on the income it generates. And a company’s income can only be generated through sales.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a business should be motivated by financial success.

A stable, reputable business needs to be able to operate through rough times. Even if projects are few and far between or no new prospects have popped up, the members of the business should want to continue what they’re doing regardless. A business that’s driven purely by financial goals won’t last long through the tumultuous waters of entrepreneurship.

On the other hand, a design build business that’s driven by passion, perseverance, and self-improvement? That has a better chance of survival.

3. Source Local

Top 5 Characteristics of a Reputable Eco-friendly Design Build Company1It’s a well-known fact that shipping and distribution can have a huge negative impact on the environment. Design build companies that aim to be eco-friendly are aware of this.

As such, they should also be aware of the best way to reduce the use of such resources:

Source locally.

When construction materials and supplies are sourced locally, far less resources—like fuel—are used up during transport and shipment. What’s more, the design build company has more control over the product’s quality since they’re able to see and inspect them in person. And through sourcing locally, they can support local businesses, consequently improving the health of the local economy.

4. Constant Communication & Assessment

If you’ve worked with third-party agencies or outsourcing companies in the past, then you know how frustrating it is when people simply don’t prioritize communication as much as you do. Meeting times are changed, messages are misunderstood, and scheduling is always a problem.

Any reputable eco-friendly company should be against wasting resources, and time is a valuable resource. You should partner with a business that values consistent communication and loves initiating assessment and feedback.

This simply means that they care about your goals so much, they want to uncover weak areas, potential problems, and possible opportunities.

5. Sustainable Packaging

This is one of the best ways to separate the eco-friendly from the unconcerned.

If a design build company uses mostly non-biodegradable materials in their packaging, it might mean that they simply can’t be bothered to find environmentally safer supplies.

If this is the case, you don’t want to work with them.

Organic and biodegradable commerce materials are not as uncommon as they were decades ago, which also means they’re not as expensive as they once were. So, businesses really don’t have much of an excuse to not opt for sustainable packaging. There are certainly enough options and variations out there to cater to businesses of all kinds.

With enough experience, differentiating a reputable company from an unsavory one may become second nature. In fact, most business owners develop a sort of “gut instinct” for these situations. However, a little research can go a long way. Before you sign on to a design build company, take a step back and view it as a whole through these five simple metrics, and you should have no cause for concern in the projects that follow.