What is the Difference Between Design Build and Traditional Construction


Building a house is as special as the thought of owning one. The process is hectic, takes a lot of time and can be considered as a painstaking task by some. Luckily, to overcome this, various specialists are readily available, who make the task less painful and simplify it a bit. Currently, there are two methods of building a house, one is the traditional construction method, and the other is the design build. Both these methods are equally effective and are very popular all across the world.


Let us dive into this and understand what those two words really mean. Traditional construction is a process of new construction where the owner will have to hire a designer, architecture, and building constructor separately. The designer is hired to deliver ready to use plans and the building constructor is hired to complete the construction of the building. Design build is a process of construction where the owner will have to hire a single entity, which can be a person or a firm, who will solely bear all the responsibility for both design and construction of your project. There will be a single contract between the owner and firm that they will hire.

It can become very difficult to find a reputable firm which provides all services and cater to your needs accordingly. But you can search the internet and select a few based on the ratings. You can click here to learn more about the Los Angeles new construction activities

Given below are some difference between Design Build and Traditional Construction for your better understanding:

1. Construction Cost


Budget is the most important factor when it comes to constructing a house. All your decisions depend on your budget, so it is very important to understand and decide which methods will suit your budget and project. One of the drawbacks of the traditional approach is that it is not fixed how much money it will cost you, one little change can cost you a lot. While design build method you will have the idea of an estimated amount, and you can also make changes according to your requirement.

2.  Control over the project

As you already know that there is not any contractual relationship between the designer and the building constructor in the traditional approach.

For that reason the owner will have to take control over the project and he should act as a mediator between those two if the owner chooses the traditional approach he should have some technical knowledge also to understand their concepts.

On the other hand in the design build approach the owner is not required to have much control as compared to the traditional construction.

3.  Duration of the Project

Every project owner wishes that his project gets completed within estimated time, to achieve this goal the owner has two options whether he can choose a traditional construction approach or design build approach. But in the traditional approach the owner has to hire a different contractor for different things and there is not any contractual relationship between the contractors as a result the construction process might take some more time.

On the other hand, in the design build method the owner has to hire a single entity to complete the design and construction part as a result construction will run smoothly and the project will complete in less time compared to traditional construction methods.

4.  Performance Risk


In traditional construction methods the owner will have to hire a designer and constructor separately, if the designer will not complete his part of work on time then the building constructor will not be able to start their work on time as a result overall performance may be affected. On the other hand in the design build method the owner has to hire only a single entity who will perform all the activities from beginning to end so there is a less chance that the overall performance may affect or the project will get delayed.

5.  Quality of Work

In both the methods the main goal of the firms is to satisfy the needs of the owner, but in the traditional construction approach sometimes they miss this part. It happens because of less flexibility and lack of communication as a result the overall quality of work does not match the requirement.

On the other hand, the design build method is a single firm so there cannot be any lack of communication so it will reduce all these risks and produce a higher quality of work and overall satisfy the owners need.

6.  Flexibility


While building flexibility is a very important factor, the ideal constructor is the one who understands the owner’s requirements and is ready to make changes according to the client’s requirements. In a traditional construction approach the owner has limited flexibility, the owner can change very little things and by doing this it can delay your construction from the scheduled time.

But in the design build approach the owner has more flexibility he can change according to his requirements and it also does not add any extra time or cost to the project.


While deciding whether the owner wants to take the design and build or traditional approach, it is very useful to evaluate similarities and differences of each. Both the approaches have their advantages and disadvantages.

Traditional construction approaches experience changes in budgets. Any little change will add extra cost to your budget which may also affect the delivery time of the project. While in the Design build approach any changes do not affect your budget, it is a very efficient and cost-effective approach.