What is a Design Build Contractor?

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Design build contractor is the latest buzz word in the home improvement industry. The term generally means a firm that handles a home improvement project from conception.

But what does it mean to you and how can knowing the difference between a design build contractor and a general contractor save you money?

There are many Hawaii contractors that claim to be a Design build contractor, a one stop shop format for all your building needs. The term is being thrown around very loosely but this may not be the case.

A true design build contractor takes on full responsibilities of a project to completion based on the approved designs, specifications and general conditions that make up the whole of the construction contract.

Someone who is not, will have a low bid upfront then when unaccounted for items arise after an agreed upon construction contract, you will get charged the additional costs from change orders for the additional work. This means additional charges on top of the original contract price. These hidden charges can be inflated to make up for the original low cost given at the initial construction contract.

Most homeowners end up biting the bullet and giving in to the additional charges being held hostage to having their project completed.

If you have a true Design Build Contractor, if any instances arise that would cause substantial changes and cost to the project within the approved construction contract it is at the responsibility of the design build contractor. They will document the change order for the homeowners’ approval and perform the work at no additional charge.

This is why the time spent during the design phase is well used to account for all the details that go into a home improvement project. The only change orders that should occur are if a homeowner initiates the changes while during the course of construction.

When done correctly there should be no change orders attached to any project!

Now you know how to tell the difference and save money on your project.

1 reply
  1. Taylor Bishop
    Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for helping me learn more about design build contractors. I didn’t know that they are responsible of the specifications and general conditions for the whole project. I’m kind of interested to learn more about the qualifications or training they can receive for this.


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