The Design-Build Difference

Design-build is a system of project delivery. Compared to traditional project delivery where an owner must manage two separate contracts for a designer and contractor, the design-build method fuses both design and construction functions together to form a single contractual entity. With the design-build approach, the owner is responsible for managing one contract, with one single point of contact. In many cases, the contractor is the designer or they are operating as one cohesive team and work in unison from project start to finish, providing recommendations in accordance with the owner’s budget and schedule.


The advantage of working with a design-build contractor, like Specialty Home Improvement, is that it produces a much more cohesive and efficient project from start to finish with typically faster design and construction phases due to the integration of the two.


The Design-Build Difference

Budgets for all phases of the project can also be controlled more readily due to having fewer fingers reaching into the budget pie. This process can apply to any size remodeling project—smaller, more intimate kitchen or bath remodels as well as large-scale full home improvements and room additions. Every project, even the smaller ones, requires design decisions to be made—from tile layout and paint colors to fixture finishes and cabinet style.


During the early phases of the design process, we engage our trade partners, contractors, vendors, and other industry professionals so that a comprehensive and detailed budget will be ready at the completion of the design. During our design-build process, we coordinate with the designer, architect, and engineer to ensure that we are working to keep the project on budget while still staying true to the design as much as the budget allows. If we see that the specifications of the project are exceeding the budget parameters, we can put the brakes on the process and meet with you to examine alternative means to design the project that will help to meet the budget goals.


There are methods different from the design-build process and you’ll find many contractors who choose these methods. The traditional method of planning a project (design-bid-build) is to consult a designer or architect first, work to achieve a final design, send it to an engineer for specifications and calculations, put the design out to bid, and then work to identify a contractor to implement the design. During this process, the architect and designer work with the client to develop the overall plan. The building contractor and other building professionals will generally not become involved with the project until final plans and construction documents have been completed. While this process does allow for competitive construction bids to be procured from multiple potential contractors at the completion of design, it is much slower and more time-consuming.


The major downfall that many clients encounter during this traditional process is that they find out too late that the architect/designer may not have paid attention to the budget parameters of the project. So, after months of designing and planning, often the client may find, after receiving contractor’s bids, that they have a project that, while beautiful and meeting all of their needs, is unaffordable.


Overall, when design and execution are melded very early in the remodeling process, the result is a beautiful, efficiently completed, on-budget remodel project.


3 Benefits of Design-Build Construction

  1. One Point of Contact
    • Rather than work with multiple different parties, an owner manages just one contract with one single point of contact.
  2. Cost-Efficient
    • Research has shown that design-build projects can save up to 6.1% in project costs when compared to traditional methods.
  3. Shorter Timelines
    • Speed is more often than not the main reason owners chose the design-build method when selecting their delivery options for their new or renovation construction project. According to studies, design-build projects are completed 12% faster than other methods.


Are you interested in saving time and money by working with a design-build contractor like Specialty Home Improvement? Give us a call or send us a message to talk about your project with the home improvement experts on our team.