Can You Participate in Design-Build if Your Contracting Business Doesn’t Have a Designer?

With design-build fast becoming the industry standard, many contracting business owners rejoice. This approach to building puts more decision-making power into your hands, with the ability to influence the design based on your unique skills and experience. The trick is, not every contracting business has a designer. If you don’t, there are several aspects of the design process that you may not know. Here are a few factors to consider and tools you can use to help you determine what you need.

Why Is Design-Build a Popular Approach to Construction?
To know why design-build is taking over the construction industry as the preferred approach for both private and public works projects, you need to understand design-bid-build (DBB). DBB treated the design and construction processes as two completely separate elements of building, with different professionals working to achieve each one. DBB involved a professional, usually an architect, to create a design. Then the property owner would solicit bids from contractors who would build according to the design. Many experts believe this approach is much less efficient and often leads to problems, since the people on the hook for doing the work aren’t involved at all in the design stages.

By comparison, design-build makes the contractors in charge of construction an integral part of the design process. As is often the case, design-build became more popular for private projects well in advance of government projects. But even large organizations are starting to see the benefits of bringing the contractors they intend to hire on board from the beginning. It cuts costs and often takes much less time to completion.

Why Is It Important to Have a Professional Design Construction Projects?
For someone just breaking into construction and hoping to build their own business, the major hitch about design-build is the need to have a qualified professional at the helm. This is partly why DBB worked for as long as it has. The property owner or the organization requiring the project could hire someone with sufficient training and certification, like an architect, designer or engineer, to create a plan that meets building codes and achieves design goals. For the sake of safety and durability, sometimes there is no way around it.

How Can Contracting Businesses Make Design More Efficient?
The thing about design is that while custom is often ideal, it may not always be necessary. Contractors come into a space, take relevant measurements and requirements, and produce a design to fit owner specifications. But this may lead people into reinventing the wheel over and over again. Innovations like generative design seek to improve the design process. Instead of creating something entirely new from scratch every time, people may be able to search through designs that meet certain limits and refine them to suit their needs. This cuts down on time spent constructing the design and helps ensure a better long-term result.

When Should Contracting Businesses Partner with Designers?
If you research established design-build contractors, you’ll usually find that they have a certified interior designer on staff. This person may conduct many of the initial design consultations with property owners and produce a design that the rest of the team can carry out. They may also work with a licensed architect. For many types of building projects, this kind of care is frequently a requirement. For others, like surface-level renovations that do not change the structural layout, it might be more of a good suggestion. In either case, it’s probably wise to network with designers in your area, especially as you get started.

Design-build can be a great way to bring most of your construction project tasks in-house, as long as you can handle the design requirements. To find out more about building your contracting career, contact us at CSLS today!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.