The idea of turning a house design into reality has been around since people moved out of caves and started building shelters. However, not everyone enjoyed the back-breaking work. Some opted to pay experienced builders with valuables and favours in exchange for a finished house. BUILT IT Calgary is one of the few construction companies that continue to carry this tradition into the future.
Today, construction is more complicated than putting a roof over your head. You have to make several big decisions, including choosing between design-build and design-bid-build project delivery methods. This article dives deep into the differences between these two construction approaches so you can make an informed decision.
Let’s start with the introductions.
What Is Design-Build?
This is one of the most popular project delivery methods in Canada and beyond. In a design-build project, the owner gets into a contract with just one entity that is responsible for designing and construction. Think of it as a turn-key solution for construction where you sign a contract with a general contractor. This professional has to deliver the project within the specified timeline and stay on budget.
What Is Design-Bid-Build?
The design-bid-build project delivery method is designed for the hands-on client. The owner or developer is in charge of the entire project, including choosing independent designers, engineers, and contractors.
Usually, this method is used by public and municipal agencies as a requirement by state law. But we’ve recently seen more private entities take up this building approach, and it’s easy to see why. The bidding phase for construction work in this construction approach attracts some of the best rates in the market.
Pros and Cons of the Design-Build Project Delivery Method
Let’s look at some of the things to consider before choosing the design-build method.
Pros of Design-Build:
Accurate delivery timeline: Recieve the keys to your project within the specified timeline as you’ll be dealing with a one-stop shop. The general contractor will be motivated to deliver on time as the project’s success depends squarely on them.
Real-time updates: It’s easier to correct mistakes or alter plans when the designer and builder are on the same team. This allows you to get real-time schedules on additional work plus the pros and cons of your design decisions.
Passive project management: The owner does not have to do anything except avail funds and paperwork to get the ball rolling. Everything else is on autopilot, and you get updates daily, weekly, or on-demand.
Cons of the Design-Build Approach:
Most clients are not comfortable trusting one contractor with their life’s savings. And their biggest concern is that engaging one-entity won’t attract great prices due to the lack of competitive bidding. However, most people get over this concern after considering all the things that could go wrong when using the design-bid-build project delivery method.
Pros of the Design-Bid-Build Method
An affordable way to build: Hard bidding for the construction contract put’s the owner in the driver’s seat. Every company is trying to offer the most value for the least possible amount, and that’s how you get a great deal.
Access to specialized teams: This project delivery method pushes you to explore the construction industry. That’s how you get teams that specialize in a particular service, and those usually do a great job.
Cons of the Design-Bid-Build Approach
The owner and architect share the risk of delivering a final product that is worth every penny poured into the project. And yes, there’s a lot that could go wrong. The bidders will only implement what you already have in the plans, so they are not motivated to correct mistakes or tolerate significant alterations.
There’s no doubt construction is one of the biggest investments most people make in a lifetime. And it’s super important to get everything right the first time. You want to go with an option that puts the professionals in the driver’s seat, protecting you from all construction risks.
We recommend going with the design-build project delivery method, especially if this is your first time on a construction project. It will give you a chance to see how the pros do it so you can successfully manage another project in the future. People who overlook this step in favour of saving money usually regret the decision a few months into the project.
The design-bid-build project delivery method is best suited for folks with previous construction management skills. That includes people who build houses for a living and know their way around common issues that may occur during the building process.