Gone are the days when the majority of homeowners went with the classic design-bid-build construction process, which left plenty of room for mistakes or miscommunication. Now, the design build method has taken the main stage, and for many great reasons.
In this guide for future homeowners, we’ll dive deeper into the different advantages of design build delivery methods, such as:
- Simpler contracts
- Greater cost savings
- Streamlined construction
- Collaborative designs
- Transparent communication
- Design customization
This way, you can determine if the design build method makes the most sense when constructing your future home. (And we have a good feeling that it will.)
What Are Design-Build Projects?
Before you can begin to understand the benefits of the design-build project delivery method, you need to know what a design-build project actually is; let us explain.
In essence, design-build projects let project owners work closely with one singular company for both the design and construction phases, as opposed to accepting bids from multiple contractors or separate design and construction teams to tackle different aspects of the job. The latter is how traditional delivery methods like the “design-bid-build” method work, which can have several drawbacks.
Traditional Project Delivery Methods vs. Design-Build Delivery
Four main types of project delivery methods are used in the construction industry. Here’s a quick overview of each:
- Design-Bid-Build (Traditional): The owner contracts separately with an architect or designer to develop the design plans and with a builder to construct the project. Once the design is complete, the builder solicits bids from subcontractors to price out and build the project. This delivery method is often more expensive and time-consuming than others because it involves coordinating between two different parties who may not always be on the same page.
- Design-Build: The owner contracts with a single entity that handles both the design and construction phases. This allows for better communication and coordination between designers and builders, which can lead to cost and time savings.
- Construction Management-At-Risk: The owner contracts with a construction manager who then hires subcontractors to complete the project. The construction manager is typically paid a fee that includes a profit margin, so their incentive is to finish the project under budget and on time. This delivery method can be beneficial because the construction manager has more control over the project since they’re responsible for hiring all of the contractors.
- Integrated Project Delivery: This is a relatively new delivery method in which the owner, designer, builder, and other key players work together from start to finish to collaboratively plan, design, and construct the project. This delivery method requires a high degree of trust and communication between all parties involved.
8 Advantages of the Design-Build Delivery Method
The design build method has many advantages over traditional building systems such as design-bid-build, so it’s not a big surprise that over half of all new construction projects in the US utilize this project delivery system. From simplified contracts and cost savings to streamlined construction timelines and transparent communication, we can’t think of any reason to choose a traditional project delivery method over a modern design-build delivery.
If you’re still not convinced of the benefits of the design-build delivery method by the impressive statistics and advantages listed above, you can look through eight more reasons why design-builds are taking the construction industry by storm below:
1) Simplified Contracts ✍️
With design build, you’re working with one company from start to finish, which means there’s only one contract to sign. This can simplify the negotiation and contracting process because you only deal with one party.
In contrast, traditional delivery methods like design-bid-build require you to sign separate contracts with the architect or designer, builder, and all subcontractors. This takes more time and can create more complications and confusion for future homeowners.
2) Design Customization 🧑🎨
When you work with a design-build firm, you have the opportunity to customize your design to meet your specific needs and wants. The builder will work with the designer to ensure that your vision is brought to life.
You’re at the mercy of the architect or designer’s plans with traditional delivery methods. If you want to make changes, it can be difficult and time-consuming to get everyone on board or feel like you’re being heard.
3) Constant Communication ☎️
With design-build, there’s constant communication between the builder and designer. This open line of communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and that the project is progressing as planned. There can be a disconnect between the architect or designer and the builder during traditional construction, leading to delays and miscommunications.
4) Complete Accountability 👉
When you work with a design-build firm, you know that the builder is accountable for the entire project. They’re responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. With traditional delivery methods, it can be difficult to point fingers if something goes wrong because each party has its own contract.
5) Open Collaboration 🤝
Design-build firms encourage open collaboration between the builder and designer. This allows for a more seamless design process and can ultimately lead to a better end product. Traditional building methods often create a kind of power struggle between the architect and builder, which can lead to frustration and even further delays.
6) Continuity of Service ➡️
With design-build, you can be confident that you’re working with a team of professionals who are committed to seeing the project through from start to finish. With traditional delivery methods, there’s no guarantee that the same team will be working on the project from start to finish. This can cause inconsistencies and a lack of continuity during construction.
7) Time and Cost Savings ⏰💰
Since design-build contractors are typically paid a fixed price for the project, they have an incentive to find ways to save money without sacrificing quality. This can result in cost savings for the owner, while traditional delivery methods like design-bid-build often result in higher costs because the builder is motivated to make as much money as possible from the project.
In addition to cost savings, with design-build, you also save time since the construction process is streamlined because the same company is responsible for both the design and construction phases.
This can lead to a shorter construction timeline since there’s no need to coordinate between multiple parties. In contrast, traditional delivery methods like design-bid-build can often take longer because separate companies complete the design and construction phases.
8) Contractor Expertise 👷🏻
When you work with a design-build contractor, you can be confident that they have the expertise to both design and construct your project. In contrast, with traditional delivery methods like design-bid-build, the architect or designer may not have the construction experience needed to create a buildable design.
This can result in problems during the construction phase as the builder tries to figure out how to actually construct the project according to the design. This can lead to delays and cost overruns as the builder tries to find solutions to problems that could have been avoided with a better design.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Design Build Project
Are you a future homeowner looking for an experienced design-build team you can put your trust in to handle your entire project from start to finish? For better help than those standard design-bid-build subcontractors, look no further than the renowned design and construction professionals at Thomas Buckborough & Associates to achieve the home of your dreams.
We specialize in premier design build project delivery and don’t rest until your dream home is a reality. You can feel confident that every aspect of the design-build construction process will be completed with great care and attention to detail when you go with TB&A Designs.
Don’t wait; contact us today to talk with our accomplished design team and bring your future home into the now— now!