Inside Stories Vs. Design Build firm


What is the difference between Inside Stories and a Design Build firm Inside Stories Interior Design

Project Collingwood

Is Inside Stories a Design Build? Do you have your own contractors at Inside Stories?

Questions we frequently hear these days. Especially in Denver, where new builds are sprouting up daily throughout our city. As experts in interior design, we want to help explain the main differences between hiring Inside Stories and hiring a Design Build company. And no, Inside Stories isn’t a Design Build firm. But before we explain why, let’s help explain what a Design Build company is.


What is Design Build? 

The Design Build Institute of America Rocky Mountain Region defines the term Design-build as a method of project delivery in which one entity – the designbuild team – works under a single contract with the project owner (client) to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion.

The owner (client) manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The designer and contractor work together from the beginning, as a team, providing unified project recommendations to fit the owner’s schedule and budget. Some designers and contractors have teamed up and created their own design-build firm where they solely handle new build projects with this model. 

At Inside Stories, we aren’t a Design Build firm, we are an Interior Design firm. We handle the design in a traditional new-build project approach, also known as a Design-Bid Build. The definition of a Design Bid Build, also known as Design-tender traditional method or hardbid, is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner contracts with separate entities for the design and construction of a project. 

We have a network of contractors we work with that we recommend to our clients. This gives our clients the ability to hire the contractor they prefer to work with after vetting their options based on quotes and timelines. 


What is Design Build Inside Stories interior design colorado

Project Nightingale

As a new build client, they have the choice of both paths; the Design-Bid Build (traditional) approach or hiring a design-build firm. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of both options.


Design Build Firm


– One contract. The owner/client has one point of contact and one contract. Any changes or issues are addressed by one team. A hands off approach for faster delivery for the client.
– One team. The designer and contractor are one team. Both branches of the new build know each other’s budgets and schedules.


– Higher costs to the client. Without a bidding process, the client does not have the ability to see competitive pricing in the open market.
– Fewer personalized options. This doesn’t apply to every firm but most design build firms have stock designs that they tweak to fit the project request. This limits the ability to personalize to each client.



– Pricing. Since the client is hiring the designer and the contractor they have the control on pricing for their build project.
– Control. The client is involved in every part of both the design and construction. So if a change is needed or a new request, the client will have the ability to speak up and request a change.


– More involvement by the client. This isn’t a hands-off approach for the client. The client will need to be involved and a primary point of contact for all questions and approval by both the contractor and the designer.
– Longer timelines. Because the client needs to hire both a designer and the contractor the hiring process can add up. This is the same for all approval presentations and meetings.


What is the difference between Inside Stories and a Design Build firm v2 interior design firm

Project Cliffside


We might be biased at Inside Stories but we like the more traditional, Design-Bid Build approach because it gives the client the most control and involvement. We love working with clients that want to be part of their projects. We aren’t saying a Design Build is a bad option, it is a great option for individuals that want a hands-off approach. Either way, building a new home is a process and we hope this helps guide you in a path that will serve you best. 

If you have any additional questions or if you want to see if Inside Stories is a great option for you, give us a call today.