Attorneys at Law

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Be informed.

What Is a Design Build Construction Contract?

In the construction industry, every project should begin with a written contract. The reason for this is that the construction industry is particularly susceptible to disputes and delays based on misunderstandings. Moreover, given the vast number of parties that are often working on a single construction project, the need to reduce agreements to writing should be evident. Not surprisingly, there are a number of different types of contracts that can be used for a construction project. One of those is the design build construction project. Whether you are an owner or builder, you need to have a firm understanding of all the different contract options to ensure that you use the one that best suits your needs and the needs of the project.

A design build contract, simply put, is one in which the design-build team works under a single contract. The design build team then works directly with the project owner to provide the necessary construction services. By using a design build contract, the entire project works under one contract, creating one single source of information, instructions, and rules for the project. A design build contract contrasts sharply with the way in which many construction projects are handled wherein the owner contracts with a general contractor… who then contracts with numerous sub-contractors…who contract with numerous suppliers. As you can see, even the most basic construction project could end up with several contracts all operating at the same time, often in conflict with one another.

The primary advantages of using a design build contract include:

  • Faster delivery — because everyone involved works off of the same contract projects often get finished sooner.
  • Cost savings and/or control – with only one contract in play it is much easier to control the costs involved in a project. Using just one contract also frequently translates to cost savings.
  • Accountability -- one entity is held accountable for cost, schedule and performance.
  • Administrative efficiency – one contract means considerably less oversight is required on the part of the owner.
  • Reduced litigation – a single contract means a decreased likelihood of a dispute among the various parties involved in the project.

Whether or not a design build contract is right for you and your project is something only you can decide. The most important thing you can do, regardless of the type of contract you decide to utilize, is to work closely with an experienced construction law attorney when drafting the contract. If another party has asked you to sign a contract, make sure you have an experienced construction law attorney review the contract to ensure that the terms of the contract are fair and in your best interest.

To get started on drafting a construction contract, or to have one reviewed, contact the construction law attorneys at Curley & Rothman, LLC by calling 610-834-8819 today to schedule your free consultation.

Real EstateScott Rothman