Construction Information

What Exactly is “Design Build?”

Design Build is the new hot term for construction professionals.  What exactly is design build?  What makes it so different from other general contractors?  Should everyone do design build?

These are all questions that are valid and first you need to understand what design/build means.

Design Build simply means one entity will design and build your project.  That is the simplest way to describe this.  There are pros and cons when dealing with either the traditional way or design build.

Each person needs to decide for themselves which one is best as there is no perfect answer for everyone.

Blue Cabinets

Classic Blue 2020 Color of the year

Photo courtesy: Carolina Classic Builders – Kitchen Remodel

Design Build method starts off and remains with one company.  They do the design and building of the entire project. The firm(s) provide price ranges for the entire project based on the customer meetings.   Once that is approved, a deposit of between 10-30% of the estimate will be collected to start drawings.  Since the design is done with the builder, they will make sure to design to your budget from the estimate.  You can adjust once you see the pricing and plans if you would like to amend, just like the traditional method.  The positive of this is, it typically moves faster and you are dealing with one entity.  The negative is if you are not happy with either the designer or the builder, it may not be as favorable of an experience.

Traditional Method starts off with the customer initiating with a design professional.  They select the individual or company they feel most comfortable with and begin the design process.  You will have a much more intimate experience on the drawings and deal directly with them.  You are selecting the designer and not assigned a person.  The biggest struggle may come when getting pricing.  Designers specialize in plans, design, trends, styles, etc.  They may have rough ideas of costs, but could be off significantly as the market is always changing. Once plans are complete enough, they are then passed on to the general contractor(s).  From previous blogs, you will see choosing the right general contractor is significantly important as well.  Prices come back after a few weeks and then you can compare.  If pricing is not inline, you will have to go back to significant plan changes or specification changes.  The time could be significant if communication is not paramount.

Basement Remodel

Photo Courtesy: Carolina Classic Builders Basement Remodel

Just as anything, do your research and decide what works best for you.

If you just want it done and want to have less interaction, design build may be best.  If you are particular and want a specific look/feel to your project and want more interaction, traditional may be better.  That is not a blanket statement.  This is a majority of the time and sometimes things are still different depending on the firm or designer builder.  Do the research.  Some companies only do one or the other and some will offer either service depending on the client.

Home Building or Remodeling is making sure you have the best team working with you and with your best interest in mind.  There are a myriad of ways to complete a project and this is comparing two styles.  Design/Build is becoming popular now due to it’s faster turnaround and single point of contact.  Kind of like the, “one call does it all” mentality.  Others are still looking for the more unique experience and personal interactions.  Find the one that is best for you.


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