Design build san diego

Bring Your Project to Life with a Design-Build Process in San Diego


Ten Seventy Architecture combines a love of modern design, a proven process, and the latest technology to help our clients build incredible new homes and ADUs, as well as additions, remodels, and renovations in the San Diego area.

With a full range of signature services and 10+ years of experience, we use a streamlined design + build process to make your project experience as simple and stress-free as possible.

Design-Bid-Build vs Design-Build: Finding the Right Approach for Your Project

When beginning a home design/construction project, there are two main types of project delivery methods to consider: design-bid-build and design-build. Our team will walk you through the details of both options as you consider which approach best fits your goals + needs.

The design-bid-build is a more traditional method with a three step process. First, the homeowner retains an architect to design their proposed project. These designs are then sent out for a bidding phase. From here, the homeowner selects a general contractor to complete the construction and work as an in-between, translating the project goals to outsource design work to an architect.

The second project delivery method, a design-build, is a more contemporary model with an integrated approach that eliminates the bidding phase. Both the contractor and architect are independently hired by the homeowner and work together to perfect design details before construction begins. This is our recommend project process for all clients.

Our modern architecture studio is here to help regardless of which method is the best fit for your project. Book a complementary consultation with us to get started.

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Key Benefits of the Design-Build Method in San Diego

Planning your San Diego architecture project will begin by choosing a project delivery method: a design-bid-build or a design-build. This important first step will determine how your contractor and architect will work together to bring your project to life. Whatever your goals may be, our team of certified + experienced architects will help you understand the project delivery process from start to finish.

How We Approach Design Build Projects in San Diego

Ten Seventy Architecture recommends that our clients use the design-build method for a seamless + cost efficient experience. With this project delivery method, both the architect and contractor are independently hired and on the same page from the very start. While the architect shapes the design based on project goals and city codes, the contractor consults on project constructability and cost.

This process fosters open and constant communication for an integrated design + construction flow between the architect and contractor. Plus, there's less project management required from the homeowner. And, without the bidding phase of the design-bid-build method, the project can begin faster without rounds of negotiation.
Photo of a modern renovation project by ten seventy architecture

Types Of Design-Build Projects We Can Help With

Whether you’re interested in building a new home or accessory dwelling unit, creating an addition, or beginning a renovation or remodel, our modern architecture studio is here to help. We recommend using the design-build approach for any home project, as this streamlined method will save you time and money along the way.

Our architects have extensive experience with home projects in the San Diego area. We specialize in building custom homes and ADUs with modern, minimalist + mid-century design and enhancing existing spaces with functional + elevated features. With our knowledge of complex city codes, we'll navigate the permitting process for you.

When you work with our architecture studio, you can rest assured knowing your new space will be custom-tailored to your lifestyle and the process to get there will be stress-free and easier than ever.
Photo of a modern home in San Diego designed by Ten Seventy Architecture

The Benefits Design-Build Offers Your San Diego Home Project

With the design-build method, a homeowner hires an architect and a contractor who will move the project from the design phase to the final construction. Because both parties are independently hired, they are directly aligned with the timeline and budget, and can reduce or increase the scope of the project if needed.

In this workflow, an architect’s design expertise is combined with the contractor’s building know-how to develop a design direction with features and materials that fit the homeowner’s project goals and needs. Additionally, this streamlined process allows them to work together to arrive at less expensive ways to achieve the same high-end design, avoiding delays and unforeseen costs.

Ten Seventy Architecture has 10+ years of experience working with contractors on design-build projects. We look forward to partnering with a professional in your network.
Photo of a modern ADU project in San Diego by Ten Seventy Architecture

3 Easy Steps to Begin Your Design-Build Project in San Diego

Book a Consultation With Us

Learn More About Our Team at Ten Seventy Architecture + Options for Your Project

Book a Consultation with Us + Have Your Project Questions Answered

Have a Plan to Hire an Architecture Studio and Build Your Design-Build Project

Check Out How We've Helped Our Clients with Modern Home Projects

We’ve partnered on some incredible projects with our clients. From custom homes and accessory dwelling units to additions, elevated home renovations, and remodels, we’ve done it all. Check out some of our past projects for inspiration as you begin planning your home project.

Meet the Team at Ten Seventy Architecture

Our team of experienced + certified architects have more than a decade of experience developing modern + functional design for our clients. When you work us, you're getting a team of professionals dedicated to the success of your project.

Founder / Principal Architect

Sean Canning

Sean is a graduate of NJIT, where he studied architecture + industrial design. He relocated to San Diego in 2009 to open the boutique architecture studio, Ten Seventy Architecture, focussing predominantly on modern, minimalist, + creative architecture. Sean has also won various awards for modern furniture he has designed.

  • California Registered Architect

  • LEED Accredited Professional

  • Bachelor of Architecture (NJIT)

  • Certification in Project Management (SDSU)

Profile Picture of Sean Canning - Principal Architect and Owner of Ten Seventy Architecture in San Diego, California

Project Manager / Permit Specialist

Margaret Canning

Margaret is also a graduate of NJIT, where she studied architecture + civil engineering. She relocated to San Diego in 2010 working at a LEED consulting firm before taking a job as a project manager in San Diego’s permit office for 5 years. Later she brought her skillset to Ten Seventy Architecture where she manages projects + permitting.

  • LEED Accredited Professional

  • Bachelor of Architecture (NJIT)

  • Masters of Civil Engineering (NJIT)

  • Certification in Project Management (SDSU)

Margaret Canning Profile Photo of Ten Seventy Architecture

Architectural Designer

Shane Curry

Shane is the most senior Architectural Designer at Ten Seventy Architecture. He is assigned to larger projects which have high aesthetic requirements. Shane brings an expertise in architectural rendering to the Ten Seventy Architecture team. His design work is streamlined and considerate.  

Margaret Canning Profile Photo of Ten Seventy Architecture

Architectural Designer

Jen-Ni Lin

Jen-Ni is our Architectural Designer who works on projects which require greater graphic illustration. She works on our aesthetic commercial projects as well as small modern ADU projects that require tight planning and out-of-the-box thinking. Jen-Ni is a talented designer who can develop good ideas into beautiful architecture.  

Margaret Canning Profile Photo of Ten Seventy Architecture

Architectural Designer

Nolan Delgado

Nolan is the team’s Architectural Designer who works on custom residential projects which require the highest level of attention to detail. He has worked to refine our 3D printed study models as well as build templated architectural processes. Nolan brings a modernists rational to our projects.  

Margaret Canning Profile Photo of Ten Seventy Architecture

10+ Years of Experience
Making Our Clients Happy

"Sean is the guy if you are looking for a San Diego architect. I was referred to him via a mutual business connection, and couldn't be happier with his work...The final product was phenomenal. I could not be happier. His work was not only exactly what I was looking for, but he did it in a timely fashion. "

Alexandra G.

"An element we loved about Sean was his ability to see creatively from the very beginning. And I can tell you that when we walked out of the meeting with Sean, we both looked at each other and said: “That’s the guy we want” And we’ve had no regrets ever since."

Tom R.

“5.000 stars. The recent opening of our ophthalmology practice has been a year in the making, and Sean Canning from Ten Seventy Architecture was integral to the successful design and execution of our space.”

Adam D.

“Highly recommend working with Sean, he is a licensed Architect who puts the customer's best interests first. I have worked with Sean on several projects, his thoroughness streamlines the project helping save money and time.”

Curtis P.

A Customized Roadmap to Bring Your Project to Life

As you begin to consider details and shape your home project, we know there’s a significant amount of research and planning to be done. We’ve developed the comprehensive “Dream Home Guide” with our clients in mind. This free resource makes starting your project easier by outlining key steps and specific ways you can save time and money.

Everything You Need to Plan Your Modern Home Project

If you’re beginning a home project, whether big or small, our free Dream Home Guide is a great place to start. This project planning resource was created for people who love modern + minimalist architecture and are looking to build a new home or update their existing space.

Our team of experienced architects developed this guide with over a decade of experience designing, permitting + building modern home projects. Inside this resource, you’ll find an overview of the process, expert money-saving tips, and a simple flowchart that will customize your roadmap to get started. 

This guide will get you up to speed with the entire process of building a new home or redesigning your current space before you consult an architect or contractor. Once you review our Dream Home Guide, you’ll have a strategy to get started on your project, avoiding project delays and unnecessary fees.

1070 Architecture Project Planning  Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

What Architectural Styles Do you work In?

We specialize in modern + minimalist architectural design. On occasion, we work in other styles such as contemporary, prairie style, craftsman, or transitional.

How much does it cost to work w/ an architect in San Diego?

Our designs start @ $12,000-15,000 for smaller projects.

Do you offer virtual Architecture consultations?

Yes, we do! If you're interested in a virtual consultation you can sign up using the form at the bottom of this page. Once you reach out, we'll be in touch to schedule a meeting.

Do you design Accessory Dwelling Units / Companion Units?

Yes! We have designed custom ADUs + can design one for you. Ask us about our predesigned 1-Bedroom / 1-Bathroom ADU, offered at a discount.

Do you design Commercial Projects?

Yes! We've designed commercial tenant improvement projects over the last decade. We're happy to help you w/ your commercial project.

What other fees are there?

Structural engineering costs will vary depending on the design proposed. Permit fees are paid to the municipality, as well as cost to facilitate the permit process. Some projects may require energy calculations or additional engineering. More complicated permits may require additional presentation drawings.

How long does it take to design something?

Schedules will depend on the project scope. Generally, it takes around 1-2 months to create a design working w/ a client, then 1 month to engineer/detail the project.

How much do permits cost in San Diego?

Permits are charged by the municipalities + can vary greatly. New homes may be subject to additional municipal impact fees.

How long do permits in San Diego take?

Standard projects not located in the California Coastal Zone can take around 3 months to permit due to the City of San Diego's new "streamline" #DigitalDSD process. Projects in the Coastal Zone or requiring a Site Development Permit can take around 8 months or more to permit.

What Else Can you Design?

We have won a few awards for modern furniture which we design by special request.