What is Design Build?

In the past, the traditional method of construction saw contractors work from plans given to them and then hire several sub-contractors to finish the job. But those days of builders, designers, and remodelers taking care of your remodeling needs are long gone. Miscommunications, delays, and other issues are few and far between with the design-build concept of construction. But what is design-build?

The design-build method of construction basically brings all of the different construction services together to create a cohesive unit. If everyone is on the same page, there are fewer surprises, and processes are streamlined. Design-build services are becoming more and more common in today’s construction projects.

What is a Design-Build Service?

Design-build is a system where the same building and remodeling team work under a single source/contractor in order to get the building and the remodeling completed on a home. It is a good way to forgo having to deal with many different people during the project, leads to cost savings, and makes it easier to stay on schedule.

If applicable, the design work half of a remodel also happens with the same contractor or construction outfit. By having both sides of the job under one roof, questions can be asked or potential issues can be uncovered before the work begins. Nobody likes surprises and design-build project management will keep them to a minimum.

Pros of Design Build

There are many more advantages than disadvantages to using this type of service. Because everyone is brought together during the design phase of the design-build process, all questions, feedback, and suggestions are dealt with at the same time. With a single point of contact, you won’t have to deal with a bunch of separate contracts, either.

Everyone is on the Same Team
All of the workers are in the project together and have the same goal. That goal is to finish the job on schedule, under budget, and to the homeowner’s satisfaction. Instead of working with just the general contractor, clients, architects, engineers, designers, and other members of the project team come together from the start.

In the past, designers may not have considered certain building principles, engineering, or even codes and regulations when designing a remodel. With a design-builders delivery system, those issues can be covered at the very beginning instead of causing problems during the construction phase.

Design-Build Allows for Total Accountability
One of the major pros of using this type of service is the fact that one team is held responsible for the entire project. Project owners take complete responsibility for the job site instead of a series of different contractors that will try to lay the blame on the other contractors on the job.

That makes the initial design meeting so important and why it’s the lynchpin of the process. There’s a single point of contact, a single contract, and a single decision maker. A good project manager is able to control all aspects of a build or remodel.

There’s Continuity in a Design-Build Project
The chance for details to fall through the cracks is lessened when you have one build design team working on a project. You can be sure that there will be continuity because everyone on the team is on the same page.

By having different project heads on the job at the start, phases of the work happen seamlessly. Timelines are understood by all team members so delays are kept to a minimum. Demo work, material delivery, building, and finishing work are all operating from the same work schedule and have a better understanding of the project.

Open and Honest Communication
The best kind of communication is the one where the team is open and honest. Everyone on this type of team works together to ensure that your home is built and designed the right way with no mistakes. That can make for some difficult conversations, but very necessary.

If you are thinking of going with this type of design, however, you still need to do your research and find the best service to meet your needs. Homeowners play a very important role in the design-build process–it’s your home after all. Make sure to convey your wants and needs during those initial meetings.

The Cons of Design Build

Of course, as with anything else in the world, there are disadvantages to using design-build as well. Although technologies, materials, and best practices have improved the construction industry throughout the United States, there will always be certain issues that can’t be overcome.

Even the best project managers can’t foresee all supply-chain issues that could occur for example. Contingency plans should always be built into any project, and any potential roadblocks should be discussed and planned for.

When One is Out, All may be Out
The only major problem with having one team take care of all of your building, remodeling, and designing needs is the fact that if something happens to one part of the team, you might be stuck waiting for the building to resume. A strong design-build will have backup plans in place to prevent any stoppages if possible.

When working with a design-build team, it’s important to ask about these potential issues. If done during those initial discussions, both the homeowner and construction team will know what to expect if one member of the project becomes unavailable for any reason.

Work With Design-Build Experts


These are just a few of the pros and cons of using this type of service for your needs. From open and honest communication to continuity on the project, this seems to be the best way to go. If you have any questions about how our design-build process can help your remodeling job, don’t hesitate to contact Joseph Ketner Construction for more information.

Joseph Ketner Construction
3515 NE 43rd Ave
Portland, OR 97213

OR #148082
WA # KETNEJ*984MP