Design-Build Construction: The Faster, Cheaper Way to Build

Typically, when a new building is to be built, the process begins with the architect. The architect meets with the client and then attempts to transfer the client’s ideas to a workable blueprint. After the design process is finished, the client puts the job out for bid. A contractor is selected. It is the contractor’s role to transfer what is on the blueprint to the real world. This process is known as the traditional design-bid-build method. Problems occur when the project does not go exactly

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as planned, and the degree of separation between the designer and builder becomes a problem.

It is sometimes not possible to translate the architect’s vision to actual bricks and mortar and still stay within the budget. It falls to the client to go back to the architect and have him make the changes to the overall plan. There is no guarantee that the changes will be what are needed. The design-build contracting method corrects this inefficiency.

The design-build process incorporates both the design and the build phases under one roof. Design-build contractors employ architects and builders. This streamlines the process. It is no longer the client’s responsibility to act as intermediary between an architect and builder. The builder simply walks down the hall and brings any issues directly to the architect. This level of interaction allows problems to be spotted before they cause work to grind to halt. This can lead to savings in cost of construction that are passed on to the client. If a builder realizes that a certain type of material not used in the original plan can be found at a discount, he can confer directly with architect about possibly altering the plans to include this material.

There are many benefits to choosing a design-build contractor.

Single Point of Contact

In the design-build method, the client is actually the client. He is not a go-between. They deal directly with the contractor, and that is it. This method removes a tremendous amount of stress from the entire process.

Workable and Accurate Budget

When the builder and the architect work together, it is much easier to stay within the proscribed budget. Communication


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is vital to developing a workable budget. No project goes exactly as planned. When the builder deviates from the plan, they often go over budget. Working directly with the architect will prevent this from occurring.

Fast Response to Changes

Work can slow to a halt if changes to the overall plan and budget are necessary. In the design-build method, these potential issues are often spotted before they become a problem. Needed changes are made before progress can be negatively affected.

Speed of Construction

This method is, quite frankly, faster. An entire phase — the bid phase between designing and building — of the traditional method is eliminated. In addition, construction can begin before the design process is even complete.

Quality Control

When one firm handles the entire process, egos are left at the door. The entire focus is on quality for the client.

The design-build process is appropriate for construction projects of all sizes. It can be effectively utilized for a project as small as adding a sun room onto a home or as massive as erecting a large industrial complex. Incorporating the entire process under one umbrella improves efficiency and reduces the overall cost of the project.

This article’s author is Holly Adams, who writes for Coupon Croc. Building and furnishing your home on a budget? Save when you shop with John Lewis discounts on everything including: household appliances, electronics, decor and more.

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