What Are Luxury Design Build Services?

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Luxury contractors come in many different shapes and sizes, each with their unique benefits and idiosyncrasies. A great way to narrow down your choices is by comparing their construction processes. While doing this, you may come across the terms “design build” and “design bid build.” Understanding the definitions and differences of these construction processes will help you make the most informed decision for your next project.

What is Design Build?

Design build (or design-build) is a construction process in which a single entity (like a design build firm or contractor) is contracted for both the design and construction services of a project. In design build projects, the design phase and construction phases overlap, reducing the timeline (and usually cost) of a construction project.

Design build is often considered an improvement on the design-bid-build process, streamlining the communication and project phases. With a single point of contact and responsibility, the agency or owner working with a design-build firm gets more clarity on the status of the project and what’s needed to accelerate completion.

What are the benefits of a design build approach?

The main benefits of design-build vs. other methods result from having a single source of responsibility. Communication, design, construction and problem-solving are all faster and easier when handled through a design-build firm rather than an architect, a contractor, and their sub-contractors. You also reduce the risk of having a designer create plans that are near impossible to execute while ensuring that the designer has a voice in the construction process.

The benefits of design-build include:

  • Quicker projects
  • Stronger communication & coordination
  • Clearer responsibility among your team
  • Earlier and more accurate estimations of costs
  • A single contract


Design Build vs. Design-Bid-Build

To get a better understanding of what design build is it can be helpful to understand what it isn’t.

The differences between the design build and design-bid-build approaches.

What is design-bid-build?

The most common alternative to design build is the design-bid-build approach. In design-bid-build projects, separate entities are contracted for the design and construction services of a project. First an architect is contracted to design the project. Then, a construction company wins the bid for the construction phase. The contractors have to be more competitive to win the bid, but it is also harder to establish clear lines of communication and responsibility when the project hits a roadblock.

What’s included in design build services?

Design build firms have teams of architects, designers, contractors and construction workers. The architects working to design the residential or commercial project keep close communication with the construction team to properly manage costs, time, and difficult elements. Once the designs are agreed upon, construction begins with the architects, developers, engineers, and general contractors all working together.

Expanding on the overview of our Design-Build process, below is a more in-depth breakdown of how Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. applies design build thinking to your construction project.

Discuss and Design

Every design and build project starts with initial meetings where we discuss your vision, share our expertise, and work together to turn your ideas and dreams into a realistic project scope. Whether you’re looking for custom home building in a Massachusetts suburb, flagship retail construction in Boston, custom kitchen remodeling, or historic home renovations, we’ll work together to realize your vision and exceed your expectations within your budget.

A team meeting discussing the design phase of a residential project.

We’ll discuss:

  • Your vision for your new home, store, renovation, or remodel
  • Your goals for this construction project

Have an idea for your dream house? Fine dining establishment? Condo renovation? Tell us about your project here!

Scope and Estimate

The next step is to match your project vision to a budget and timeline. Our team brings over 25 years of Greater Boston luxury construction experience to the table so you can be sure you’re getting accurate estimations.

Over that quarter century of designing and building in Massachusetts, we’ve developed unmatched experience managing all the steps that go into producing a truly beautiful luxury home or boutique shop. Coordinating the plumbing, electricity, architectural millwork, and other important details can be overwhelming at best and catastrophic if not done properly. To that end, Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. and our partners ensure ease of communication and fluid cooperation across all relevant teams to make sure every step of the design-build process is purposeful in design and masterful in execution.

Build and Manage

Once plans are in place that do justice to your vision and are within your budget, we’ll move into the construction phase. We have over 25 years of experience building to the highest standard of luxury construction in Boston and New England. We are unique in our careful and thorough approach to project planning and execution. Whether we’re creating a foundation or installing custom cabinetry, we understand our clients want every inch of their project to be constructed with the highest quality craftsmanship and utmost precision. We make it our mission to translate every detail into an astounding result while providing you with a well-planned, worry-free building experience.

One of our construction teams at a luxury residential construction site in Massachusetts.

Completion and Follow-Up

Finally, we provide you with one of New England’s best-in-class post-construction experiences. After you move in or open your business, we’ll maintain open communication to quickly and professionally address any post-construction concerns. We’re committed to the lasting quality and enjoyment of any construction project we undertake.

Once you’ve chosen to go with a design build contractor, you’ll want to make sure you’re going with the best one for your project. To help with this choice, we put together 5 questions to help you vet your contractor.


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