design build contractor in Toronto

When Should You Work With a Design-Build Contractor?

Many contractors are quite happy to work with somebody else’s plans and designs as they simply want to concentrate on the building aspect of a project. This means you typically need to hire somebody to come up with the design plans and then find somebody else to carry them out. This is known as the design-bid-build method of construction. 

Working with two separate entities can sometimes lead to problems though, especially if the design and construction teams are not really on the same page or share the same ideas and work attitude. 

This is where design-build contractors can be a better option since the same company will oversee the entire project from start to finish. They’ll handle all of the designing and planning and follow up by doing the construction. They typically know how long the job will take and what the cost will be and know that the plans can easily be adhered to since they were part of the planning process from the beginning. Design-build is becoming a very popular option for homeowners in Toronto.


Costs When Working With a Design-Build Contractor

A design-build contractor may sometimes cost more upfront but you will typically save money in the long run as a result of less revisions due to design & construction conflicts as well as a faster and more streamlined process. Design-build contractors are skilled and trained in the art of design with most of them having certified architects as part of their team.

With the somewhat traditional home-owner-architect-contractor system, the architect will design a home and then monitor its construction to be sure the contractor is properly following the design without cutting any corners. However, the builder may not always agree with every aspect of the design and claim some of them are impractical or too costly. In this case, the builder may suggest altering the original design. Any disagreements need to be worked out during the bidding stage to guarantee the work will be carried out according to the plans and design. 

When hiring a design-build contractor it’s a good idea to ask the same types of questions you would to separate designers and contractors. You may find you’re impressed with their design ideas but not the construction side of things or vice versa. 

Be sure to check out their project portfolio and if possible, take a firsthand look at some of their work. Of course, you can also ask for recommendations and references and speak with their former clients. When doing so, don’t be afraid to ask about both the design and building phase separately.


Design-Build Pros

  • Simplified process as the same company takes care of all aspects of the project
  • One-stop shopping for both the design and construction
  • Potential savings when compared to hiring a separate architect/designer and builder
  • No disputes or disagreements between designers and contractors over the design
  • Less chance for increased costs and/or change orders during construction
  • Practical approach since the designer knows the construction costs of the plans
  • One team working together towards the same goal 
  • Clearer communication 


Design-Build Cons

  • Complete trust needed for a design-build contractor since they’re responsible for the entire project
  • Economical and practical designs may lack creativity and innovation
  • No competitive bidding could result in inflated costs
  • Corners could possibly be cut due to lack of overseeing by third party


If you decide to go the design-build route on your next home renovation project or custom home build, you still need to follow the same hiring guidelines as you would with any contractor.  Be sure to check their reviews and reputation online, check out their past project galleries and don’t be afraid to ask for references as well as other documentation to be sure they are the right fit.

Novacon Construction is a Toronto based design-build contractor specializing in high end renovation projects and custom home builds.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your next project.

design build contracting Toronto

Are Design Build Contractors More Expensive ?

When compared to the design-bid-build method or buying an existing home, employing a design-build contractor is sometimes viewed as being a more expensive option, but that’s not necessarily always the case. 

Traditionally, the construction or remodeling method most prospective homeowners have used over the years has been the design-bid-build option. In this case, an architect is hired to come up with a set of blueprints for a new home. These are then taken to a builder, who may construct the home or subcontract the work. This means the homeowner has to deal with at least two separate contracts and companies, which are the builder and the architect.

In this scenario it’s possible a contractor will come in with a lower bid to win the job. However, they may end up cutting corners to remain within budget or hire lower-paid and quality subcontractors.  

Why Design Build Can Be More Cost Efficient

With the design-build method, the process is simplified and more efficient as the homeowner has just one contract to deal with since the builder, engineer and architect work together under the guidance of the design-build company. This enables them to work side by side every step of the way from the concept and design all the way through the construction of the home, resulting in fewer complications and revisions.

The cost of building or remodeling a home depends on several factors such as its size, the geographic location and the types of materials used etc. However, with the design-bid-build method you also need to pay the architect separately and you may find some architects’ fees could be a percentage of the construction costs. This means if the architect and builder aren’t on the same page the fees could easily rise throughout the building process. 

In some instances and architect’s fees may be based on an hourly rate or even the total square feet of the construction project. Of course, larger projects will inevitably cost more or you could be billed 

approximately $150 per hour or more for their services. With the design-build option though, the architect’s fees will be itemized but incorporated into the project’s overall cost. This typically works out lower than fees based on square footage or an hourly rate. 

Even with a remodeling project, the design-build process might cost more up front but it could be less expensive in the long run. Since the same company is taking care of the design and construction it means they’re inheriting more risk. But it also means change orders aren’t as likely or common as the left hand knows what the right hand is doing at all times and there’s less chance of miscommunication. And as we all know, miscommunication results in time and money and it’s typically the homeowner who pays for it. In addition, a good design-build company will meet with you several times during the design and pricing phase.  

Since experienced contractors are involved in the project right from the design stage it means the costs can be more accurately calculated from the beginning. On the other hand, designers in the design-bid-build method may be way off the mark when it comes to estimating the cost of construction and you could soon be over your budget. If this happens, you’ll need to start the process again and hire an architect to re-design the home to lower the construction costs. 

Renovation Project Gallery Thornhill - Novacon Construction (21)

Design Build Offers Long Term Cost Savings

In many cases, the design-build option could cost more in the short-term when compared to purchasing an existing home. But a few years down the road you may find yourself remodeling parts of the home such as bathroom or kitchen since it wasn’t custom-built for your specific tastes. With the design-build method you can custom design the dwelling to fit your preferences exactly. This often results in a more energy-efficient home and can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars being saved on annual energy costs.

Also, design-build contractors are typically familiar with current popular construction trends and this could result in the home having a higher resale value since they know what home buyers are looking for. There are a few other intangibles to consider when choosing between the design-build and design-bid-build methods and these include flexibility, reliability, professionalism, warranty and craftsmanship. 

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a Design Build contracting company that specializes in custom home building and large scale remodeling projects.  We have been providing high end renovation projects i the GTA for over 15 years, contact us today for a free consultation.

Why The Design Build Method Works In Home Renovations

When it comes to home renovations and custom home construction, many people have heard the term design-build but may not be sure what it actually means. Basically, it means that one contracting company handles both the design and the construction of the home or renovation project. It’s one-stop shopping where you work with a single company from design to construction rather than hiring both an Architect/Designer and a contractor separately.

 Benefits of Design-Build

Things typically run much smoother if the same company looks after all aspects of a project including the permits and engineering work. Homeowners have just one contact to deal with when it comes to the cost and time frame details etc.

In the past, the design-bid-build method of construction and renovation was popular but it typically means you need to separately hire an Architect/Designer and contractor. After the design has been completed, contractors then bid on constructing or renovating it. However, many designers and contractors have no working relationship or obligation to each other and work independently.  This disconnect can sometimes lead to delays, misunderstandings and other issues that could cause issues with the project. One of the largest issues with the DESIGN-BID-BUILD method is that a high percentage of projects come in far higher than clients budget when it goes out for contractor estimates. This is avoided with a DESIGN-BUILD company because we discuss budget before, during and after the design process to keep things inline with the original budget. A lot of time and money is saved on the design costs as well since there are minimal revisions after the fact.

 Design-Build is More Efficient

The design-build method can be used for any scale of project and it’s ideal for home renovations. The design-build company will take care of the entire project every step of the way. And since the designer knows the cost of the materials and labour it’s a lot easier to stay within your budget. In addition, all of the contractors working on your renovation belong to the same team and have the same goal. This helps cut down on the chances of miscommunication and budget over runs.

When renovating, you’ll be able to discuss each aspect of the job such as budget, owner responsibilities, permits, deliveries, working hours, cleanup, style and goals as well as any special interests and priorities.

With design-build, one company is accountable for everything and will spend the necessary attention to all the details and specifics. All costs are taken into account including fees and utilities and any possible landscaping allowances.

The design-build firm is also an expert in the fields of design and construction as they typically have licensed architects on their team or have close working relationships with experienced architects. They also possess professional construction experience and fully understand sequencing and pricing and how renovation projects come together.

 Homeowners Are More Involved With Design-Build

Homeowners will work hand in hand with a design-build renovator and can be as active as they like when it comes to sharing their design and remodeling ideas. The owner has complete control concerning the project while the design-build company collaborates with them. Owners are encouraged to ask questions, become involved and give their input while considering all their options. If changes need to be made something needs to be eliminated or added there’s no problem.

When contacting a build-design company, the first step is a consultation and estimate. The designer will then work with you to finalize the drawings and make material selections. A checklist can be made to make sure everybody knows who’s responsible for what and you’ll be able to discuss things with the project consultant prior to the renovation.

In general, homeowners want their home renovation projects to turn out the way they have envisioned them. They are hoping the job can be completed in the projected time frame and adheres to the budget. They also like to have their ideas and opinions heard and mean something during all steps of the renovation.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a design-build contracting company in Toronto.  We specialize in custom home construction, home additions and large scale renovation projects.  For more information on design-build renovations of all scales and sizes please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

Design Build

The Difference Between Design-Build and General Contractors

When it comes to designing and building homes there are generally two options. Homeowners can utilize the skills of a general contractor or a design-build company. The main difference between the two is a general contractor will focus on the construction side of things whereas a design-build firm will also handle the architectural work along with the building of it. Design-build contractors are able to handle both jobs since they will manage all aspects of the project, from the planning and design process to completion of the project. 

General Contractors

General contractors have to hire somebody else such as a draftsperson to come up with architectural plans. This typically results in delays and added costs when compared to a design-build contractor who has a full-time in-house team to handle all the work. The architects take care of the construction drawings and conceptual design plans for your new home or the remodeling of your existing living space. An architect is needed to make sure local building codes are adhered to as well as health and safety issues.

Design Build

A well-executed design needs to be in place before building can begin. It’s much easier to get things done on time and on budget when architects and builders are working together. A design-build contractor looks after every step of the process from the initial planning stage all the way through the completion of the project. These contractors are able to provide clients with expert detail, design and craftsmanship along with first-rate service. Homeowners also know exactly who is responsible for each aspect of the job and who to contact with any concerns.

When the design and construction phases of a building project are managed by the same company it speeds up the process and reduces costs. You’ll also be treated to the same unified quality control from the beginning of the project until the very end. The project is generally simplified since one contractor is handling the entire process instead of several different people. This includes providing the architects, engineers, plumbers and electricians etc. There’s no need to hire any outside help and take the added time to work out a schedule with subcontractors.

Choosing Between The Two

This isn’t to say the traditional hiring of contractors only is never a good idea though.  If you have a specific engineer or architect in mind that you would like to work with then you will usually need to separate the design process from the building stage. Many Design Build companies will work with your chosen engineer or architect, though some may not, so be sure to ask.

Also, when employing separate designers and builders you’ll be able to access the professional knowledge and input of more than just one person. This means more ideas and options may be floating around concerning the project. Although you will have several different people to deal with and pay rather than just one contractor.

Choosing between design-build and general contractors is a personal choice and it often depends on where your priorities lie. Design-build companies are becoming more popular because they generally save homeowners time and money, but your decision may ultimately depend on the complexity of your plans.

Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a Toronto based design-build construction company specializing in home additions and large scale renovations of older homes. When working with a boutique company like ours, you can rest assured you are getting a commitment to personalized service and a world-class building experience that is difficult to match.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


Design Build project in Toronto

The Advantages Of Hiring a Design Build Contractor

The design-build method of constructing homes and businesses is gaining popularity in Toronto and the GTA since it combines the designing and building functions under the same roof. One company or contractor is able to handle all aspects of the project without the need to hire any subcontractors.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of hiring a design/build contractor for a major renovation or new home construction project.

The Same Team

Everybody’s working for the same team here as the designers and builders are all under the same umbrella. All participants are working towards a common goal since they’re all in it together and have everybody’s best interests at heart. This means any problems that may come up are always solved as quickly as possible.


One contractor is responsible for the entire project from start to finish including fees, landscaping, utilities etc. The people who designed the building are also the ones who are constructing it. Homeowners know exactly who to contact with any concerns over the design, timing, scheduling, costs, looks, quality, and payments etc. The design-build company is ultimately held accountable for every aspect of the job.


Since the same company is handling every step of the project the chances of anything being overlooked, forgotten or misplaced are greatly diminished. When three or four different contractors are working on the same site somebody could forget or overlook something which may delay the work.


Design-build companies are highly-trained experts and professionals in the fields of construction and design. They are licensed in both architecture and building and fully understand every aspect of constructing homes. The architects have a great knowledge of building and the builders have just as much knowledge about architecture.

Owner Collaboration

The homeowner is actively involved in the design process and construction of the home and is always in control of the project. You’ll be kept up to date with each step of the design and building process due to ongoing, open communication methods.

Saving Time and Money

There’s no need to employ outside help since the design-build company consists of all the workers and subcontractors needed for the project. All scheduling, deliveries, alterations and decisions can be discussed with one contractor and there’s no need to wait around for subcontractors to show up. The design-build contractor can adapt to every conceivable situation which results in the saving of both time and money.

Quality Control

With the same company handling all the details of the job it means the same level of quality control will be used throughout the project when it comes to construction specifications and materials. This results in unified health and safety concerns along the way.

Novacon Design Build

Novacon Construction has been serving Toronto and the GTA for over 15 years and offers Design Build services for both residential and commercial projects.  For more information on design/build and general contracting options please feel free to contact us here.