What Makes a Project Ideal for the Design Build Process?

The design-build process is one of the more efficient and cost-effective ways to construct a house. Not all projects lend themselves to this approach, though. If you're thinking about working with a design-build contractor, it's a good idea to know what makes a project ideal for this method.

Limited Engineering and Design Complexities

A design-build company can overcome a lot of challenges. However, the process works best when customers and contractors can streamline as many elements of constructing a house as possible. If a proposed home has a lot of engineering issues, you may need to bring in qualified professionals to tackle them. Similarly, the design aspect of the project should require significant engineering to pull off.

The goal of design-build is to simplify the process of going from the blueprint to construction. If you're looking to construct a fairly traditional house, this approach will work well. More complicated and unorthodox designs may require architects, and that chips away at the efficiency and simplicity of the process.

Strongly Defined Budget

When you work with a design-build firm, the idea is to put everything into a single contract. In some ways, this takes general contracting to its logical conclusion. By working with one firm under one contract, you don't have to worry about how subcontractors and suppliers are going to perform. The company contracting the job covers all those needs with in-house talent and established supply chains.

Notably, there's not a lot of room for improvisation within this structure. Once you sign off on a design, the contractors get to work quickly. They won't be easily able to change things if you want to make modifications in the middle of the project.

If you're going the design-build route, line up your project's financing early. Establish your budget early, too. Know what you want design-wise because the job is going to move rapidly once you pull the trigger.

Clear Local Regulations

The speed and simplicity of the design-build method mean you must know what the local regulations are at the start. A major upside on this front is there generally are fewer permit, bond, and license issues because you don't have to worry about subcontractors. However, you don't want to spend months hashing things out with a local compliance office because this limits the benefits of the design-build process. If you want to do a design-build home in an area with complex regulations, be sure to sort any compliance issues out before shovels go in the ground.