Expansion Planning Checklist Part 2: Bidding Process vs. Design-Build

At the beginning of any new construction project, there is much to consider with regard to who is going to take on the project. Traditional design-bid and Design-Build are the two leading methods in the construction industry today. Below, you will learn the differences in the traditional bidding process and the Design-Build route for your next project.

The Bidding Process

Within the traditional construction bidding process, the owner manages two separate contracts. He/she establishes a contract with the builder and the designer. This makes the owner responsible for communicating with and managing the relationship with all parties involved. But there is not necessarily a contractual agreement, relationship, or obligation between the designer and the builder.


While traditional bidding has been around for a long time, design-build has its benefits. Design-Build differs from the traditional method of construction because they use one entity that will bear sole responsibility for both the design aspect and actual construction part of the overall project. For the Design-Build process, the designer and the contractor work together on the project as teammates. According to a recent study about various construction delivery methods at Penn State University, they found that the design-build method has the ability to save six percent on project costs while significantly shortening completion time.

Comparing design-build and traditional construction

One of the most notable differences between traditional construction and the design-build method is the timing of establishing the overall cost of the project. In the traditional method, the cost is established after the bid, right before construction begins. In the design-build method, the cost is established immediately following the preliminary drawings, and right before the detailed drawings.

ACI can help you!

Associated Contractors takes pride in our well-defined Preconstruction planning process. Before we begin a project of any size, we execute a well-defined Preconstruction plan. This plan includes the cost, timeline, necessary parties involved, necessary permits, recommendations of materials and equipment, and many other useful tips.

Our design-build process is a one-stop-shopping alternative that is ideal for the customer. We ensure that the customer interacts exclusively with a single entity and allow them to choose the architectural design, as well as assure them that they will receive quality commensurate with their intentions. At ACI, our goal is to put you in the best position to make informed decisions and maximize the use of your construction dollars. You’ll enjoy this comfort, along with a detailed plan and guaranteed timeline. Get in touch with an ACI specialist  today to begin your construction project!

Be sure to check out other topics in this series:

Expansion Checklist Part 1: Preconstruction Considerations 

Expansion Checklist Part 3: Considerations When Planning your Budget for your Project

 Expansion Checklist Part 4: Selecting Your Project Team


About Author

blog author

George Ray

George Ray is the owner of ACI and has been working in the construction industry for over 40 years. George has worked in the field in numerous roles including Laborer, Carpenter, Superintendent, as well as office roles including Estimator, Project Manager, Sales, Controller, VP, and President. He has extensive experience with pre-engineered buildings and design build.

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