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You may have heard the term “design-build” floating around more and more lately. According to Design-Build Institute of America, “The design-build approach is sweeping the nation—25 years ago, design-build was considered radical. Now it’s the most popular and fastest growing project delivery method.” But what exactly is design-build? Put simply, DBIA says it’s “an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility.”

Of course, it’s also important to know what design-build is not. As with anything that gains popularity, the myths and misunderstandings around design-build have been growing as well. To set the record straight, we’re going to debunk some of the common myths about design-build projects out there.

Myth #1: Design-build is a single method.

FALSE. There is more than one way to design-build. However, as this post points out, over the years, the term “design-build” has become a catch-all for many different alternative project delivery methods. Many contracting formats exist to accommodate these numerous delivery methods. At Chris Riggins Construction, our design-build process is a tried and true progression of three main phases: the planning and design phase, the construction phase, and the post-construction phase. This means the design is based on YOU and CRC builds your ideal space into a reality.

Myth #2: The owner loses all control on a design-build project.

False again. This is simply not true — and in fact is often quite the opposite if you choose the right design-build contractors. Homeowners usually decide how involved they want to be throughout the project. For example, at Chris Riggins Construction, we start with an initial conversation at no charge to discuss your project, budget and any design ideas you may have. Then throughout the entire process, our team uses the latest online technology to keep you in the loop concerning your project. We provide weekly progress reports as well as a schedule for the following week so our clients can plan accordingly and there are no surprises.

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Myth #3: Design-build is more expensive than traditional design-bid-build.

This is also false. In fact, with the design-build approach, the total cost—as well as the likelihood of out-of-budget pop-ups or unforeseen costs—is usually much less than the system of two separate phases and contracts (i.e., first design, and then build vs. design-build). In fact, a recent design-build study shows that design-build projects are delivered faster and with greater reliability in cost and schedule performance than other project delivery systems. Did you know Chris Riggins Construction spends more time bidding your project at the beginning to be able to establish a fixed cost for the entire project? This means no surprises, heartaches, or headaches along your OC Design Build Journey.

Myth #4: Design-build is good for speed, bad for quality.

OK, the first half of this statement may be true, but the second half is FALSE. Truth is that the design-build team structure helps projects move along quickly and be completed with higher quality. With designers and builders united from the start of the project, an integrated team is ready and willing to work together to successfully complete a project faster, more cost effectively, and with optimized project quality.


While there are many design-build myths out there, in reality there are numerous benefits to choosing a design-build process for your custom-built orange county family home. According to Design-Build Institute of America, “Design-build saves time and money while allowing for more innovation, collaboration and better projects.” And a recent design-build study backs up those claims with hard data demonstrating that design-build projects are still delivered faster and with greater reliability in cost and schedule performance than other project delivery systems.

At Chris Riggins Construction, we are experts in—and are absolutely passionate about—residential design-build. Our team has decades of combined experience in the residential field as well as a stellar reputation for exceeding clients’ expectations. No matter what your specific design-build goals, we’ll put our passion and experience to work for you. Contact us to begin your planning today!

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