The Keys to a Successful Design-Build Construction Project

Although we have been reliant on it for decades, the traditional construction method can often be inefficient and costly. This approach remained relatively unchanged in the construction industry until improvements in technology, equipment and processes came into play in recent years. Now the industry has taken a massive leap forward with the development of the design-build construction method.

In the traditional construction method, also called design-bid-build, the owner of the project hires a designer and then opens bids for contractors. They choose a contractor who then enlists the help of subcontractors to focus on specific aspects of the job. This means there are multiple important contacts, lots of moving parts and plenty of miscommunication.

The design-build process takes out the middle man, which means the client works directly with the designer, who is also the builder. One design-build project team is responsible for the design and construction services, which creates better collaboration between the designer and the builder and provides the owner with just a single point of contact.

Pick a Qualified Design-Build Team

Do simplicity and a single point of contact seem like a good idea to you? Of course! But you need to be sure that you are hiring a design-build team with the right know-how to ensure the best building experience.

Although cost will be an important factor to take into consideration, it shouldn’t be the only factor that influences your selection process. You should understand the importance of working with a design-builder that has experience and skill and who will help bring your vision to life. When choosing your design-build firm, consider the following:

    • Experience –– Ask them about construction projects that are similar to yours and make sure they’ve successfully completed these in the past five years. Be sure to confirm that the same team will be working on your project.
    • Team –– Ask who will be on your team, what their roles will be, and whether they are staff members or subcontractors.
    • Design –– Ask questions about the design team you will be working with, such as how they charge for their services, how many options you will be given, and whether you can view a portfolio.
    • Construction –– Find out how much they will charge, what experience they have with projects like yours, and what amount of work will be done with subcontractors.
    • Budget ––Ask them how they manage the budget and control costs and how the bidding process will look. Ask them how they mitigate risks that could increase your budget.
    • Insurance ––Make sure they are insured and ask them about the specific coverage they have in the event someone gets injured or there is property damage.
    • References –– Request references that you can contact for jobs they have done that are similar to your project.

Build Your Budget

When considering a construction budget, many people only think of actual construction costs. Unfortunately, this is just part of the overall project budget. You should expect your project costs to also include the cost of the general and subcontractors, equipment rentals, profit markups, pricing and procurement of materials, shipping fees, site prep work, pre-construction, debris removal, licenses, tools, and even a portable toilet for the building crew to have on-site.

Fortunately, design-build project delivery methods of construction often reduce many construction costs for homeowners. The design-build approach takes out the hard-dollar bid phase that hiring a general contractor requires. Due to the smooth nature of design-build project delivery, you will be able to spend less time trying to manage your construction contract and build. And everyone knows that time equals money and, almost always, frustration.

Design-build projects also result in cost savings through the carefully planned use of materials, the cost-efficient construction process, and reduced labor costs. Because one team is involved and working together from the start of the project, this ensures that site preparation and foundation work can be happening when design work and other projects are being completed. Again, time equals money.

When the design-build system is used for business projects, the speed of delivery is of utmost importance. The sooner the facility can open, the sooner profits can be made. In some cases, even a single day of lost productivity can result in a loss of thousands of dollars.

Confirm Your Single Point of Contact

Another benefit of design-build is the communication process. In traditional construction methods, there are often multiple contacts and separate contracts an owner has to juggle, but in design-build, there is a single point of contact from the preliminary design to the actual construction. The client can put their focus on only the things they need to take care of.

This single source of contact, or project manager, also helps ensure that the team works together to keep the project on track from conception to architectural design to completion. It gives the client confidence that the budget and program needs are being met, and the team is working in a non-adversarial setting. When managed and staffed correctly, the design-build project delivery offers the project owner the best value with the least amount of risk.

Because every aspect of the construction project is handled by one team under the same roof during a design-build project, the client will only have to worry about one team producing a professional, quality outcome. Everything from the design phase to the construction phase is managed by the same cohesive group. This eliminates miscommunication and conflicts, resulting in top-notch teamwork, fewer errors, and a greater likelihood of staying on budget.

One-point responsibility also makes it easier for the owner to obtain performance warranties which provide peace of mind because there is only one single contract. Essentially, you won’t have to wonder who to turn to if something goes wrong. With less stress and higher quality, no wonder more and more people choose this style of construction project management.

Share Your Vision

Delivering a successful design-build construction project in the United States requires a collaborative approach between team members. A team-oriented approach promotes transparency and communication that are imperative to the success of a project. This allows owners to share their vision for the project during the early design phase and have more faith that the design-build contractor can execute their vision in the construction stage.

Lack of communication is a common theme in delayed or failed projects. In the traditional design-bid-build method, team member roles are fractured; there is often much less cooperation between the parties involved and confusion about the scope of work. This can result in frustration and cause the project to go over budget and takes longer than anticipated to complete.

At Synapse Construction, our design-build project delivery facilitates communication. Our team members work under one contract and stay on the same page. We keep our clients up to date on what they can expect, and we simplify the entire project and process. Our custom design process allows us to fine-tune every detail of your vision and bring it to life.

We want to ensure your design-build project is smooth all the way from the beginning to the final walk-through. When your projects are managed with the more disjointed design-bid-build method, you can end up paying more. It can also take much longer to complete your renovation because of the lack of clarity and communication throughout the process.

Take the simpler, more straightforward route, and work with a design-build team that will translate your ideas into results, facilitate each step of design and construction, and complete your project on time and on budget. Contact Synapse Construction to tell us about your home exterior project and see how we can help.

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