In the world of commercial contracting, time and efficiency are two of the most important elements in getting a project off the ground. The Design-Build approach consolidates the design and bidding phase and hires a single general contractor or contracting firm to handle the project from conception to completion. This approach has several benefits both for the contractors and the project developers, but may not be right for every project. Here are a few pros and cons to help you decide.

Pro: Saves Time & Money

Combining and consolidating the design and building phases saves a lot of time. Instead of dealing with multiple bids from multiple firms, the project can proceed smoothly and quickly exactly the way that the project managers envisioned. Using a single commercial contracting firm eliminates waiting weeks for redesign and changed quotes from multiple companies. Instead of competing against each other, designers and builders work together on the same team and are familiar with every aspect of the project. Additionally, the process of ordering materials and gathering the necessary equipment can begin immediately and save even more time.

Being involved in the design process can help builders better estimate their construction costs and make adjustments as the project progresses. This saves time and money as the builder is aware of exactly what the designers need and vice versa. Together, they can make decisions based on both conceptual and practical elements and ensure that the design fits the builder’s budget, capabilities, and time frame. 

Con: Fewer options

The design-build approach can limit the number of bids that a project receives. Since the same firm is involved in both designing and building, there are no opportunities for other companies to offer a lower bid or contribute to the design. This may limit the options and ideas that contribute to the project as well as increase the costs because there is no competition or incentive to keep costs as low as possible.

Of course, this could mean more time in going back and forth between designer, builder, and project managers. Eventually, it may even mean more money for the project if the materials used aren’t the best quality.

If there already is a commercial contractor whose work is exceptional and who is known to be trustworthy, using the design-build approach may well save time and money for the duration of entire project. Contact a trusted commercial contractor in your area to discuss your options.