What Is Design-Build Construction, and Why Should I Use It?

As the region’s leading luxury design-build contracting firm, we run into this question a lot: What exactly is design-build construction?

Over the last 15 years, design-build construction has steadily grown in popularity. It’s considered an ideal form of project delivery for home renovations, remodels, and additions, yet very few homeowners understand exactly what it entails. That’s where Gerety Building & Restoration comes in.


What Is Design-Build?

Design-build contracting is a more efficient, effective project delivery process than the traditional design-bid-build process.

In design-bid-build, the homeowner hires an architect or designer separately. When the plans are completed, they then ask contractors to bid on the design, and choose one who will build it based on price and performance.

There are major downsides to the design-bid-build process: namely longer project timelines and the potential for hidden construction fees. Since the process is split into three steps, it typically results in a longer overall schedule. Additionally, 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.

A Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the Design-Build Process

The design-build process offers a roadmap that takes the client’s needs, wants, and ideas into consideration. It offers clarity in approach and execution to achieve those things practically, feasibly, and within budget.

1. We Listen to the Homeowner

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. We Create a Conceptual Design

Once we have your ideas in mind, we can start putting them on paper. The designer and contractor weigh in on what’s feasible in terms of layout, materials, and other budgetary aspects. The designer will find opportunities to personalize the project, incorporating unique aspects and elements to create a one-of-a-kind product.

Keep in mind that as the architect, designer, and contractor work through the conceptual design, the homeowner also has a say throughout the entire process. Settling on a final design scheme often takes plenty of revision between the design-build team and the client.

3. We Finalize the Project Plan

Once a final design scheme is completed, the design-build team will confirm the overall project plan, including which materials will be used and what the construction schedule will look like. When everything is finalized, a construction agreement is drafted and signed.

4. We Start Construction

Before we begin the actual construction process, we complete a number of pre-construction tasks, including ordering materials and attaining the proper permits for the job. Once pre-construction is complete, the site is prepared and construction begins.

In Gerety Building & Restoration’s process, Owner Keith Gerety personally supervises every construction project, working with the foreman to complete each project efficiently at the highest quality.

5. We Provide a Comprehensive Wrap Up

Once construction is complete, we conduct a final project walkthrough with the homeowner to show them the outcome. Then—most importantly—everyone celebrates the completion of the job.

The Benefits of the Design-Build Process

Homeowners get a broad range of benefits from the design-build process, including:

  • Faster Project Delivery
    Design-build offers an efficient, streamlined execution method estimated to be as much as 5% faster than design-bid-build.
  • Better Quality Projects
    By collaborating as a team, the architect, designer, and contractor develop innovative approaches to each design-build project while optimizing functionality, sustainability, and aesthetics.
  • Lower Project Costs
    When you choose design-build contracting, costs can be up to 1% lower than design-bid-build. The team works together to find the most economical approach to your project, ensuring you stay within—if not under—your project budget without sacrificing quality.
  • Concise Communications
    Instead of having to juggle communications between each member of the project team, you can rely on your contractor to act as a single point of contact throughout the renovation. This promotes a cohesive building plan with fewer chances of details falling through the cracks.
  • Singular Responsibility
    There’s no passing the blame between team members if something goes wrong. One entity is held responsible for the entire project including cost, schedule and performance.


Interested in a faster, better quality home improvement project that guarantees you won’t exceed your budget? Gerety Building & Restoration uses design-build to make dream homes a reality.