Design Build vs. Traditional Construction |Remodeling
living room with lit fireplace

Construction in a Design-Build Environment

Design-Build vs. Traditional Construction: Which Is Better for Homeowners?

Many homeowners choose the design-build process for their remodeling projects because it is quicker, more thorough, and less expensive than the more traditional method of separately hiring an architect, contractor, and designer. Proven time and again to be true, it is also good for homeowners to know that the services design-build firms offer will vary. Some are focused on construction with minimal design expertise—and others offer a package of services with sophisticated design and construction. A homeowner needs to decide what services best fits their remodeling project and budget.

At Wentworth, we value design and construction by supporting a team of highly talented architects and craftsmen who work collaboratively and provide our clients with the best services and most cost-effective process possible as well as streamline communication. 

Traditional Remodeling vs. Design-Build

There are three separate entities in the traditional (not design-build) home remodeling process: the client, architect, and builder. This can create a “triangle of tension.” The tension is often caused by a lack of communication between the three parties—such as when a client delivers a message to the builder, who may not relay it to the architect, or vice-versa. The failure on any one of these three parties will lead to a triangle of tension. And poor communication, often with cost overruns, can spiral into a stressful situation for a homeowner.

Quality Construction

At a design-build firm such as Wentworth, the architects and carpenters are in constant communication, easing the possibility of any confusion with the construction and/or client. Not only does the design-build process improve communication, but we also have more control over the quality of design and construction.


Contractors sometimes only provide “general contracting” services with all work delegated to subcontractors—even carpentry—which diminishes the quality of construction and takes longer. At Wentworth, we limit our use of subcontractors to plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and drywall/paint. Additionally, we utilize the best subcontractors we know and have long-term relationships with. This control saves time and money for our clients’ remodeling projects.

Our in-house carpenters are not merely job-site managers but highly skilled craftsmen. Our lead carpenters are experienced in overseeing subcontractors and performing sophisticated tasks. Several have wide-ranging skills including:

  • Custom cabinetry
  • Excavation
  • Foundation and footing layout
  • Welding

When there is something new to learn, Wentworth helps carpenters acquire the skills to expand our reach of service—such as paying for expositions, classes and seminars.

Wentworth Construction

Our production manager was recently trained to install helical piers. Helical piers are high-torque screws that are installed hydraulically to provide foundation support stronger than normal concrete footings. Our production manager and his assistant attended a training seminar by the primary manufacturer of helical piers to become a certified installer. We have since been able to install numerous foundations with helical piers, saving our clients time and money.

Welding is another skill our production manager chose to develop to benefit our clients in terms of cost and time. Often, our remodeling projects will require welding for structural steel members or a simple stair railing. Hiring an outside subcontractor for a small welding projects like these can be expensive and slow down the work flow.

High-Quality, Collaborative Construction

At Wentworth, we are proud of the quality construction we provide our clients. Experience has shown that great design can only be implemented through excellent craftsmanship. Our clients’ successful projects require good communication and collaboration between our architects and carpenters. A smart and talented carpenter can make your remodeling dream a reality. Visit our custom detail gallery to see photos of our carpenters’ skills in action—and contact us when you’re ready to start your home remodeling project!

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“ We are very pleased with the outcome. The space is more open, warm, and inviting. ”

Susan and Larry K., Washington, DC