Design-build is becoming an ever more popular choice in the industry– many contractors market themselves as such; you see a lot more ads for “design-build” companies. It now represents 16 percent of all builders in the market.

Still, you can achieve the same result by hiring your personal architect and contractor separately who can collaborate. Just keep in mind that there are many advantages to integrating the building process by enlisting a design-build company.

Design-Build Is More Cost Effective

As reported by data from the Construction Industry Institute, the design-build approach may be more efficient and cost-effective than the traditional method of signing separate construction and design contracts. According to the institute based at the University of Texas at Austin, the unit cost of design-build projects is 6.1 percent lower and the delivery speed is 33.5 percent faster than the traditional method.

If you’re considering a major home restoration project, you have two options on how you can work toward it: You can employ a construction firm and a design firm and manage them separately or hire a design-build firm that will integrate both functions within one arrangement.

Things to Consider Regarding Who to Hire

Here’s what you ought to know before making a decision whether to hire an architect and contractor separately or a design-build firm:

– Be upfront and honest with your team about your budget. Letting them know your true budget will help them tailor the project to you if you hire home renovation professionals you trust (and you should). Follow the process outlined by your team– it will likely involve multiple steps designed to guide you through each decision as required.

– Learn exactly what a “design-build” is. Essentially, design-build is a way to streamline the design and development of your project to save both money and time. A budget is commonly identified early in the project, and the design is tailored to comply with the budget.

Be patient and persistent in your search for a professional to meet your design needs. Spending a little more due diligence the beginning can help ensure a more successful outcome.

– Make sure you are working with both a licensed contractor and a licensed architect. The American Institute for Architects (AIA) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) are important professional organizations that list many professionals.

The traditional process of contracting an architect and designer separately is a slower process, but would be ideal for someone who wishes to understand every detail and facet of their project before any hammers begin hitting nails.

– Pay attention to the “design” half of design-build. Make sure a licensed architect is involved, either as an employee of the firm, or as your own hire to work together with a contractor.One way to prevent this is to try to find firms that charge a market rate design fee and a credit toward construction. You should be rewarded, not penalized for this process.

The Real Time Element of Design-Build

Design-build is different than the traditional design-bid-build method because the contractor’s involvement comes much earlier and provides an early price-check to ensure the adjustments are made earlier–in real time– so as to more readily meet your budget needs and expectations.

Having both the designer and builder involved and working together from the get-go makes possible a more accurate estimation of  cost and designs that maximize the budget.

True design-build firms offer a streamlined of contact and contractual relationship. Many will discount their architectural fees initially, but if you do not continue through and use their in-house construction services, you are often back-charged the amount you were originally discounted.

– Generally the design-build method offers a quicker timeline in completing a project than the traditional architect to builder model, and that is because many decisions are executed dynamically over the course of the overall project in real time and with the full confidence of a close knit team.

Traditional design-build firms offer themselves as a one-stop shop for your complete project; you can partner with the same single company from the design through the finished product.

– Do your research: Consult with several firms, design-build firms, contractors and architects to decide who is the most suitable match for you.