How We Do Business

The Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to build in the country, so you’ve got to trust the people you’re working with. At SBC, business is personal. We do good work with good people. No matter who we’re working with, we want them to feel a part of the SBC team. We have a reputation built on trust and we believe in earning yours. Over 80% of our business is from repeat clients, a testament to our motto.  . But, how do we earn your trust? What’s the secret to our success? 

Well, one thing that sets us apart  is how we handle pre-construction.

The Secret to our Success: Building Trust Through Pre-Construction

We see the pre-construction phase as a way to earn your trust and to do our part to ensure that your build goes as smoothly as possible. Whether it takes two weeks, six months, or even a year (if it’s a particularly big project) we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We’ll be there during the initial planning and estimate the budgets of conceptual plans, schematics, and designs then present them with complete transparency and accuracy. We explore every opportunity to reduce costs, but we never compromise on quality. We create and share detailed schedules tracking the project’s critical path and milestones. We’ll advise on the lead time of all materials and equipment, letting everyone involved understand if scheduling goals are attainable.

By being there from the beginning we’re able to solve any potential problems before they become, well, a problem. We can fill in the gaps. We can eliminate last minute change orders and other potential hurdles. By the time we submit to the city, we’ve priced the drawings at the SD set, the DD set, and 25%, 75%, and 95% CD. You’ll have seen three to six budgets along the pre-construction phase, so we’ll be able to react to any required changes. 

There are no surprises.

Say the cost of lumber has increased (as it has now), we’ll see this coming. If your number is based on something from six months ago, you might end up in the situation of having spent millions of dollars on a project you wouldn’t be able to build. But, with us there from the get-go we can see these things coming and account for them. 

You might be wondering, what does this cost?

Well, in manner of speaking, nothing. We do all this at a nominal or no upfront fee. When we decide to work together, we go off and structure our pre-construction and come back to you and, together, we agree on a rate. Then, we get to work. In most cases, this fee is simply rolled into construction costs. We’ll work our way up until we’re awarded the project. If the project goes away, or if you want to go a different route, that’s fine by us. You simply pay the agreed fee and we give you all the work we’ve done. It’s a fantastically smooth process. But, we’re proud to say, it’s never not been a fit.

If you’ve got a question or project you’d like to talk to us about, give us a call (408-379-5500) or shoot us an email at We’d be happy to chat.

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Our team of design-build experts has over 40 years of experience in the construction industry — and therefore understands the ins and outs of the estimate process. We strongly believe in customer satisfaction and know that your time is important, so we provide accurate quotes in a timely fashion. If you're interested in getting a quote, contact us today.

Cost reference guide

Cost Reference Guide

Our Bay Area Cost Reference Guide provides up-to-date construction pricing and market data; it's a critical budgeting tool that can deliver conceptual estimates and that can save you both time and money.