Differences Between Design-Build and Traditional Design-Bid-Build Construction

Are you a commercial property investor with an upcoming construction project trying to decide between the design-build or the traditional design-bid-build method? It can be a tough decision if you aren’t educated about the differences between these construction methods. Heck, maybe you’ve never even heard of these construction methods before now.

Either way, this blog post will help. Keep reading to learn what these methods are, the differences between the methods, and why the design-build method is superior to design-bid-build in nearly every way. We hope this post helps you make an informed decision, and you can contact the experts at Koehn Construction if you have further questions.

What Is the Design-Bid-Build Construction Method?

The design-bid-build construction method is the traditional form of contracting in which investors or owners hire architects and engineers to create designs before seeking bids from contractors who will then construct according to those plans.

When utilizing traditional design-bid-build construction, there can be significant delays due to having multiple parties involved in each stage. The owner and design team are responsible for all design omissions and errors and any additional costs resulting from those issues.

Another pitfall of this method of construction is that there is really no budget or cost control until the project is bid out. This results in frequent value engineering or redesign work, as well as a subsequent rebid. Conflicts can also arise over what was originally designed versus what was actually built, resulting in cost overruns or disputes over quality control issues.

What Is the Design-Build Method Construction Method?

Design-build construction, on the other hand, is an integrated approach to construction in which one entity— typically a general contractor or construction manager—provides both design and building services under one contract with the investor or owner.

This type of arrangement allows for greater collaboration between the two parties throughout all phases of the project. The goal is to reduce costs by eliminating duplication of efforts among multiple entities working on different aspects of a single project.

Advantages of Design-Build Construction

Design-build construction is a great option for commercial property owners and investors looking to maximize cost savings, streamline processes, and ensure quality control, and it also offers several advantages over traditional design-bid-build construction.

First and foremost, it helps reduce costs by eliminating costly bidding processes. With this approach, the contractor works directly with the owner or investor to develop a plan that meets their budget requirements. Additionally, design-build projects often require fewer change orders than traditional methods due to better communication between all parties involved in the project from start to finish.

Design-build also provides an opportunity for improved collaboration between teams and stakeholders during each step of development, which helps ensure quality control throughout the entire process. Furthermore, because there is only one contract between all parties involved in a design-build project, it reduces potential conflicts that could lead to delays or additional costs down the line.

So it saves you money, and it’s easier? Where are the downsides?

We definitely can’t find them!

In fact, the traditional design-bid-build method comes with several drawbacks that property owners and investors should be aware of before committing to it.

Disadvantages of Design-Bid-Build Construction

Design-bid-build requires multiple extra steps that can significantly increase the time it takes to complete a project. Not only do you have to contract a separate engineering company to create a design, but you also have to bid the work and award contracts (sometimes to different contractors and subcontractors!) before finally beginning the actual construction phase.

Overall, it’s just a giant pain in the… well, you know.

With so many parties involved in the process, there is often a lack of accountability or transparency when it comes to cost overruns or disputes over quality issues during construction. It can be difficult for property owners or investors to know who is responsible for any problems that rear their ugly heads over the course of a project if they are not closely monitoring each stage of development themselves.

Because there are no guarantees about how much certain aspects of a project will cost until bids have been received from contractors (after designs have already been completed, mind you), there is an increased risk for cost overruns due to unexpected expenses or changes in scope throughout the duration of the build.

Additionally, disputes between stakeholders regarding payment terms or quality control issues may arise due to miscommunication between all parties involved in the process. This could further delay completion timelines and increase costs more significantly than originally anticipated by those financing the project.

Design-build construction offers an improved approach that addresses these challenges with faster project completion times and increased collaboration between teams and stakeholders, as well as reduced risks for cost overruns and disputes.

Choose Koehn Construction for Your Next Project

Just in case we haven’t made this apparent, we really like the design-build method of construction. In fact, it’s our specialty!

We feel that the advantages design-build offers to both parties involved are too great to ignore.

If you’re looking for a design-build contractor that can handle every phase of your construction project—from the initial design phase all the way to the finishing touches—the family at Koehn Construction Services is your best choice.

Based in SE Kansas and founded in 2003 by our CEO, Lyle Koehn, we bring passion, heart, professionalism, transparency, precision, and most importantly, inte-grit-y to each and every project.

We’re more than happy to take charge of every aspect of your project, but we can also handle a specific phase if you already have a design established or other contractors lined up for other parts of the job.

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (620) 378-3002 or email us at lyle@koehncs.com if you would like to discuss your upcoming project. You can also take a look at some of our previous projects to determine if we’re the right fit for you.

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