What is Design Build Execute?

Design Build Execute is a business model and process that was created by SmartDesign to help clients eliminate countless mistakes that result in delays, expensive change orders, and aggravation.


Unfortunately, a good majority of the design and construction industries are full of flaws. These flaws impact everyone involved in the project but the person who pays for these flaws, is the client.

One single project could rely on over 200 people to execute their job properly in order for your project to be successful.

Design Build Execute started when we realized that every time we pass the ball to a 3rd party we increased the risk of error, delay, or additional cost. No party takes responsibility, often placing the blame on someone else involved in the project and the client gets stuck with the bill.


Too many cooks in the kitchen make for a poorly managed kitchen.

A construction project relies on an Interior Designer to design the project inclusive of your needs and within your budget. An Architect will produce a full set of plans that needs to be approved by the Department of Buildings (DOB) and most importantly your buildings management company and board which have different rules and restrictions than the DOB. If you have a scope of work with heavy mechanical you will need an engineer who will be required to do the same. Finally, you’ll need to hire a contractor that understands your design and can achieve the results you need within your budget.


How likely is it for my project to go over my budget?

Over 90% of the time the design is way over budget because an interior designer is so far disconnected from what constructions costs and the implications of their design. As a result the budget is either increased by 30-50% or a redesign of the whole project is required to re-align with your budget. A redesign usually results in additional design costs. Even if the Interior Designer agrees to redesign the project for free which they should agree to – ONLY if you clearly communicated your fixed budget and they agreed to keep the design within that figure.

Once the project is redesigned, you’ll then need to pay the Architect to redraw the plans which will cost you thousands of dollars and weeks of wasted time.  It’s likely that by the time the redesign is ready the Architect will be working on other projects which will result in further delays before the permit can be approved to start work.

After you redesign the project or continue with the original over budget design you will then be hit with multiple change orders for 2 main reasons.


2 Reasons Change Orders Add up to More than Your Original Estimate…


The Interior Designer didn’t consider a multitude of technical aspects of your project such as electric and Plumbing upgrades and building code requirements. Designing something is one thing, understanding how it gets built is another.

  1. Change orders are racking up due to un-calculated construction considerations and un-calculated Plumbing and electrical upgrades. You’re likely thinking to yourself, isn’t this the contractor’s responsibility to identify when he gives me an estimate??? And the answer is NO. An estimate is just an estimate, the contractor sets his price and scope of work based on what’s shown on your plans / construction and design documents. If it’s not on the plans then it is not the contractor’s responsibility. Ok, so now you’re thinking “it must be the Interior Designer and Architect’s fault”. NOPE, it’s not their fault either. An architect did not go to school for construction. Architects learn conceptual design, design history, and basic AutoCAD. They are not equipped with the knowledge to help you anticipate these costs and average Interior Designers focused on color schemes and fixtures. Their job is to create the best possible appearance and functionality of your space. These are some of the flaws shared previously. Unfortunately, much of the industry is stuck in their own ways and pretty “old school”.  But at the end of the day you are the one who suffers and absorbs the cost which shouldn’t be the case if you find the right team to support you.

  2. The second reason is that the contractor is not usually the one doing the work. 90% of general contractors sub out all of their work. Even if they do the general construction work in-house they still sub out the electric and Plumbing and by law they have to. Only a licensed plumbing company can do plumbing work and only a licensed electrical company can perform electrical work. Every time a job gets subbed out it is much more likely to incur additional change orders and scheduling delays.

We’ve experienced these scenarios, we previously dealt with it every day and we still have to at times. But we’ve built our whole business model to cut out the unnecessary, frustrating experiences, delays, and extra costs for our clients. Are we perfect? No, but our business model “Design Build Execute” was created to help solve & prevent these issues from occurring. The Design Build Execute model incorporates and employs the most important, crucial trades within our complete in-house team.  Everyone on our team is fully qualified and equipped to take on our individual responsibilities for your job.

SmartDesign executes and manages the design, construction, Plumbing, and permitting, all in-house.

We deal with every stage of the project. You won’t hear that it’s anyone else’s fault if you hire us to take care of it your project from start to finish.

We are a team of problem Solvers and that’s what you pay us to do. We will encounter issues along the way, but we will always present you with solutions as opposed to the industry norm of looking for whom to blame.

Related Posts

Tell us About
Your Project

We care about your experience. Fill in your details and we’ll contact you shortly.