Our Design and Build Approach

Lauten Construction’s design/build approach has evolved over more than three decades of successful collaboration with our clients.

One system of planning a building project, which most people are familiar with, is to first hire an architect who draws up plans.

The plans are then submitted to several building companies for “bidding”. There are several problems inherent in this system. More than a few times, we have seen beautifully designed projects that never get built because real cost information came into the picture too late to be useful in planning.  An informed discussion of budget, including the impact of alternative design options on it, is a key element in an effective planning process.

Another potential problem with this system is one of comparison between “bids”.  For example, by learning through experience, we have developed time tested policies and procedures that enable us to consistently manage the construction process for a reliable outcome.  This is an intangible that is not readily apparent in the “bidding” process.

Finally, in a “bid” proposal, every unspecified detail or assumption can become an item of contention in a tug-of-war over cost between the builder and homeowner in a fixed price agreement with a third party designer involved.  We prefer a negotiated agreement based on mutual trust.

Lauten Construction’s Design/Build Approach puts the builder, the architect, and the Home Owner on the same “team” early in the process.

Because we are involved from the beginning, we can provide real cost information. With shared cost expectations on the table from the initial concept, the design is based on a realistic budget which addresses the Owner’s needs, wants and wishes.

This approach, while not for everyone, provides maximum Owner involvement in the project. Although it can require more meeting time and ongoing evaluation of alternatives, we feel that it ultimately leads to a more satisfying project, arrived at through the co-operative efforts of all parties involved. We have an open book policy and prefer to base our costs on time and materials.

Lauten Design and Construction has been providing this design / build approach to its clients for many years. References are available. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have on the subject, including helping you decide if this approach is right for your particular project. Your existing drawings can be used to start a design conversation.