How We Work

We believe in Relationships, Transparency, and Fairness, and structure our services around these core values.  Good planning is the cornerstone of a successful project, therefore we offer preconstruction services during the design phase.  Participation of the general contractor during the design phase develops the history and trust necessary for a good working relationship between the designer, owner, and builder. The general contractor contributes to the design through his knowledge of construction methods and, in the case of work on an existing building, by investigating in situ conditions.


The traditional method of contracting is to have no input from the general contractor during design and to get free bids from at least three contractors when the plans are ready to submit for a building permit.  The plans that are sufficient for a permit are often missing a plethora of details required to define the project. Any such bids will contains a number of allowances serving as placeholders until finish specifications have been established. In order to compare general contractors' bids, the assumptions related to allowances must be the same for each bidder.  At H&H we do our best to ensure that our allowances are sufficient to provide the appropriate level of cost and quality for each project, rather than trying to undercut our competitors with an inadequate "low bid."

We believe that getting the contractor on board early is in the best interest of the client.  We offer this service free of charge if we are selected to carry out the construction work. We can help you to find an architect or designer to develop your construction plans.  Once you have an architect/designer, we can be hired on a contingency contract to provide Preconstruction Services related to constructability, cost, and finish selections.  We offer a maximum preconstruction services cap in such an agreement and only charge for these services if construction does not start within a specified time period or if a different general contractor is chosen to prosecute the work.  The final deliverable in the preconstruction phase is a construction budget based on multiple bids and, where specifications are missing, allowances with explicit assumptions.  We can help to establish finish specifications or work with the client's interior designer to come up with appropriate pricing. The budget forms the basis of our final construction agreement and is accompanied by a detailed critical path schedule.

Investment in design details and finish specifications early in the process saves money and time in the long run.


We believe that a time and materials contract is best for both contractor and homeowner because it is totally transparent.  We solicit multiple bids for each trade and will include the homeowner in the final selection process.  All bids and invoices are available for review in a time and materials contract, whereas in a fixed price contract the actual prices are not shared. Cost savings accrue to the contractor, not to the homeowner.  A time and materials contract better reflects our values of fairness and transparency. In either contract form our detailed budget creates the foundation of an invoice that provides a biweekly budget update, as well as a cost to complete for the project.  The high level of management that we provide reduces surprises and helps everyone to understand the budget status.

Our jobsite management is equally detailed, transforming the plans and specifications into a high quality project.  We keep in close touch with the homeowner regarding any changes that affect the cost or schedule.  The homeowner can facilitate our budget and schedule performance by providing complete drawings and specifications before the project starts.  The project from which the sample budget and invoice come was completed ahead of schedule (5 months out of a 6 month schedule) and on budget, in part because the homeowners were proactive with their decisions and rarely changed their minds once a decision had been made. They were able to upgrade some items as other costs were reduced due to our detailed and timely budget updates.