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  • CBF Contracting, Inc.

    13844 Route 68
    Sligo, PA 16255

Hiring a design-build contractor for your next commercial construction project can have many advantages, but some business owners are still skeptical of the concept. If you are considering forgoing the traditional bidding process in favor of hiring a design-build contractor, this is for you.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Design-Build Contractor

The Disadvantages of Design-Bid-Build

The traditional route of hiring an architect first and then allowing construction companies to bid is a time-tested model, but it certainly has its flaws. For example:

  • Miscommunication between the owner, the architect and the construction company is a common occurrence.
  • Costs can add up if extra drawings or redesigns are necessary.
  • The bidding process can prolong the construction timeline.
  • Since the lowest bidder usually wins the construction contract, quality isn’t prioritized.

Design-Build: A Better Alternative

The design-build construction model eliminates many of these traditional challenges by streamlining the construction process. Rather than hiring a separate architect and then a contractor, hiring a design-build contractor combines both services, so all parties work together as a team from the very beginning. Usually, this means that construction can start and end sooner.

Advantages of the design-build model for business owners include:

  • You only have one contract to worry about.
  • Better teamwork ensures more accurate cost and time estimates. A guaranteed maximum price can be established early on.
  • Sub-contractor pricing remains competitive.
  • You don’t have to pay the architect extra for construction administration.
  • Clear communication between designers and builders prevents up-charges related to change orders.
  • You can save costs on construction since the designer will take cost-efficiency into consideration when drawing plans.
  • Your project is much more likely to be completed on time.

Disadvantages of Design and Build Contractor might include:

  • The concept is still unfamiliar to many business owners, so expectations must be clearly communicated in a thorough RFP.
  • Because there are few checks and balances in regard to subcontractor negotiations, change orders and payment requests, a high degree of trust must be established between the owner and contractor.
  • Cutting out the bidding process can raise initial cost estimates, but the final cost could still be lower since there will be no unforeseen complications during construction.

Choosing the Right Design-Build Firm

When you hire a design-build firm, you’re getting a packaged deal, so make sure they can meet your needs on both fronts. When vetting a design-build contractor, come prepared with all of the questions that you would ask both an architect and a construction company. See samples of the company’s work and ask for references to help you decide if they are a good candidate for your job.

Additional Reading:

Choose CBF Contracting to Design and Build Your Next Commercial Project

Are you planning a new commercial or industrial construction project and need to find a contractor in Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio or Western New York State? Allow CBF Contracting to introduce you to the design-build way. We have over three decades of experience ranging from ground-up commercial construction to large-scale industrial build-outs. We prioritize time management, cost management and quality management to make sure you always call CBF Contracting for your next project.   Call us today at 814-745-3000 for a free consultation on your next design-build project.

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