Our Process

Developing an efficient building process is crucial to any major construction or renovation project. It means better control over costs and timeliness, and brings transparency so that you know and understand what is happening in your home. Over the years, S+H Construction has developed a sophisticated-yet-straightforward approach to every project we do, keeping you informed at every step.

Most importantly, we realize that our building project is still your home and we make every effort to work around your family and schedule as much as possible. Our team shows courtesy when working onsite, partitions workspace where necessary, and generally makes the building process as unobtrusive on your lifestyle as possible.


Initial Site Visit – We schedule a visit to your home (or other job site) to review construction documents, familiarize ourselves with the job site, and learn what you want to accomplish with the project. Ideally we meet with your designer or architect ahead of this visit to review plans.  If you do not have a design professional, we can recommend one that we have worked with before who may suit your project (some in-house design services are available as well).

Second Site Visit – Some projects may require a second site visit from subcontractors (trades such as plumbing, electric, masonry, etc.) so that they can provide estimates for their areas of expertise.

Preliminary Estimate – this so-called "ballpark" estimate gives you a rough idea of the project costs based on your own ideas and/or rough sketches from a design professional. This gives you a better idea of the budget required, as well as prioritizing and modifying if necessary. Producing a preliminary estimate can help bring the scope of the design in line with a budget. If the plans are fully developed, this stage may not be necessary.

Detailed Estimate – Once the project design and specifications are finalized, we provide you with detailed line-item estimate.  Most of our estimates are based on a Cost Plus or Time and Materials model. During our nearly four decades in business, we have found this model to be fair for both owner and contractor, especially when doing renovation work. Because trade partners (sub-contractors) typically comprise at least 70 % of the work done on medium or large projects, and the prices we get from those vendors are for the most part fixed estimates, a large percentage of any given project is already fixed cost. Our system is “ open book “ meaning that we include copies of proposals from major subcontractors in our estimates and all information down to the smallest invoice is available upon request.

Also we have occasionally performed some projects on a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) basis.

Contract – Once you are ready to proceed with your project, we provide a copy of our standard four-page contract for your review. We are also open to discussing the use of AIA (American Institute of Architecture) contracts, if so desired. We also require a deposit when the contract is signed (usually 10%).

Project Management Team Formation – Once a contract has been signed, we put together a team of professionals to manage your project. This team will consist of one our job supervisors (lead carpenter), and an office-based project manager. These professionals will work with you, the architect/designer and oversee your project every step of the way.

Preconstruction (Planning, Permits, Schedules) – Prior to the start of a project, we will hold one or more pre-job planning meetings with you and architect/designer to review the project plans. Preconstruction also includes obtaining necessary permits, determining a schedule for ordering materials, and coordinating timeframes with our trade partners.


Construction – After procuring permits, the work begins! If the job is a renovation, we start by protecting existing finishes and architectural details and if necessary or construct dust barriers. If the project is new construction, our site work team will assess site conditions and make recommendations about utilities, excavation, fill storage, or fill removal. Throughout construction, the job supervisor oversees the entire project, directs the crew, checks on quality, interacts with the architect, orders materials, creates schedules, and supervises the entire team. The job supervisor is supported by the project manager to assist with budgets, schedules and coordination of subcontractors. Regular site meetings are usually scheduled at the site with the owner or owner’s representative and the architect.

Billing – Invoices are issued every two weeks, complete with a full accounting of our costs including time, materials, trades company fees, rentals, permits, and other costs that we have paid for to date. We can provide any level of documentation or copies of trade partner invoices that you require.

Tracking Budget and Schedule – S + H Construction now uses a project management software system called Build Tools. Build Tools enables an up-to-date understanding of the budget, schedules and change orders as the project progresses

Build Tools can also provide a site to store all photos, plans and specifications for the project. This new system enhances our existing.

Change Orders – Change orders are changes to the scope of the work, either up or down. If a job is well defined with a full set of construction documents, there is less of a likelihood of significant change orders. New construction projects are less likely than renovations to have unforeseen conditions that might lead to change orders. Many change orders are the result of people changing their minds during the construction process.

Project Completion – As the project nears completion, the project team will compile a "punch list" of items still to be completed. S+H will start work on these items prior to the official architect's punch list in order to accelerate project completion.

Post Construction – S + H Construction is available to take care of any issues related to the scope of work. We also offer on-going maintenance.

Warranty – Officially, S+H Construction offers a one-year warranty on labor and materials. However, depending on the nature of the problem, we typically take care of issues after the warranty period has ended.