Ask the Contractor: Design-Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

We know that construction lingo can get confusing. There are acronyms, slang terms, and more. A question that we often get asked is the difference between design-build and design-bid-build. And what are the pros and cons of choosing one over the other?


The owner of the build hires a company to complete all tasks from designing to building. The company they choose to hire will then come with their own internal people or will hire tradespeople they know and trust.  

Pros – The owner does not have to be involved in as much of the process. By hiring a general contractor to complete the project, the owner is putting their trust in the contractor to pick and choose people that can get the job done.  

Cons – The owner hires a general contractor who is in charge of hiring the design team and subcontractors. In turn, this may make the price a bit higher. Since the team will be answering directly to the appointed contractor, there is a concern of obligation to the contractor versus the owner of the build.  


The owner of the build works directly with individual contractors, architects and construction managers as part of a competitive bidding process.  

Pros – The outcome of choosing a design-bid-build plan can lead to some of the lowest total construction costs. Because of this, the competitive building process keeps contractor prices low to compete against each other. 

Cons – One of the most significant risks is that price can become more important than qualifications. Generally, when someone offers a bid, they are qualified to do what they offer. Although there is a chance they might not be the best option for you. 

design-bid vs design-bid-build

We want to make your construction process as painless and straightforward as possible. If you have any more questions, please contact us!



Author Since: 25 / Apr / 2018

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