The Design-Build Process: What to Expect

Design-build is a project delivery method used throughout the residential and commercial construction industries. It is characterized largely by its simplicity: a single entity, known as the “design-builder,” assumes contractual responsibility for both design and construction. Design-build removes many of the complications associated with other construction methods, such as cost uncertainty and protracted delivery schedules.

The most important thing to know about design-build is the benefit to you, the owner, of having a single point of responsibility. Your contractor will shoulder responsibility for every facet of the project from start to finish, streamlining the process and facilitating a productive teamwork approach. In the capacity of masterbuilder, your contractor will solicit your input during all phases, empowering you to control the size, direction, and cost of the project. Having one party that is totally accountable for the finished product will help keep costs to a minimum without adversely impacting quality. Responsibility for design and construction are brought under one roof where challenges are met head-on in the most effective and efficient manner possible. There is no “passing the buck” or pointing fingers; everyone is on the same team and the channels of communication are always open.

It has been estimated that going the design-build route saves homeowners approximately 10 percent in terms of total project cost. There is an inherent efficiency to working with a single entity that simply isn’t present in other project delivery systems. The designer is the builder and vice versa, eliminating the hassle of having to coordinate relationships among multiple parties.