How Is Design-Build Different From Traditional Contracting?

Design-build is an alternative to traditional contracting processes for construction jobs. If you're considering this approach, you also probably want to know the differences. Let's explore 3 differences between standard contracting and the design-build process.

One Contract

The immediate standout difference is that design-builders require a single contract with little to no subcontracting. When you enter into a deal with such a company, you can expect them to deal with the entire process from beginning to end. You won't have to hire an architect or engineer to start planning. Likewise, the company will typically take care of all the standard construction contracting issues, such as pouring concrete for the foundation, running utility lines, painting, and roofing.

They may subcontract some specialized work. However, even these costs will fall within the design-build contract. If the subcontractors run over on costs, that won't be your problem. The design-build firm has to pay any cost overruns unless you make changes that cause them.

Streamlined Build Time

Notably, this can be a positive or a negative depending on how much you wish to fiddle with ideas. The streamlined build time is great for folks who want to commit to a set of plans and make them happen quickly. Conversely, people who want to see several plans, mess with ideas, and make changes may not be prepared for how rapidly design-build efforts will move.

Clients need to sort out uncertainties and revisions during the design phase. If you're not prepared to commit to a plan, the best solution is to pump the brakes early until you fall in love with a set of ideas.

Tight Teamwork

Thanks to the fact everything is under one contract, you can expect the builders and designers to operate tightly as a team. If an electrician has a question about the requirements for the house, they can have a face-to-face conversation with the designers within a couple of days at the latest.

Notably, this makes a huge difference when it comes to how the different phases of the project will sequence. On a traditional contracting job, a delay with the plumbing contractor could delay the flooring contractor's work. This can lead to slowdowns and cost overruns. Using the design-build approach, the plumbing and flooring crews have strong working relationships and can usually avoid such delays. Throughout a build, this can save significant amounts of time and headaches.

For more information, contact a local design-build company.