Traditional Architect V Design & Build

As a building contractor there is that age old debate about the advantages and disadvantages of using an architect for build or going down the design and build route. As an new age company we personally feel that design and build is now trumping the traditional architect route and here we explain why design and build works so well for North London homes.


One entity is accountable for everything including how the end result looks, how much it costs and the timeline of completion. When the same group that designs the project also builds the project, there tends to be much more attention given to pricing and scheduling in the design phase. The cost of everything is taken into account early on in the process; all fees, construction costs, utilities, landscaping allowances – everything. Conversely, it is not unusual to hear from people that “their remodel cost twice as much as the architect said it would” – such a scenario creates deep customer distrust and cannot occur in the design & build priced model. Design & build focuses on results, not procedures.

Everyone in the same boat

When your designers and builders are on the same team there is less chance of disagreements and conflict ensuring that the build process will be much smoother and in the end probably cheaper. Less blame culture and more about working cohesively to make the project work.

Good line of communication

When you are working on the same team and your projects are in full flow, we always meet issues, hurdles and problems that need to be overcome. Working directly in line with the designer and build team means that because the communication is so concise, the work flow works better and therefore the overall project is more efficient as a result.


When managing even a small scale project such as a kitchen extension, loft conversion right up to full home refurbishments it needs to be micromanaged to ensure that all the different trades coming in are coordinated in situ with each other. Where projects can really slip up is the communication as to when the first fix team finishes from groundworks to planning on when the plasterers, plumbers, glazers all need to be in to complete their tasks. Working directly with the designer ongoing allows for the build team to be better coordinated and therefore better results all round.

Mutual Interests

When you both have the same interests and goals, you will always find that you work better as a team. An architect may draw up plans, but not always around when the build is going through. Ensuring your designer is with you every step of the way means that you will get a more productive output.

In short here at Foster & Co, we can work with architects but we are finding as we move on in the 21st century that design and build done by experienced builders works better all round for everyone involved from the designer, builders, tradespeople to the client. Essentially saving you money, headaches and longer turnarounds on projects. Having been a professional building company in North London and Hertfordshire for many years now, we have organically leaned towards the working with designers ongoing and working closely with the clients to achieve the desired results.

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