Your Ultimate Guide to the Design-Build Construction Process

Interior of a modern home with floating staircase, updated doors, hardwood floors, and several windows to illustrate the design build construction process

It’s often played for laughs in tv shows or movies, the long process of going through a home remodel. In reality, continual delays, cost overruns, and levels of uncertainty in traditional remodeling processes are anything but funny. With a design-build construction process, many of those stumbling blocks are removed and you can get back to enjoying your home (and your favorite shows) that much faster.

While the design-build construction process is a relatively new way of delivering projects, it is fast becoming the most popular project delivery method available. Because all parties come together and so much information is presented at the start, the entire process is streamlined.

Back in 1993, a group of industry leaders in the architectural, engineering, and construction fields came together with a common goal: to find a better way to bring projects from design to delivery. They realized that the traditional design-bid-build process was often inefficient and led to communication breakdowns and delays. The Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) was born.

They worked to perfect the design-build process and spread its benefits to a wider audience. Today, this community is made up of professionals across multiple industries and includes academics, students, and project owners. Working together, they collaborate and innovate to bring some of America’s most successful projects to life. Thanks to their efforts, design-build has become a popular and effective method for bringing complex projects to fruition.

Your Guide to the Design-Build Construction Process

We are often asked to explain the difference between a Design-Build firm and a General Contractor, so here goes. A design-build firm such as Metke Remodeling employs a full-time design team who handles conceptual design options, construction drawings, and product/finish selections to finalize drawings and commence with permitting for construction.

After viewing the job site and discussing the project scope with the homeowner, a retainer for starting the design and budgeting process is collected. A thoughtfully prepared set of plans is created in tandem with obtaining the costs associated to build that project. This is followed by a review of the design concept and project costs with the homeowner.

These plans may be further re-vamped until the homeowner agrees with the design plan and project costs they have been presented. Once the contract is signed, the project is turned over to the team’s Project Managers and lead carpenters to begin construction for their home remodel.

That is what defines a design-build firm. The big benefit to the client is the project is imagined, designed, and completed with the budget in mind. If you start with the budget, create a design and specify materials that meet the budget, it is a lot easier than trying to fit the real cost numbers into an already-designed project.

Differences Between General Contractor and Design-Builder

A general contractor is not the same as a design-build firm that is staffed with a design team, builders, and carpenters. A general contractor only concentrates on construction, working on plans and designs already created by outside designers, normally hired by the clients.

A general contractor is only responsible for construction, often subcontracting all of the work to others. They will often provide a “bid” for your project that is based on preliminary or final designs and specifications. Oftentimes, that is a starting point, not the end point when it comes to estimates.

It is impossible to project a final contract price if you do not have a complete design with full specifications and structural engineering. If the contractor has not measured every square inch of the potential remodel space, then there is no way to determine how much labor or materials will be required to perform your project. That means the final contract price will generally be more than expected.

There are thousands of small details that are part of a remodel. When all those architectural, construction, and designer work are handled under one roof the result is a better-managed project with less room for error, both physically and fiscally. With a single contract, you won’t have to worry about making sure all the bills are paid, either.

Design-Build Construction Process Advantages

Even the best-managed construction projects of the past still had issues that were “just part of the process.” With the design-build approach, many of these problems become a thing of the past.

  • Communication
  • Transparency
  • Scheduling
  • Costs


Using a design-build construction process helps foster collaboration between all parties involved. With all stakeholders working together from start to finish, it is easier to identify potential issues before they become costly problems down the line. This approach encourages creative problem-solving and allows team members to work more closely together than with traditional design bid build processes.


While communication is key between the project owner and the project lead, the design-build method also helps keep both sides of the design-build team on the same page. In many traditional projects, the architect designs the building plans and then those are given to the construction team.

However, the architect may not have all of the information on the site or a change in codes and regulations. So there is increased back and forth until a solution is found. With design-build, the architect and construction member of the design-build team work together to head off any potential problem points.


Another advantage of using a design-build construction process is that projects tend to be delivered much faster than with traditional methods. By having everyone on the same page, project teams can quickly move from concept to completion without the need for re-designs or bidding wars.

As you can see, all of these advantages work together. With increased communication and transparency, it’s easier to make and meet deadlines. With roadblocks removed from the process at the start, there aren’t as many stoppages of work as there were in more traditional processes.


One major benefit of using a design-build construction process is the cost savings associated with it. By bundling all design and construction services through one source, the team can work together to find areas where costs can be reduced while maintaining quality standards. This streamlined approach allows for more accurate budgeting and fewer changes during the course of the project.

In addition, having a single point of contact simplifies communications between all parties involved, reducing delays and improving efficiency. This saves in terms of labor costs as well as time and any costs associated with missed deadlines.

Put the Design-Build Construction Process to Work For You

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so you want to make sure you’re making the right decisions when it comes to a major remodel. Metke Remodeling and Luxury Homes have perfected the design-build construction process and are ready to turn your dreams into reality.

This starts from the initial conversation we have with you, through the selection process of materials, and continues all the way to the final walkthrough. It’s about keeping communication open and transparency central to everything we do. Metke Remodeling & Luxury Homes only employ the best crewmembers, selects the best vendors, and works with the best partners to guarantee their clients get nothing but the best.