Design Build Nanaimo


What is Design Build

Design-build is a project delivery method in which the design and construction of a project are contracted and managed by a single entity. This method can offer several benefits to the owner of a construction project, such as:

    1. Reduced costs: By streamlining the design and construction process, design-build can potentially save you money on your project.
    2. Shorter project timeline: With design-build, you can potentially complete your project more quickly, as the design and construction phases overlap.
    3. Reduced risk: With design-build, the contractor is responsible for both the design and construction of the project, which can help to reduce risk for the owner.
    4. Improved communication: Working with a single entity for both design and construction can help to improve communication and coordination among all parties involved.

Overall, design-build can be a useful project delivery method for owners who want to potentially save money, complete their projects more quickly, and reduce risk.

Your Vancouver Island Design Build Team

Jordan, Owner

Jordan, Owner

Custom Home Builder | Journeyman Carpenter



Architectural CAD technician and Residential Building Designer

Dallas, Owner

Dallas, Owner

Custom Home Builder | Journeyman Electrician

Design Build Reduced Costs

Managing Expectations and Prioritizing Your Budget

Designing and building your own home is exciting and it is only natural for you and to have high expectations on how your home will look or how your relationship with your builder will be. It is important to keep in mind that expectations change through-out this process. Despite that, there is one expectation in which holds principal to us and that is your budget.

At Buck Robertson Contracting we are going to do our best to understand what is important to you and where you will be spending the most quality time in your home. Having a design and build team stick handle the process from the start ensures we can create a space that is functional, curated to your taste, practical and most importantly, budget conscious.

Design and Build your Life

You may wonder how our approach can actually help reduce costs. The key lies in understanding how you function in your home and making informed decisions about where to allocate your budget. By gaining insights into your lifestyle, preferences, and priorities, we can assist you in strategically investing your money in the areas that truly matter to you. Let’s explore how this understanding can lead to cost savings and a more satisfying outcome for your dream home.

Shorter Project Timelines

There are a few great scenarios we will use here to give you some context on how a Design and Build team will streamline the process of building from day one.

Vacant land | Buyer | Realtor

Scenario 1: you choose to contract trades and professionals individually

Realtors and Design Professionals

Once you’ve squared up the purchase of your lot, your realtor recommends an architectural drafting firm to begin the design and permitting process. You engage that firm, and they require a survey of your property which is to be completed by a registered land surveyor. No problem, you ask the design firm to recommend some land-surveying companies and you are on your merry way to the next step.


Once the survey is completed, the designer would then research your local government bylaws and understand the boundaries of your property that they need to work within when designing your home.

Vacant Land Owners

You spend 6 weeks bouncing your designs back and forth between each other and then engage a few builders of their recommendation. Said builders reply with some very important questions to which you do not know the answer to.

How do I build my own home?

You then contact your designer inquiring about these questions and they do their best to provide you with the information. You find a builder you’re comfortable with after spending a few weeks gathering further information for a couple, and they do a realistic calculation of your budget and propose changes to your design to save costs.

local zoning bylaw

You are then required to reach out to your designer again to make changes to finalized plans. The designer realizes the changes the builder has requested do not comply with the local zoning bylaw and/or with the building code, so the designer and builder then have to come up with another solution all while managing other clients timelines.

How long does a house take to build?

It is important to keep in mind that in this scenario we are still only in the planning phases of building your dream home and a fairly accurate estimate of this timeline would be 10 weeks minimum after factoring in multiple professionals influx in timelines. Please see below for a scenario in which you began with a Design/Build team.

Vacant land | Buyer | Realtor | Design Build Team

Scenario 2: you choose to contract a Design/Build team

Before you purchase a property

Ideally, it is best to engage your Design Build team prior to the purchase of your lot, this helps give you and your team insight into the property, understanding the lay of land before any design conception will vastly improve coordination in the planning process. Both the builder and designer make an appointment with you to come view the property and discuss your wants, needs, and budget. We advise you need a survey and contact them on your behalf with what we require.

Design and then Build

Once completed, the builder and designer will combine their speculations from the site visit, the information provided by a registered land surveyor and the local governments bylaw to start formulating a plan for your design. Your designer has worked alongside this builder for a while now, and understands their wants and needs and both have a cohesive system in place. A plan is formulated to maximize the use of your lot, including positioning, foundation requirements and any information pertaining to zoning restrictions. The designer has relayed the boundaries themselves that the builder can work within very early in the planning phase and the builder can then estimate a more accurate expectation of design and cost for the end user which results in much less back and forth.

Communication with Design and Build

Once you begin putting your plans to paper, the builder has a streamlined relationship with the designer, and while you are making revisions to the plan, the builder and designer are working together behind the curtains to solve any hiccups that may arise (for example, the designer has put a large beam in a basement and the builder recognizes that’s going to be intrusive in the space so both come up with a solution to place the beam elsewhere).

Technical design details and practical home builder skill set

Combining both the practical and technical experience of your builder and a designer early in the planning stages means a lower tolerance for error. In having a clear understanding of your dream home as a designer and as a builder, and what boundaries we can work within together, we are able to save a lot of time in back and forth.

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Reduce Risk with Construction Management

We want the opportunity to be able to see the project come together right from the start and to help identify the risks of the project with a risk management plan. Yes, we aren’t going to catch them all but you will have two lines of defence with a designer and builder who both have one common goal; doing our best to reduce the amount of risk and understanding that every project is a prototype and in that, risk is apparent. By reducing the amount of interpretation going on between professionals, our chances for success are high. When the project gets underway that is when construction management comes into play. The  construction management team is a group of people that understand your project and have a keen focus on risk, schedule, budget, quality and overall scope of work.

Improved Communication

Coordinating all the teams involved is a lot easier when everyone knows what the goals of the project are. The designer and builder will have a cohesive system in place and there is a a central hub (Project Management Software) where everyone involved can share their thoughts about what is important to them. This allows us to keep the lines of communication open and help others to understand where we are and where we are going. This a process called Integrated Project Delivery or IPD.


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Choosing a design build team in Nanaimo can be a daunting task, but with some research and careful consideration, you can find a team that meets your needs and expectations. Here are some steps you can follow:

Determine your project needs:

Before you start searching for a design build team, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your project. This will help you identify the type of team you need and the expertise they should have.

Research potential design build teams:

You can start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have worked with design build teams in Nanaimo. You can also search online for design build teams in the area and read reviews from previous clients. Make a list of potential teams that catch your attention.

Check their portfolio:

Once you have a list of potential teams, check their portfolio to see their previous work. This will give you an idea of their design style and quality of work. If possible, visit some of their completed projects to get a firsthand look at their work.

Check their home builder credentials:

Ensure that the design build team you are considering is licensed, insured, and registered with BC Housing. This will protect you from any legal and financial liabilities in case of accidents or damages during the construction process. You may also want to see if they are part of the Canadain Home Builders Association.

Check their experience:

Look for a design build team with extensive experience in your type of project. Ask for references and speak to previous clients to get an idea of how they work and their level of expertise.

Schedule a consultation:

Once you have narrowed down your list, schedule a consultation with each design build team. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your project, ask questions, and gauge their communication skills and level of professionalism.

By following these steps, you should be able to find a design build team in Nanaimo that meets your project needs and expectations.

Netzero Home Qualified Builder
Canadian Home Builders Association Vancouver Island

 Design and build projects typically involve a single contractor or construction company that is responsible for both the design and construction of a project. In other words, the contractor is responsible for organizing the entire project from start to finish, including the design, engineering, and construction phases.

This approach is often used in construction projects where the client wants to simplify the process and minimize the risks associated with coordinating multiple parties, such as architects, engineers, and contractors. By hiring a design-build firm, the client can have a single point of contact throughout the project and a streamlined process for completing the project.

Contracting with Communication is Key

Design-build is a project delivery method in which a single entity, known as the design-build contractor, is responsible for both the design and construction of a project. While there are many advantages to using design-build, such as streamlined communication and increased accountability, there are also some disadvantages. However, even these disadvantages can have a positive impact on a project, depending on the circumstances. Here are some examples:

Limited owner control: 

With design-build, the owner gives up some control over the design and construction process. However, this can be a positive thing if the owner is not experienced in construction and trusts the design-build contractor to make decisions that are in the best interest of the project.

Limited design options:

Design-build contractors typically have preferred design solutions that they have used successfully in the past. This can limit the design options available to the owner. However, this can also be a positive thing if the owner wants a design that is proven to work well and is less risky than a new, untested design. 

Potential conflicts of interest:

Since the design-build contractor is responsible for both the design and construction of the project, there is a potential conflict of interest if they prioritize cost savings over quality or if they cut corners during the construction phase. However, this can be a positive thing if the design-build contractor is incentivized to find innovative ways to save costs without compromising quality, which can result in a better overall value for the owner.

Overall, while there are some disadvantages to design-build, these can be mitigated by choosing a reputable design-build contractor who has experience with similar projects and a track record of successful delivery.

Design and build can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional construction methods, but it can also provide cost savings and other benefits in the long run. Here are some reasons why design and build might be seen as a positive investment:

Let us streamlined the process when building your home:

With design and build, the design and construction phases are integrated, which can help to streamline the process and reduce the time and costs associated with the traditional “design-bid-build” method.

Single point of responsibility: We are here to help with your new construction

In design and build, the same company or team is responsible for both the design and construction of the project, which can reduce conflicts and potential delays between the architect, contractor, and owner.

Cost savings on your forever home:

Design and build can provide cost savings in the long run due to the streamlined process and the ability to make design changes more easily during construction.

Enhanced quality: with value engineering

Design and build can allow for more collaboration and input from various stakeholders, resulting in a higher quality end product that meets the owner’s needs and expectations.

Customization in home construction:

Design and build can provide greater flexibility and customization, allowing the owner to tailor the project to their specific needs and preferences.

Overall, while design and build may come with higher upfront costs, it can provide many benefits that make it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

The cost of a construction project can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the delivery method used. Both design-build and design-bid-build have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to project cost.

What is Design-bid-build

Design-bid-build, in which the owner first hires a designer to create plans and then puts the project out to bid to contractors, can be less expensive upfront as the owner has greater control over the design and can solicit competitive bids from multiple contractors. However, there may be additional costs associated with coordinating the work of the designer and contractor, and the owner may be responsible for any cost overruns or delays that occur during construction.

Yet us help Design-build your home

Design-build, in which the owner contracts with a single entity to handle both the design and construction of the project, can be more expensive upfront as the owner is paying for a single entity to handle both aspects of the project. However, this can also lead to cost savings and a more efficient construction process, as the design-builder is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the project and can make adjustments in real time to address any issues that arise.

What is the right fit for you and your next home build?

Ultimately, the cost of a construction project will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and complexity of the project, the quality of the materials used, and the experience and efficiency of the contractor or design-builder. It’s important for owners to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of each delivery method before making a decision.

Design/build a project delivery method

Design/build can be a highly effective project delivery method for many types of projects on Vancouver Island. By using a design build process approach, project owners can benefit from having a single point of contact for both the design and construction phases of their project. This can help to streamline the process, reduce the risk of miscommunication, and ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

What size of project fit design/build

Design build method can be particularly well-suited to smaller to mid-sized projects that have a clear scope of work and relatively straightforward design requirements. With design build process, project owners can avoid the need to manage multiple contracts and coordinate between different parties, which can save time and reduce administrative overhead.

Design and build for tight schedules and limited budgets

In addition, design build method can be an effective approach for projects with tight schedules or limited budgets, as it can help to minimize delays and cost overruns. By having a single team responsible for both the design and construction phases, the process can help to optimize the project schedule and ensure that the project is delivered on time and within budget.

The design build method can be an excellent choice for many types of projects on Vancouver Island, particularly those that require a streamlined, efficient approach to project delivery. By choosing a design/build approach, project owners can benefit from greater control over their project, faster delivery times, and lower overall costs.

Design-build contracts are a popular choice among owners in Nanaimo, BC for several reasons:

Streamlined process:

With design-build contracts, the owner only needs to deal with one entity (the design-build team) rather than separate contractors for design and construction. This can streamline the process, reduce communication errors, and speed up project completion.


The design-build team is responsible for both the design and construction of the project, which means they are accountable for any issues that arise during the process. This can provide the owner with greater peace of mind and reduce the risk of disputes.

Cost savings:

Design-build contracts can often result in cost savings, as the design-build team is incentivized to find efficiencies in the design and construction process. Additionally, the single point of responsibility can reduce the likelihood of costly change orders.


Design-build contracts offer greater flexibility for the owner, as changes can be made to the project throughout the design and construction process. This can help ensure that the final product meets the owner’s needs and expectations.

Overall, the design-build form of contract can be a practical and efficient choice for owners in Nanaimo, BC who want a streamlined process, accountability, cost savings, and flexibility in their construction projects.

Want to Build your own team members for your next home building project?

Building Your Dream Team: Essential Qualities to Look for in Design and Build Project Members

Technical Titans:

Assemble a team of experts with the right skills and technical prowess for your project’s success.

Experience Matters:

Seek seasoned professionals who have tackled similar projects and possess industry-specific know-how.

Collaboration Champions:

Find team members who excel at working together and possess strong communication skills for seamless coordination.

Igniting Creativity:

Unleash innovation by selecting team members who think outside the box and offer fresh perspectives.

Masters of Time:

Choose individuals who excel in time management and organization to keep your project on track.

Adaptable All-Stars:

Look for flexible individuals who can navigate unexpected challenges and adapt project plans accordingly.

Problem-Solving Heroes:

Bring in analytical thinkers who thrive on finding solutions and making informed decisions under pressure.

Leadership Legends:

If a project lead or manager is needed, find someone with strong leadership skills and team management experience.

Cultural Compatibility:

Ensure team members align with project values and work harmoniously, fostering a positive team dynamic.

Stellar Recommendations:

Gather references and recommendations to ensure you choose reliable and high-performing team members.

Crafting a well-rounded team with these qualities will set the foundation for a successful design and build project.

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