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Design build services: pros and cons in 2021

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

General information about the design build process including some key advantages and disadvantages of design build services

What is design build?

Design build is the collection of services that helps bring consumers the home of their dreams and ensures it is planned out, built efficiently, and designed on the interior to their unique specifications. It goes without saying that there are many steps involved in building a new home and designing it perfectly, and design build offers a solution to the previous hassle of coordinating between many contractors on the same project: one team that handles everything from start to finish. To put it briefly, design build is the new method of building and designing a house that is slowly replacing the traditional process which involved awarding separate contracts to different companies who would then handle individual aspects of the larger process. Now, with design build, contractors and designers work for the same company and can deliver consumers with the most seamless experience possible when it comes to planning and perfecting a new home.

What are the advantages of design build?

1: Open and Transparent Communication

Before design build, one common problem that consumers might face was inadequate communication between contractors, builders, designers, and other professionals that were involved with different aspects of the project. People that work for different companies do not always think the same way and therefore have different methods and expectations when it comes to communication. The fact that the design build process transpires between professionals in different fields that work for the same company ensures that communication is fast, easy, clear, and efficient.

2: Faster Project Completion and Delivery

The design build process is completed by various branches within the same company and, as such, there is little if any delay between stages of a project. After a house or corporate building is planned, it immediately enters the construction phase. And after construction is completed and the building is ready, interior and exterior design will immediately begin at the hands of a designer. There are no gaps in the design build flow and system, and this means there is rarely a moment of wasted time or energy!

3: Quality control and risk reduction

Consumers who decide to invest in design build for completion of their new home or business construction project can find assurance in the fact that quality is guaranteed and risk is minimized throughout any project. There are very few loose ends when all contractors and designers are working cohesively on the same team because all variables are controlled and issues that arise can be immediately remedied. While it is never a guarantee that nothing will go wrong during a construction and design project, the design build approach certainly limits the likelihood of serious accidents and errors.

What are the disadvantages of design build?

1: it can be difficult to find a quality design build team

As highlighted through the advantages listed above, design build is a good option for consumers looking to streamline the process of building and designing a new home. However, as with anything, design build does have a few disadvantages, too. Since there are a small number of companies offering design build relative to all the companies who offer either construction or interior design as independent services, it can be hard to find a high-quality design build team in some parts of the country. Less competition in the market means fewer options for consumers when it comes to deciding which company to work with, and consumers are therefore advised to pursue many options before settling on a design build company to move forward with.

2: the consumer can have less control over the process

Under the traditional method of construction and design, the consumer works closely with several different independent contractors at various stages of a project, therefore maintaining some ability to manage details along the way. But some design build firms and teams may prefer to minimize the extent to which the consumer gets involved in the planning and design process. While this is fairly standard, as trained professionals are often given creative license and flexibility to make judgments calls about details within a plan, it can certainly minimize the consumer's role in the process. However, for those consumers who want the entire process -- from design, construction, to finished interior decoration -- to be completely managed at the discretion of the design build firm, this "disadvantage" could actually be seen as a significant benefit.

So what does this all mean?

The design build process is a great option for consumers but is certainly not going to be the ideal project management system in every scenario. Consumers need to research the pros and cons of traditional construction and design vs design build (beyond the scope of this article) in order to make an informed decision about what style of project management is best suited to their unique needs and specifications!


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