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  • Writer's pictureKeith Groninger

Design-Build Explained

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Groninger Custom Homes provides design-build construction of new homes in Winter Park, Orlando and Central Florida.

Conventional wisdom says that Design-Bid-Build is the best way to manage the home building process because it allows builders to compete against each other for the work.

Links to additional related articles can be found near the bottom of this page.

Design-Bid-Build refers to the process where an owner would first hire an architect or home designer. When the drawings are complete, they would ask builders to provide bids on the project and then select their builder based on the bids they receive. The rationale behind this approach is that this would allow the owners to obtain the lowest price for their home, however there are some flaws in this way of thinking.

  • Homes designed without a knowledge of construction costs, frequently come in over budget. Most architects don’t have the ability to discuss budgets with any sense of accuracy. I suggest you ask how many of their designs never get built or require expensive re-designs.

  • Most residential projects are under specified. Construction drawings by themselves usually do not provide adequate detail and information. Builders bidding against each other will likely propose lower quality or even completely overlook important components of the project because their price to be the lowest.

Keep in mind that the low bidder is usually the one that figures out the cheapest way to build it.

The Design-Build process brings the builder into a relationship at the front end. Some owners like to choose their builder first and utilize their experience to help them choose a designer. Frequently, the builder proceeds with a Professional Service Agreement. The agreement outlines the services that the builder will provide as the planning phase begins.

  • Conceptual Budget or Feasibility Study

  • Preliminary Estimates (there may be several)

  • Detailed Estimate

  • Project Specifications

  • Permit Review

Typically, these services and more provide valuable information to the owners that they would keep even if they decide not to go ahead with the builder, however most builders will credit the cost of the services to the construction of the home if they are awarded the project.

Some additional articles that compliment this topic:

Little is more meaningful and personal than a home, and the experience of designing and building your own home should be rewarding and enjoyable. Choosing a builder is difficult. The process of designing and building a home involves numerous decisions about components, systems and services selected from criteria that includes price, quality, appearance and performance. How can you possibly understand everything unless the builder is willing to share all of the information?

Allow us to introduce you to The GCH Way of building your next home. Please let us know if you have any questions. Keith Groninger

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