After extensive deliberation on this matter during the inception of our firm, we decided to steer away from offering both design and build services under one roof in order to provide the best service to our clients and with the most integrity.

Opting for a design-build company that promises to handle every aspect of your project may seem convenient at first glance, but the reality often falls short of expectations. Upon closer scrutiny, this approach may not save time or costs, and it can even compromise the quality of construction.

One significant issue that arises with design-build models is the challenge of budgeting. The seamless integration of design and construction phases can exacerbate budgetary concerns. This integration creates a potential conflict of interest since the same entity is responsible for both designing and building. In such cases, the design-build company might prioritize cost-cutting measures during construction, potentially sacrificing the integrity of the overall design.

Moreover, the design-build approach tends to limit competitive bidding opportunities. Unlike traditional project delivery methods where multiple contractors can bid on construction tasks, design-build firms often have a set group of preferred subcontractors. This lack of diverse bids can lead to less competitive pricing and potentially inflated construction costs.

Furthermore, the lump-sum contracts commonly offered by design-build firms obscure the breakdown of costs between design and construction services. While this consolidated approach simplifies budget management, it also diminishes transparency regarding where exactly the client’s funds are allocated. This opacity can leave clients unsure of how their budget is being utilized and whether they are receiving optimal value for their investment.

Visit the 7 Reasons Why You Should Go with a GC for your ADU (Instead of Design-Build) for more detailed information.

We also recommend understanding the 3 main ways of how to build your ADU here, before you make a decision to go with a design-build company.