What is a Design-Build Architect?

Simply put, a Design-Build Architect designs your home and then builds it.

Design-Build firms, like Kurt Krueger Architects, oversee the entire process from concept to completion. We make sure that our clients dreams are realized not just on the paper drawings, but with every nail, beam, post, and wall that is erected and when your home is finally complete.   As an Architect-led, Design-Build firm we are able to combine every aspect of the design and construction of a custom luxury home under one room with the direction of a cohesive team. We deliver results. From the benefits of a single line of communication to in-house budgeting expertise, the high level of confidence and certainty in knowing that you will get what you want is unparalleled to other architectural firms.

The Process

Design-build firm conceptualizes plans and has the expertise to build your unique design.

Working with a Design-Build firm ensures you’ll love your custom home.

From the beginning we work to discover all the dreams and desires you have for your home so that we can determine the best course to proceed with the right home for you. After the initial client meetings where we discuss style and budget, we will do a site visit to determine feasibility. We then flush out a conceptual design for the home and work through hand sketches and then move on to computer drawings, including photo realistic 3D renderings. A schematic design then evolves as we determine floor plans and elevations and of course an updated budget based on our in-house construction expertise. We then coordinate all of the activities of the larger design team including decorators and landscape architects, engineers, and lighting experts to create a plan ready for submission to the proper building authorities. We can then transition our focus to building your custom home and leading all of the on-site management necessary to ensure the process is smooth and to troubleshoot any issues and resolve them quickly. When construction is complete, we bring dimension and distinct style to the interior space with finishing details including lighting, furniture, and paint. Then it’s time to move in.

Learn more details in our overview of the Design-Build Process for developing a custom home.

For traditional architectural firms that aren’t design-build, they have to add in an extra step to the process to send the design out for bid. This can take months. Not only is the project slowed down, but often times the bids that come back are higher than anticipated and the re-work begins on the plans. Compromise becomes inevitable. Delay ensues. This doesn’t happen with design-build firms. We manage and update the budget based on real-world expertise and feedback all along the way.

We pride ourselves on making a home as unique as its occupants so that when you first turn the key and open the door, the home feels like it was made just for you. This is the definition of true luxury: a custom home with unique details, craftsmanship, and character unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. A home that’s responsive to your needs both today and in the future.

Home Design Resources From An Architect Builder

Design-Build Architecture
Learn about the benefits of Design-Build Architecture including timeline, communication, and unsurpassed design and construction quality. Request the Free Guide.

Planning Your Dream Home
Start planning the design of your dream home with this guide. Understand the process, budgets, and goal setting.Request the Free Guide.

Free webinar video from Kurt Krueger Architects
Are you curious about how building and construction have evolved? We invite you to watch this Free Webinar about Design-Build (from the Ancient World to Modern Architecture). Request to Watch.


Can you imagine a home built just for you
with stunning, high-style details and the quality
that only master craftsmen can deliver?

If so, then a design-build architect is needed for your project. You need a professional who can execute and build, not just with design skills but also the skills of a builder. Contact Kurt Krueger Architects to discuss your project.

The Benefits of Working with an Architect-led, Design-Build Firm

  • Budgeting. Our in-house expertise and process of continually refining and updating the building costs makes budgets more realistic and reliable.
  • Communication. Poor communication is the reason most projects fail. Design-Build creates a single point of contact and accountability.
  • Design. Construction knowledge improves design. Don’t be limited–push the envelope to innovate and be inspired because you know what can be built.
  • Construction. Having an architect working with the construction trades ensures quality and craftsmanship and that the home is built as designed.
  • Timeline. One team means a streamlined processes that saves time, money, and stress.

Architect-led, Design-Build Firms Versus the Other Guys

You may say to yourself, “I thought all architects were design and build.” This connection is a natural assumption, but unfortunately it’s not the common case. Most architects have little to do with the construction part of the project. Here are some important distinctions to be aware of:

Design-Build firm led by Kurt Krueger Architects

Led by Architect Kurt Krueger, we specialize in design-build for luxury properties in Southern California.

Firms that are led by an architect, like Kurt Krueger Architects

Using an architect-led, design-build firm means you’re utilizing all the talents and skills of a professional architect who’s been trained to evaluate your needs and has the design skills to create a truly unique home that is best suited for the people who will be living in it. Architect-Builders also have the building knowledge and skill to be able to build what has been designed. They are the modern version of a master builder–they are skilled craftsman in their own right; they have a mastery of trades; and they have the greatest respect of their peers. With their vision and skill with proportion, scale, light, and space, they build enduring structures.

Firms that are led by a contractor

These types of firms may only have designers on staff, not architects. Some builders will say they’re design-build, but they’re often using off-the-shelf plans or doing minimal design work to customize the home for its occupants.

A stand-alone Architect

A traditional architect, one who is not Design-Build, can only do the design. They lack the understanding of how to build the project. They may design something beautiful, but the plans might not be able to be built as designed because the architect lacks the knowledge of what is required. Most architects will have some basic knowledge of construction that they’ve acquired over the years, but most don’t have the skills to oversee the actual building of the project. They rely on structural engineers, contractors, and an interior designer. Who fills in the skill gaps? When you work with a traditional architect, the homeowner is often the one left bridging the gaps and trying to connect all of the trades.

More from Kurt Krueger Architects

View a collection of select homes in our Portfolio.

Contact us today to discuss your project.

Learn more About Kurt Krueger Architects.