Design-Build: Improve Efficiency, Lower Cost, & Improve Quality

Design-build is a form of project delivery that has been steadily growing in popularity over the past 15 years. The benefits make it ideal for home renovations, remodeling, and additions, but most homeowners know very little about the design-build process until the project starts. This article is meant to define the design-build process and demonstrate why you’ll want it for your next home improvement project.

design build

What Is Design-Build?

Design-build is a process of executing home renovations where your project is taken from conception to end result. It contrasts to other methods of project delivery, most notably the design-bid-build process.

In design-bid-build, the home owner hires an architect or designer separately. When the plans are completed, they then ask contractors to bid on the design, and finally choose one who will build it. There are downsides to this process though. For example, since the process is split into three steps, it typically results in a longer overall schedule. Also, when the architect or designer creates the plan, you don’t know anything about construction costs, and therefore don’t know if the project is realistic for your budget.

The design-build process offers improvements on the design-bid-build system. In design-build the designing aspect and the construction aspect are unified – they are both controlled under one entity, with a single contract and a unified flow of work throughout the process. All members of the team – including architect, designer, contractor and subcontractors, work together to bring your concept into reality.

Design-Build Steps

In general, design-build is a roadmap that takes the client’s needs, wishes, ideas and visions, then spells out how those things can be achieved in a way that is practical, feasible and within budget. This streamlined approach involves the following general steps:


1 – Listening

Active listening is the most important aspect of the design-build process. In the initial steps we listen to what you would like to see in your remodel or renovation, with a focus on how we can bring that dream to reality.

2. Conceptual Design

With your ideas in mind we can begin to put things on paper. Designer and contractor can weigh in on what is feasible in terms of layout, materials and other aspects in respect to your budget. The designer can also contribute ideas for personalizing the project and making it unique. The homeowner also has a say throughout the entire process. This step often includes multiple revisions.

3. Finalizing

In this step a design is finalized as well as the plan, the materials and the construction schedule. When everything is finalized, a construction agreement is drafted and signed.


4. Construction

This step includes a number of pre-construction tasks such as ordering material and getting the proper permits for the job. Once pre-construction is complete, the site is prepared and construction begins.

5. Wrap Up

Construction concludes, a final project walk through is conducted, and everyone celebrates the completion of the job.

Design-Build Benefits

Design-build offers a range of benefits to the homeowner. These include:

• Faster delivery speed. Design-build offers a streamlined and efficient experience that is estimated to be as much as 33.5% faster than design-bid-build.
• Lower cost. In design-build, the designer and contractor work together to execute your plan in the most economical way in order to meet your budget. Costs can be up to 6.1% lower than design-bid-build.
• Better quality. Team collaboration in the design-build process results in innovations that are often better than initially imagined – functionality, sustainability, economics and beauty are all optimized.
• Singular Responsibility. One entity is held responsible for the entire project including cost, schedule and performance.

home remodeling in Greenwich, CT

The benefits of using a design-build contractor make it ideal for homeowners looking to remodel, renovate, or create home additions. Now that you are informed on the topic, you can ask for design-build by name.

Gerety Building & Restoration uses design-build to bring your vision to life. Learn more about our architectural design services here, or schedule a consultation by calling (914) 248-1300.