Working with a design-build firm is advantageous because: 

  • Overall project costs are lower vs. design-bid-build.
  • You work exclusively with one company, not two or three.
  • For mid-project changes, only one phone call is needed. 
  • Designers and builders are always on the same page because they work as a team - the home that is built will be true to the designer’s vision. 
  • Projects are completed more quickly. 

Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

Design-build firms handle every aspect of creating your custom home, from the initial design to the final finishings. We serve as architects, engineers, and builders, streamlining the process from start to finish.

Design-build is actually not new, but only in the last few decades have the benefits been widely understood. Historically, the process of building a custom home involved multiple steps and multiple companies. An architect and engineer would design the home, and then the plans would go out to bid in search of a contractor to do the construction. This process is what’s known as design-bid-build. 

The problem with design-bid-build is that the architect, engineer, and builder might not all be on the same page. You have to hope that the builder understands the vision and can execute it, which is not always the case. Because you’re dealing with two or more companies, the process involves more hassle, and the project costs more because you’re paying for two or three sets of overhead, not one. 

The convenience and cost savings associated with the design-build process have led to huge growth in the industry.Engineering News Record predicts by 2015, 55 percent of projects will be design-build, compared to just 35 percent design-bid-build. The commercial sector was first to jump on this trend, but residential is catching up. 

The Design-Build Process

Contrary to what some people think, custom homes by design-build firms are not simpler and less sophisticated than those designed by an architect and constructed by a separate builder. At Cambridge, we can design just about any home you can imagine. 

The process begins with an initial consultation. We’ll sit down with you to find out exactly what you’re looking for, and explain how to execute it. Over the course of our initial meetings, we’ll work closely with you to understand your taste and lifestyle needs. Once we have a better idea of what you want, we can offer a cost estimate. 

Throughout the design process, you can be as involved as you’d like, from making decisions about the layout to selecting kitchen appliances and crown moldings. This is your dream home, and we want it to be exactly what you imagined. 

There are many great design-build firms, but we like to think our approach sets us apart. We pride ourselves on excellent client communications, quality craftsmanship, and a straightforward and honest approach to pricing. Much of our business comes from referrals, so it’s important that every client is thrilled with not just the product, but the process. 

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