Design-Build vs design- bid-build for luxury homes

A project delivery method consists of design, construction and other services that are required for executing, organizing and completing a building. Before initiating your project, as a client you should take time out to explore the project delivery methods and selecting the one that is best for your project. By choosing the right one for the project, you reduce overall risk, and can better manage the overall budget and schedule.

Design-Bid-Build (DBB)

Design-bid-build refers to the sequential phases of this project delivery method. DBB begins with the selection of an architect who designs the project, followed by the submittal of a construction bid where the owner selects a contractor, who implements the design.

Advantages of Design-bid-build
  • Design-bid-build is the most familiar and widely used project delivery method
  • Generally, it is also the lowest in price, at least up front
  • It offers owners plenty of opportunities to provide inputs on building appearance, function and implementation because the architect and the contractor work directly with the owner

Disadvantages of Design-bid-build

  • There may be collaboration gap between the contractor and the architect during the design phase regarding the materials and construction. This may slow down the project during the implementation
  • Since the owner approves the design drawings, consequently they bear the liability for any misalignment of plans and construction specifications
  • Project duration tends to be longer due to the “in-series” nature of the delivery method


Design-build is a construction delivery system in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single point of contact known as the design-builder or design-build contractor. This single entity holds responsibility for pre-construction briefing, design development and various construction stages of the project.

Benefits of DB

  • Single source of responsibility for the whole project
  • Cost Savings through efficiency of the complete process
  • Faster project delivery
  • Reduced Claims Exposure
  • Due to the extensive collaboration of the designer and builder in one firm results in fewer change orders and litigation

Drawbacks of DB

  • Design-Build requires a level of involvement by the owner, especially during the pre-construction phase. While this is true in all project delivery methods, Design/Build will require shorter yet more intense involvement
  • Since most design-build projects are not awarded based on lowest bid, the project owner may not receive the most competitive bid to complete the work

Why choose Design Build?

Over the course of the last 25+ years, traditional design-bid-build construction has continually declined while design-build has increased because every luxury Home Owner wants a hassle-free construction experience while also ensuring their needs and aspirations realized through design and detailing. Given the nature of design-build, we believe Design-Build to be an ideal construction method for Luxury Home Owners in India.

At Metaphor, we are continuing to offer apt design-build solutions for our clients. We will be issuing periodic insights on the same. Email us at if you’d like to know more.

Insights from Mrs. Vijaya Durga A, Managing Director, Metaphor Interiors
Written by Sheetal Venkatram

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