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SCROGGS BLOG // 5 Ways Design-Build Can Transform Your Construction Experience

Building a custom home or finally deciding to remodel your residence can be an exciting time for homeowners. To get the most out of your home construction project, consider a design-build project delivery system. Unlike other popular project delivery systems (design-bid-build or construction manager-at-risk), design-build offers clients an easier, more relaxed, and more seamless experience from start to finish.

But how exactly does the design-build approach differ from the other project delivery systems?

Infographic in blue and orange depicting differences between traditional and design build construction methods.

Design-Build Versus Other Project Delivery Systems

Design-bid-build (DBB) is the traditional model of construction that divides the services between the Designer and Contractor, creating separate phases of production. Construction doesn’t start until the design is completed and a bid is accepted, so there’s no overlap between the design and the build.

Construction manager-at-risk (CMAR) is a method where the owner hires a trusted Construction Manager (CM) to oversee the whole project from beginning to end and provide them with a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). The CM is responsible for overseeing design, accepting bids from subcontractors, managing timelines, and keeping it all within the GMP’s scope. If this doesn’t happen, the CM may be responsible for paying the overage. The owner works closely with the CM at the beginning to determine the project scope, goals, and final vision, but the CM is generally the one making the decisions throughout the process.

The client can rest easy knowing that all parties are working together in their best interest to achieve the pre-determined project goals.

Finally, design-build (D&B) is when one firm is responsible for every step of the build process, from original design to working with subcontractors and suppliers and closing out the build. Design-build projects are led by a General Contractor (GC) in the company who functions as a Project Manager for all facets of the build, including collaborating with in-house architects, designers, builders, and all subcontractors.

Scroggs works as a design-build firm, handling everything from initial design to final closing. When you choose Scroggs Construction, you’re choosing the type of project delivery system that builders, contractors, and many other industries use to provide faster results and a better experience for clients.

Design-Build Does It Better

But just why is design-build the better project delivery system for your construction project?

We’ve compiled a list of five reasons why design-build can completely transform your construction experience.

1. Dealing With Less Communication Between Separate Entities

A traditional DBB model or even a CMAR approach requires collaboration between several major players—the Owner, Architect/Designer, Contractor (or CM for CMAR), and potentially separate subcontractors. 

Do you remember the game Telephone? A simple sentence passed in whispers around the room transforms into something almost unrecognizable. In the DBB project delivery system, one request made by the owner has to pass through multiple channels, teams, and organizations to get to the person who needs it. And we know what happens to the original message by the end of the telephone game…it’s never as clear as the first time it was said.

Unlike the design-bid-build method of playing telephone between owner, designer, and contractor(s), in the design-build model, all communication happens within one organization. This eliminates the confusion inherent in sharing messages across multiple businesses.

The design-build model also allows clearer communication between the client and the design-build company itself. The client’s needs and wants are the most important part of the project. If there’s only one entity to communicate with, it’s easier for both the client and the firm to understand what needs to be done.

Why Clear Communication Is Important

A new home build or remodel relies on various teams working towards a common goal. If there isn’t clear communication between parties, the client could end up over budget, over-time, and unhappy with the finished product.

That’s why it’s imperative to work with the right design-build company. The client needs to have complete faith in the company responsible for the entire scope of the project. There must be trust that the internal collaboration will lead to external success.

2. Unparalleled Accountability 

When you choose to work with a design-build firm, you know exactly who’s responsible for all aspects of your build. Having one organization responsible for both designing and constructing the project allows for careful thought and consideration from beginning to end. There’s no finger-pointing later in the project if something doesn’t look like the original design.

Having one point of contact for the entire build process alleviates any concern the client may have about staying informed of the project’s progress and makes it clear who they’ll be communicating with.

3. Working With A Team Mindset

Having all of your experts around one table allows for a seamless integration of the design and physical construction processes. The D&B project delivery system encourages collaboration and innovation, as each team has specialized knowledge. When construction is involved in the process of design, for example, they can provide insight as to what will or won’t be feasibly achievable in the build.

Because the construction managers, designers, and architects are all represented from the beginning, you have expert input regarding projected expenses from the project’s inception.

There’s also more motivation for all details to be cohesive because everyone is working towards the same goal. It cuts down on the “not my circus, not my monkeys” mindset that can come with traditional DBB project delivery systems.

The client can rest easy knowing that all parties are working together in their best interest to achieve the pre-determined project goals.

Blue sky with framed house and outline.

4. Final Costs Are Closer To Original Cost Estimates

Not only is collaboration crucial to D&B project innovation, but it also allows for more accurate prediction of costs—frequently one of the client’s highest priorities.

Because the construction managers, designers, and architects are all represented from the beginning, you have expert input regarding projected expenses from the project’s inception.

Clients also receive a more comprehensive idea about how much each aspect of their design will cost and can make more informed decisions as time passes. All teams can make better choices every step of the way because everyone has the whole picture in mind. 

Reduce surprise expenses later in the project when the budget is established at the beginning.

5. Faster Project Completion Time

Because collaboration is integral to the design-build process, each party can contribute their expertise early on in the project. This leads to a better understanding of the limitations, timelines, and strategies needed to complete the project promptly.

Because every party knows the entire scope of the project from the beginning, it defines a clear path. There’s no guessing about what’s coming next or concern about massive change orders that delay the process while waiting for approval. And if there are unexpected problems that arise, it’ll be easier to collaborate on a solution that satisfies all parties involved.

Finally, the elimination of the bid step significantly cuts completion time. With the design-build firm handling all subcontracting and usually working with well-established companies they already have a relationship with, you can move into your new home faster than you would with a design-bid-build approach.

Diagonal Split Screen Of Drawing and Photo of Beautiful New Kitchen.

Choose Design-Build For Your Next Project

The design-build approach offers a packaged solution of services from one entity instead of two separate firms. Whereas before, clients would have the headache of managing separate contracts for the design and the build, D&B offers a seamless approach to delivering quality construction projects quickly and efficiently.

Ready to Start?

Have you ever associated the words home construction project and relaxing? At Scroggs Construction, our mission is to provide you with the most natural and effortless build process while maintaining excellent customer service. We value a personal touch that allows us to lock in on the small details and ideas you want done in your project. Read more about our 7-Step Design Build Process and learn how Scroggs uses design-build to help you achieve the home of your dreams easier than you ever imagined.

If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today at 828-552-3222 or visit our website to learn more!