There are many different contract options and ways to go about home construction or remodeling. The two most common are Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build. D.R. Hartman Construction Inc., a Maryland construction company which serves the Bethesda & Gaithersburg regions, prefers the Design-Build arrangement for many reasons.
Design-Bid-Build situations can tend to be more time consuming because of the number of parties involved with the job. The owner first hires an architect or design professional to create official construction drawings that detail their plan for the project. The owner then buys these documents from the architect. Then the owner is responsible for hiring a contractor (or contractors) to do the actual building of the project.
Usually several contractors are asked to submit bids, or their pricing estimates, for the owners to choose from. There is a large disadvantage to this system in that if any changes need to be made during construction, the changes have to be re-submitted to the architect who designed your project, who now has a new stack of work he must complete before returning to your project. Obviously, this can create frustrating and costly time delays and is not the ideal situation for anyone.
By starting with a Design-Build arrangement, you can eliminate the time wasted going between the architect and the contractors, because in this situation, they are one entity. The owner only has to hire the design-builder, one person who acts as the Project Manager. That person has an already established group of subcontractors, from interior designers, to plumbers to HVAC professionals, so the stress of hiring the right subcontractors is gone. Any problems with said subcontractors are taken directly to the Design-Builder, as he is the primary contact for the entire project. It is much easier to make changes throughout design-build projects because the drawings do not have to be resubmitted to an outside party. However, since the entire team of designers, builders and contractors will be working together and communicating throughout the design of the project, people find that less changes end up having to be made during construction. A higher level attention to detail is achieved in Design-Build arrangements because there is one person overseeing the project and making sure the subcontractors are aware of any and all changes and developments as the project progresses. Overall, these types of arrangements tend to be more cost effective and run more smoothly.