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Over the last 25 or 30 years a concept has evolved which is known as the "design/build" approach to residential construction. It is a hybrid between the concept of a separate General Contractor, an Architect and an Interior Designer. One company, one source of responsibility providing all of the above functions to the consumer. The advantages to the consumer are extensive.

The goal of the approach is to minimize the hassle and stress of constructing a single family home to the client and to provide the client with the knowledge and peace of mind that their home will be designed, budgeted, and built in as professional a way as possible. In a project as complicated as a custom single family home, having a unified professional team in charge of all phases from conception to final completion is the optimal approach.


Here's why:

This approach is the most cost effective because the home is designed from inception with a specific budget in mind. Since the builder and the designer is the same entity, the home can be designed with the most cost effective methods and materials possible. This is usually not true when dealing strictly with a designer or Architect.

When dealing solely with the designer, the owner has to commit to a design without any realistic hold on the project cost. This often results in an unbuilt project or one that is grossly over the original expectations or intentions of the owner. In many cases the owner is forced to lower his specifications in unwanted areas because they are tied to a set of plans that is too costly to redraw.

This approach provides a single source of responsibility and accountability for the entire process. There is one contractual agreement. The client is never put in the position of being a mediator in disputes between designer, interior designer and builder.

This approach saves time. Time is saved because the estimating, design and price gathering from subcontractors and suppliers happens simultaneously. Also, since the designer and builder is the same entity, the entire project can be fast tracked with a unified schedule.

This approach saves money on design. Since the builder is accountable for the translation of ideas from concept to final product and since he is a cohesive member of the planning process, the level of plan details and specifications provided by outside professionals is much reduced. Thousands of dollars are saved because of reduced requirements for documentation and redundant drawings.

Design/Build provides a working unified relationship between the owner and those responsible for completing the owners requirements. This, in our opinion is the most important reason for choosing the Design/build approach. Establishing a comfortable working relationship based on trust between the client and the builder is the single most important factor in determining how successful and pleasurable your home building experience will be.

Your Alternative

Competitive Bid

In our opinion and experience, competitive bidding doesn't work in any fashion and results, usually, in stress, confusion and disappointment to the owners. Decisions based on the competitive bid approach to custom home construction and especially remodeling are the riskiest decisions anyone can make. The builder typically misrepresents the scope of work with some vague terms in the contract or specifications, gets the job and exploits the owner through modifications to the scope of work via bait and switch or exorbitant change orders.

If you feel you must use the competitive bid method and select your builder for your custom home or renovation using this method, there are several ways to protect yourself. The first is a detailed specification sheet listing all items down to quantities and model numbers. On items such as flooring, wall covering, cabinets, brick, lighting, etc., make these allowance items, with each phase having a said amount to work with. You set the allowance amount to protect yourself from low estimates that do not reflect a reasonable amount to work with.

Secondly, the more detail your plans show the better. Include on your site plan setbacks, driveway lengths and area of concrete for turnarounds, patios and walks, limits of clearing and excavation.

If you have any questions on design build or Worley Construction Inc., putting together a competitive bid package for you, E-mail us at mark@worleyconst.com.