What is Design-Build?

If the decision is made to enter into a contract to build the house, there are some significant advantages in going with a designer/ builder as opposed to the traditional situation where a builder bids a plan purchased from a plan service or drawn by an architect/ designer.

Simplification: The process is streamlined, becoming more efficient and economical. Working with one person for both design and construction provides one point of accountability. Decisions can be made quickly and duplication of costs is eliminated. You save time, money and the stress of finding and working with several different people.

Working with a realistic estimate from the beginning: During the design phase, the budget was a variable that was constantly taken into account. Several go- no go stages were satisfied. The final estimate should be no surprise and cost of revising the plans to fall in line with a high bid from another contractor should be eliminated.

An established relationship exists between builder and client: Working together during the design phase gives us a chance to become familiar with each others style and to develop a common language and expectations. We can develop a solid working relationship before a construction contract is signed. The building of a house involves literally hundreds of decisions. In the traditional relationship between client and builder so many of these decisions are not voiced before a contract is signed that the chance of misunderstandings during the building phase is high.

Design becomes an ongoing process: As the designer I become intimately aware of the potential of the design. Some areas of the house may be difficult to visualize. As a house is built there is always the potential for some refinement to the plan that would make the house a better fit for your needs. When using a designer- builder the design never ends. It is allowed to evolve. There is a dynamic cohesiveness between design and construction. Both owner and designer can constantly be looking for ways to refine the design and these changes, if made before any work is done, cost no more than the cost of the increased work specified. There is usually no charge for the design or administrative work.

Costs are lower: Having drawn the plans, I have built the house on paper and have been involved in the "why" of each aspect of the design. Knowing the house and how it will be built, enables me to feel confident about my estimate and keep the amount of any "contingency" to a minimum