Sierra James Construction FAQ

Educated customers are happy ones. If you don’t see the answer to your question here, give us a call! 

What, exactly, does cost-plus construction mean?

At Sierra James Construction, we execute cost-plus contracts instead of fixed-price bid proposals. Cost-plus means that any cost incurred during the Design & Costing and construction phases is marked up by a specified percentage. We build in profit to our in-house labor rates, so there is no markup on these. Our model is completely transparent. We give our clients access to all subcontractor proposals and invoices online.

The cost-plus approach is fair and transparent, and the risk is evenly distributed between the contractor and client.  

My husband and I are super into DIY. Can I self-perform work to help save money?

DIY is a great way to save money. We are open to homeowners self-performing work as long as the scope does not affect the critical path of the project schedule—typically, anything at the start of the project or near the end. Demo, paint, trim, and landscaping are all great places to start.

Can I live-in during construction?

If your project is a remodel, absolutely! Although we do have to say, it’s always better if the job site is vacant. Remodels can be a long, loud, dusty process, and it’s more efficient for our tradesmen if they can get in and get out without interruption.  

Can I order my own materials/appliances?

Not typically. Our teams prefer to take on this responsibility to ensure all materials/quantities are ordered correctly and arrive onsite in a timely manner. This avoids miscommunication and possible delays in the long run. Sierra James offers a 1-year builders warranty covering issues on contractor supplied/installed items. 

My uncle, son, brother, friend, co-worker is a __________. Can we use them to execute a portion of the work?

Typically, we like to use our trusted and preferred vendors and tradesmen. We have spent a lot of time cultivating these relationships in order to provide the best value, quickest turnaround, and quality product. With that said, if you insist on including someone who is a licensed tradesman, we are open to having them fill out a new subcontractor packet and provide their portfolio/references. 

Do I have to move my own contents?

Feel free to kick up your feet and relax. Sierra James can provide pack-out, pack-back, and content storage services. If you’re interested, just let your Pre-Construction manager know, and we can add that service to your budget/schedule.

How will you gain access? What are the typical work days/hours?

Typical work hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. Sierra James will provide a lock box to store an access key during construction mobilization.

How will I keep track of the budget and schedule?

One of the incredible benefits of working with our cost-plus construction company is our software and communication. You will have access to a live budget and schedule so you can keep track of each dollar spent and the who/what/when of all project tasks.

Do you have examples of your work and references?

We sure do! Feel free to peruse our work here for inspiration. We can provide references upon request. 

Why do I have to pay for a budget? Other contractors aren’t charging for their initial bid proposal.

Sierra James is different from other contractors. We pride ourselves on doing our due diligence regarding all aspects of the cost associated with your project. This ensures you are getting exactly what we estimate what you’ll be paying for. We are more than happy to provide a rough ballpark estimate free of charge during the initial site visit. For more information, please reach out and we will send over our Design & Costing process document. 

When can you start?

We are just as excited to get started as you are! Projects come in all different shapes and sizes both of which affect start and completion dates. Feel free to reach out and we’d be happy to provide a personalized design and construction timeline.

How long will this process/project take?

Great question, and one we get on almost every project. As mentioned above, projects come in all different shapes and sizes both of which can affect the timeline. Please contact our team for a personalized design and construction timeline. 

Can I rough in plumbing for a future ADU?

The city and county building departments inspect plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. If approved during the permit review, we are more than happy to coordinate your project needs.

Will you take on the landscaping?

Although we don’t have landscaping construction or design services in-house, we have many trusted landscape subcontractor relationships who would be thrilled to take this scope on.