Let’s first define Design-Build: Design-Build is a construction method (in our case remodeling method) where both the design of the project and the construction of the project fall under the responsibility of a single entity. The more traditional construction method would employ a designer to develop the plans and specifications which are then turned over to a second entity (the general contractor) to be constructed. Here are our top 6 reasons why the design-build is a better system for everyone involved.
The designer, builder and the owner are all on the same team. There are no arguments or finger pointing. When an obstacle is discovered everyone works on a solution.
Under the traditional method when something goes wrong – protect your eyes from all the finger pointing that will happen. Everyone looks to cover their own asses and blame the other party.
Because design and build are sitting at the same table, numbers (budgets) are being calculated with every version of the plans and the plans can be adjusted in real time. Also, we can have a very close estimate of the construction cost long before the final plans and specifications are complete. We can go to construction without knowing the final details (floor coverings, paint colors, light fixtures, finish on the plumbing fixtures, cabinet stain color, etc.).
Traditionally, the designs and specifications need to be finalized before the contractor is even asked to put numbers to the project. Not only are the two tasks not overlapping, but there is a pause while waiting for the construction proposal. And, heaven forbid the general contractor comes back with a number that is higher than the owner wants to pay or the designer said it would cost. When this happens the process goes back to square one.
There is one entity accountable for the end result, how much it costs and how long it takes.
Under the traditional method, again there will be finger pointing and CYA. Who is truly accountable may never be known.
Being under one roof makes communication expedient and clearer. Less time and more clarity equals less expense.
The traditional method involves a communication triangle between the owner, designer and contractor. It takes longer and the chance of misinterpretation is considerably higher.
With design-build the general contractor is at the table from the start. He knows the “feel”, concept and goals that are expected. This leads to a better efficiency and a better end result.
Under the traditional method, the general contractor is the last to see any plans or specifications. He’s usually called to a meeting with the owner and the designer – who have been working together for months – and is asked to get up to speed… ASAP. The process is so disjointed it’s incredibly inefficient.
6. Cost Savings:
If the five reasons above don’t have you convinced that design-build is a better method of construction (remodeling), I hope this one hits home. There are some studies available that show design-build results in 6.1% lower overall costs, 12% faster construction speed, 33.5% faster design & build (combined) speed and that change orders were completed 11.4% faster and 5.2% less expensively.
The traditional method… well… I think you get the point.
I should note that there are some examples where independent designers and general contractors have formed excellent alliances, modified the design-build process slightly and have come close to delivering the results described above. These are rare cases, but even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut.
Why is Da Vinci Remodeling a Design-Build Remodeler?
Well, we very much like all of the reasons listed above, but there is one additional reason…