Your Guide to Boston Design Build Firms

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Everything You Need to Know About Boston Design Build Firms

In the past, many customers wanting to build their new custom homes or renovate and remodel existing spaces have been forced to divide the workload between completely separate architecture and construction teams. But thanks to the growing popularity of the full-service, single-source process provided by high-end design build firms, more and more clients are able to reap the rewards of this streamlined construction approach.

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

But first, let’s dive a bit deeper into what exactly a design build company actually is, what they do, and how they operate that differentiates them from other construction services providers.

What is a Design Build Firm?

A design build firm is a company which utilizes a specially trained design build team, which in turn allows all aspects of a construction project – from the initial design planning to the estimating phase to the final physical construction – to be handled by one single entity. To break it down, it’s more or less a construction company plus a design firm all in one.

Contractor drawing up design-build proposal

Whether it’s for residential projects or commercial properties, the design build method ultimately benefits the customer the most – and there are multiple reasons why, from expedited project delivery to more streamlined, purposeful communication and a major benefit of designing into a budget – all of which you’ll learn more about as you read on to learn more about the design build process.

What is a Design Build Firm’s Typical Process?

Project Management & Project Delivery

By providing you with an integrated project delivery method that combines all manner of architecture and construction services from one single company, you only have to manage one point-of-contact all the way from the initial pre-construction meeting to completion and follow-up.

Having this single point-of-contact in the form of an experienced project manager or other company representative tends to make construction management more efficient, which reduces the time between idea and completion for you. In fact, the latest research from the Design Build Institute of America shows that design build projects are delivered 102% faster than more traditional design-bid-build construction agreements.

Architectural Design

Another key benefit of the design build process is that it puts everyone on the same page well before – and throughout – the conceptual design phase, and this includes architects (if their assistance is required for the specific project).

While many design build firms, such as Sleeping Dog Properties, are already experts in the A-to-Z construction and design development processes, we also partner with a variety of other professionals – including architects – to bring our clients’ visions to life. That’s because, when it comes to building a custom home, architects are the most commonly contacted outside specialists.

Generally, the collaborative process between design build firms and architects works out because architects have a unique set of skills that allow them to thoroughly plan out a certain design process or blueprint that’s in line with the customer’s wishes. After the preliminary plans are laid out, it’s the design build team’s job to help assess the feasibility of the plans from a budgetary standpoint, while also ensuring that everyone on the construction side follows the blueprints as closely as possible one approved.

Also, it’s worth noting that, even if a design build company has to contract with an outside architect (or any other professional), then it puts no additional communicative strain or demand on the client. That’s because all these negotiations with other experts are handled internally by the design build team, and all updates are filtered through the same project manager when it comes to relaying information to the customer.

Construction Services

As one of the leading design build firms in Boston, our team here at Sleeping Dog Properties takes great pride in our ability to flawlessly execute all manner of plans after the preliminary planning and design phases.

From the very start of the construction phase, all the way through to completion and follow-up, we ensure that everything required to bring the vision laid out on paper to life is accounted for. Regardless of the size or complexity of any particular construction project, our expertise allows us to recommend and deliver the highest quality resources to bring blueprints to beautiful life.

FAQs About Design Build Firms

To provide further clarity on the unique benefits of design build firms, we’ve compiled this brief summary of some of the most commonly asked questions we receive regarding the nature of them.

What is a design-and-build company?

A design-and-build company is a company which specializes in or offers design build construction services. The design build process differs from the design-bid-build process by combining the design and construction phases into a single contract, whereas the more traditional design-bid-build process requires companies to outsource the bulk of their design work to other firms on a negotiated-price basis.

What is a design-and build-contractor?

A design-and-build contractor is simply another name for a company that provides unified design build construction services; in other words, it’s the single contractual entity that now holds single-source responsibility for every aspect of a build, from price estimations to pre-construction planning to outside negotiations and, finally, construction and post-construction.

What is a design-and-construct project delivery model?

The “design-and-construct” construction model is a project delivery process that is often used interchangeably with the “design-and-build” or “design build” phases. As opposed to the “design-and-tender” model, which requires developers to “tender” a project out through multiple outside builders on a negotiated-price basis, the design-and-construct model is where the developers, designers, and builders work together seamlessly throughout every stage.

What are the advantages of the design build process?

As a quick recap, here’s a high-level overview of just a few of the advantages of the design build process:

  • The design build process allows designers, builders, and developers to work collaboratively from the very beginning of a project, allowing them to collectively consider the overall projected cost from the onset.
  • The design build process allows the members of the design build firms (and any of their potential collaborators) to identify site-related challenges early on, which can then be factored into the design process and timeline sooner rather than later – allowing for greater ease of construction and more efficient delivery.
  • The design build process allows all structural issues, including factors related to engineering, legalities, and building compliance, to be addressed during the design process to ensure the project stays on time and on budget.
  • The design build process provides a streamlined customer experience since the client only has one single point-of-contact to keep in touch with throughout the entire construction process.


What if I have a favorite interior designer?

No problem! While any reputable design build construction company will surely already have a number of established relationships with local interior designers (just as they should with local architects and other outside professionals), there’s no reason why you can’t bring in your own favorite Boston home design professional to help customize your new or remodeled home after its foundation has already been laid.


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