There are a number of stages involved in bringing an architectural conception to life, but between all of the moving parts, the process can often feel disjointed. A design-build project eliminates this challenge by merging the design and construction aspects into one cohesive and seamless event. To provide helpful insight into what clients can expect during this project, here’s a step-by-step guide.

5 Steps in a Design-Build Project

1. Meetings Are Held to Outline the Scope of Work

The first stage of a design-build project consists of preliminary meetings between project decision-makers. The first project overview meeting will be conducted interview-style between the client and contractor to discuss top priorities, design selections, and budget. Next, a design meeting will be held with an architect or designer to discuss design costs and fees. This is followed by a design agreement, which establishes a program for moving forward with an architect. Finally, a field measurement meeting is conducted to measure the home and create preliminary drawings. During this final meeting stage, a requirement will be set for the survey of the lot.

2. Submission of Initial Design Drawing & Cost Estimates

design buildOnce all plans are established, the designer will draft up their initial drawing based on the client’s specifications. When this is complete, the architect, contractor, and client will review the plans together. They will discuss allowances and make any necessary changes until they reach a cost estimate.

3. Construction Drawings & Final Bid Submission

Next, the client will select their desired products for the upcoming work. Typically, the client will work with an architect, designer, or interior decorator to inform and solidify their decisions. Once drawings are finalized, the client will review all costs and final bids and costs will be set.

4. Loan Approval Process & Permit Application

After establishing costs, a loan application will be submitted with a bid. Work will be contingent upon loan approval, and it may not begin until after the loan is officially signed. Next, the contractor will apply for a permit by submitting vendor and subcontractor lists, consisting of an outline of project details.

5. Final Meeting

The final stage in the process, a meeting will be held before the construction begins to discuss the proposed schedule. This is also an opportunity for the project manager to review the events before work gets underway.


If you need a design-build project for your commercial business, look no further than Pardi Partnership Architects PC in Rochester, NY. Developing projects from conception to completion, this corporate architecture firm ensures clients are brought along every step of the way so that all expectations are met. For questions about their building design process, call (585) 454-4670 or visit their website for more information.