When undertaking a massive construction project, you want to receive the results you expect in a timely manner while staying within your planned budget. After all, any build requires a major investment of time and money, and a mistake could set you back weeks and result in thousands of dollars in additional costs.
What many owners don’t realize is that not all renovation, remodel or build processes are created equal. The traditional design-bid-build construction method may not be a good fit for you. There are many cases where design-build provides superior results.
The Difference Between Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build
One primary difference between the design-build and design-bid-build processes lies in who is contractually responsible for each phase of the project.
- Design-build: design-builder is one entity responsible for the entire project
- Design-bid-build: owner enters into a contract with a designer, receives a completed design, then enters a separate contract with a builder
The design-build process is much more streamlined. Designers and builders are part of the same team and operate under one contract. Together they are responsible for delivering outcomes.
Design-bid-build is a three-step process. First, the owner must choose a reputable designer to draw up a design plan. They then bring the finished design to various builders during the bidding phase and often choose the one who offers the lowest priced and most comprehensive bid. The builder completes the project according to the design. Alterations to the original design are often made, and the responsibility is on the owner to make sure the design accurately reflects what they want.
The Benefits of Design-Build
- Less owner responsibility
- Spirit of collaboration
- Fewer change orders
- Faster construction
- More affordable projects
- Better results
1. Less Owner Responsibility
The traditional design-bid-build route places a lot of pressure on the owner. They must do twice as much research to pick a separate designer and builder, enter into two different contracts and manage both while making sure their vision is faithfully executed.
By contrast, the biggest responsibility an owner has in the design-build process is thoroughly researching the design-builder they’d like to work with and articulating how they’d like the final space to function. The designers and builders handle all the details.
2. Spirit of Collaboration
When designers and builders work together from the start, the project is more likely to be an amicable experience. Team members are comfortable with each other, and they can combine their expertise to solve problems before they arise. This differs from the design-bid-build process where designers and builders have no collaboration whatsoever and may become disgruntled due to misunderstandings.
3. Fewer Change Orders
A change order is an alteration to a contract, often resulting in more construction work and a cost increase. With everyone on the same page, change orders are much less likely because the owner has already articulated their expectations and the designer and builder have discussed their respective concerns. This prevents a common dilemma where a builder must substitute materials or revise a designer’s blueprints to adhere to construction codes or the owner’s needs.
4. Faster Construction
Construction can proceed at a much quicker pace with improved communication between the owner, designer and builder. By completely developing the project plan prior to construction and reducing the chance of revisions, it’s more likely that the design-builder will provide accurate timelines and complete the work at the expected pace. Research indicates overall project delivery speed is 33 percent faster when an owner opts for design-build over design-bid-build.1
5. More Affordable Projects
The collaboration of designers and builder prior to and during construction help to prevent change orders. The result of this is less labor, less time to complete the project and possibly less material cost. The ability to complete construction projects more quickly reduces the expense of vacating your home. Collectively, these distinctions of the design build process lower the overall cost of the project.
6. Better Results
Owners that choose design-build tend to be more satisfied with the results because they’ve had a hand in the entire process. They do not need to blindly trust a designer to bring their ideas to life and then hope that a separate builder interprets the design in a way that makes sense for their project. Instead, they can contact the design-builder at any point in time to clarify their expectations.
Complete Your Next Construction Project With DMG
The design build team at DMG is excited to tackle your residential project in the New Orleans area. We are a bespoke construction firm dedicated to design-build collaboration and simplifying the entire construction process for home and business owners.
Our clients can track build progress, view photos, send messages and even approve change orders easily through our online client portal. Call us at (504) 275-6664 today to learn more about our design method.