Diamond Certified Company Report

Build SF, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Build SF, Inc.

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 12 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Sandra K.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are a higher level contractor and they get deeper into technical seismic and they are a much broader spectrum provider.

The quality of work, and Simon is easy to get along with.

Kimball D.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

There are idiosyncrasies to doing work on Victorians in San Francisco that they totally get and you won't find people better than them.

The way they are organized and the way they communicate

Annella W.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are reliable and meticulous and they worked extremely well with a young family who had children.

Their attention to detail, they are meticulous and reliable.

Read All 12 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Simon Spark, CEO/President

Build SF, Inc. provides a wide range of design/build, new construction and remodeling services for residential clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As a design/build firm, the company is well-positioned to handle every phase of its clients’ projects, from the initial conception and design to the finishing touches. Build SF, Inc. employs a formal management approach, providing vital management services such as creating and maintaining production schedules, coordinating subcontractors, and meticulously clarifying design criteria.

CEO/President Simon Spark says Build SF, Inc.’s friendly, customer-oriented approach to building and remodeling has been a crucial aspect of its success. “We operate in an intentionally transparent way, which eliminates the mystery for our clients and enables them to feel more comfortable with the process. They really appreciate the high degree of personal attention we give to their projects.”

Build SF, Inc.’s in-house design and pre-construction capabilities are a significant value-add. “We’re interested in good design, but buildability first and foremost, so we always prioritize a certain amount of front-end designing and planning on each project,” says Mr. Spark. “We utilize our expertise to make sure the work isn’t over-designed and the budget remains manageable. This leads to high-quality results.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Build SF, Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Service AREA

Bay Area

SERVICES PERFORMED

Residential Remodeling
Design/Build
Structural & Specialty Finish Concrete
Construction & Site Management
Historical Restorations

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Build SF, Inc.

BUILD SF, INC. remodeled this classic Victorian home.

Company Profile

Build SF, Inc. provides a wide range of design/build, new construction and remodeling services for residential clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As a design/build firm, the company is well-positioned to handle every phase of its clients’ projects, from the initial conception and design to the finishing touches. Build SF, Inc. employs a formal management approach, providing vital management services such as creating and maintaining production schedules, coordinating subcontractors, and meticulously clarifying design criteria.

CEO/President Simon Spark says Build SF, Inc.’s friendly, customer-oriented approach to building and remodeling has been a crucial aspect of its success. “We operate in an intentionally transparent way, which eliminates the mystery for our clients and enables them to feel more comfortable with the process. They really appreciate the high degree of personal attention we give to their projects.”

Build SF, Inc.’s in-house design and pre-construction capabilities are a significant value-add. “We’re interested in good design, but buildability first and foremost, so we always prioritize a certain amount of front-end designing and planning on each project,” says Mr. Spark. “We utilize our expertise to make sure the work isn’t over-designed and the budget remains manageable. This leads to high-quality results.”

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Company Philosophy

“We’re here to serve our clients, and we take great pride in the reputation we’ve developed for treating them and their properties with care and respect. By fostering a thoughtful, inclusive process and implementing rigorous construction management practices, we’re able to consistently ensure each client’s satisfaction.”

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for remodeling contractors that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Build SF, Inc., keeping clients happy comes down to four main factors: an open and friendly attitude, a good design sense, solid project management skills, and transparent business practices. “Honesty and customer service are the foundations of everything we do,” says CEO/President Simon Spark. “Our clients really appreciate that we’re so dedicated to ensuring they have positive experiences.”

Build SF, Inc. has been providing remodeling services for residential clients throughout the Bay Area since 2013. The company utilizes its design/build capabilities to handle every phase of its clients’ projects, from the initial designs to the finishing touches, and it also offers construction management services like maintaining production schedules, clarifying design/site conditions and coordinating subcontractors.

Unlike less experienced contractors that tend to overdesign their clients’ projects and exceed their budgets as a result, Build SF, Inc. focuses on buildability to ensure each client gets what they want at a price they can afford. “We do a lot of front-end design work and always provide costing services during each project,” says Mr. Spark. “As the design develops, we update the budget based on the choices the client makes so they understand where the project is financially and where the design is taking them.”

Build SF, Inc. further differentiates itself from its competition by ensuring all work is done to the specifications of its clients. “We won’t sign off on a job until everyone is satisfied that the work has been completed to the highest standards,” says Mr. Spark. “We also give a high degree of personal attention to every project, and we’re able to communicate and collaborate in person and online, which allows us to provide the best possible service.”

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Industry Info

When taking on a remodeling project, consider hiring a design/build contractor to keep you on time and budget.

Whether you’re planning a whole-house remodel or a new construction project, you have a choice of hiring a separate architect and building firm for various parts of the job or hiring a single contractor who can provide both the design and the construction.

Simon Spark, CEO/president of Build SF, Inc. in San Francisco, says the design/build approach holds advantages for certain types of homeowners. “It’s potentially more budget-oriented. Design/build contractors can work directly with their clients to find design solutions that match their budgets and still cater to their needs. They can also provide a more realistic picture of what to expect early in the process. That’s in contrast to the process of working with an architect, in which you may receive overdesigned plans that look great on paper but eat up too much of your budget.”

But that doesn’t mean homeowners have to forgo great design in order to stay within budget. “Design isn’t just desirable; it’s necessary,” says Mr. Spark. “The designer is very important in terms of how the project looks and feels. Good design/build contractors are careful about interviewing clients about their preferences, the styles they’re attracted to and the kinds of spaces they want to create around them.”

Design/build services for sustainable homes
Homeowners who are committed to more sustainable ways of building can find help by hiring a local design/build contractor. In fact, Mr. Spark says many of his clients want solar panels or passive solar systems designed into their projects, and some even want electric car charging stations built into their garages. Adding those features during the initial design and construction phase can save money and time, and it can also lead to a more integrated design for Green technologies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to complete my construction project?
A: That’s always a bit of an open question in San Francisco, especially when it comes to the design and approval. However, we’re experienced at speeding up that process to the extent that it’s possible.

Q: How much does it cost to build in the Bay Area?
A: It depends on the project, but based on our experience and the data we’ve gathered from talking to other contractors and architects, we’ll be able to give you a clear idea of how much you should expect to spend.

Q: Do you handle the permit process?
A: Yes, we take care of every project from concept to completion, including gathering all necessary permits.

Q: What are the advantages of a design/build approach to construction?
A: The design/build approach holds several advantages for certain types of clients. For example, it’s potentially more budget-oriented, and it also gives clients a more realistic picture of what to expect early in the process. The main advantage is that we can provide budget information during the design process. One of the disadvantages of working with an architect is that the project often gets overdesigned, and when the budget comes back, it’s not feasible. We’re interested in buildability, and design/build lets us do that.

Q: Can you provide earthquake safety designs?
A: It depends on the size of the project. Earthquake design is automatically addressed by the engineers on larger projects. On smaller projects, we can certainly recommend improvements that are less extensive.

Q: Do you offer Green building services?
A: We have knowledge and expertise in Green building, and we also have access to design professionals who specialize in a Green approach. We’re committed to more sustainable ways of building, and many of our clients are as well. A lot of people request that we design solar panels into their projects or add electric car charging stations to their garages, so those are some of the design components that we anticipate and provide.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Build SF, Inc.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Simon Spark

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Simon Spark is president of Build SF, Inc., a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (415) 992-3027 or by email.

Simon Spark: An Artistic Inspiration

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN FRANCISCO — Simon Spark has always been an artistic person, but he never expected to apply his talents to the realm of residential remodeling. “I started working in the construction field to support myself while attending college, where I studied fine arts,” he remembers. “After graduating, I spent the next 10 years working as a professional artist, doing primarily mixed media sculptures and drawings. Eventually, in my mid-30s, I came to a crossroads where I wanted to start a family and needed a more financially lucrative livelihood. So, I got my contractor’s license and went into business doing residential building and remodeling in San Francisco.”

Today, as president of Build SF, Inc., Simon says his favorite part of his job is the choreography of running projects. “I enjoy managing projects and building the right teams of people to ensure everything runs smoothly. It’s a lot like playing chess—you have to make sure you have the right pieces and are moving them in the right way.”

Originally from the United Kingdom, Simon now resides in San Francisco. “I moved to the U.S. for a college opportunity and never left. I lived by turns in New York and Chicago before making my way to San Francisco, where I’ve lived for the past 30 years.”

Outside of work, Simon spends his free time on a number of active pastimes. “I like getting out to the countryside for walks, hiking and cycling,” he details. “I also practice tai chi and enjoy music, movies and, of course, the San Francisco dining experience.” Additionally, Simon enjoys doing things with his wife, Leanne, and their three children, Baxter, Ashley and Max. “We like to go on family hikes and bike rides, as well as attend the kids’ sports and performance events. My oldest son, Baxter, is a theater performer, so we enjoy attending the productions he’s involved in.”

In regard to his life and career, Simon describes how his background as an artist informs his latter-day livelihood. “As an artist, I have a pretty sharp sensibility for design. I’m also good at seeing how feasible a project is from a design standpoint, which is why I like to be involved early in the process. My focus is always on making sure we provide a great design and, ultimately, a high-quality product.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Simon says he’d dive back into art. “I’m certainly interested in re-engaging with that aspect of my life. I haven’t been active as an artist since I became a father and a business owner, so if I retired, I would probably return to sculpting and other art forms.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?

A: “And Quiet Flows the Don” by Mikhail Sholokhov.

Q: What’s your favorite movie genre?

A: I’m a bit of a crime thriller addict. One of my favorites is “The Usual Suspects.”

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: Southeast Asia.

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?

A: A dog person.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

A: The future. I’m interested in seeing how much the world has changed a century from now.

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Expert articles
  • The First Step to Starting a Remodeling Project in San Francisco

    SAN FRANCISCO — If you own a San Francisco property and are considering a remodeling project, there’s one preliminary step you’ll want to take before getting a contractor involved: contact the city building department to find out if there are any outstanding Notices of Violation on your property. A Notice of Violation is issued when a home or property is deemed to be in violation of local building code and requires remedial repairs or modifications. It’s important to look into this at the outset because a Notice of Violation can significantly delay the start of your project and require you to reschedule for a later date, which can conflict with your contractor’s schedule.

    Getting a report on your property is a simple process. You can either visit the city building department in person at 1680 Mission Street or request a 3R report online at sfdbi.org. By discovering any back permits, job cards or potential violation notices in advance, you’ll be able to ensure your home or building is completely legal before commencing the remodeling process.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Why Choose a Design & Build Contractor?

    Complete Video Transcription:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re preparing for a construction project, consider the benefits of hiring a design and build contractor. Today we’re in San Francisco with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Simon Spark of Build SF, Inc. to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Simon Spark: For those of you thinking of starting a new project here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would strongly recommend that you speak to Design Build Contractors. They provide you with a simpler relationship, a more complete understanding of the entire process, a more streamlined process, and are likely to save you money.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Build SF, Inc.
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 12 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Build SF, Inc. : Average 9.2 out of 10 based on 12 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Sandra K.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are a higher level contractor and they get deeper into technical seismic and they are a much broader spectrum provider.

The quality of work, and Simon is easy to get along with.

Kimball D.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

There are idiosyncrasies to doing work on Victorians in San Francisco that they totally get and you won't find people better than them.

The way they are organized and the way they communicate

Annella W.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are reliable and meticulous and they worked extremely well with a young family who had children.

Their attention to detail, they are meticulous and reliable.

Ernie S.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are able to deal with the worst clients imaginable, which is a huge plus.

They are able to do with the worst clients imaginable, which is a huge plus.

Dennis T.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would just suggest that they give them a try.

I was happy that they completed everything on schedule.

Abe B.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are fundamentally concerned with quality and the care necessary to make your design come out better than you had imagined it could.

Impressively, they start from the final detail and work their way back to the big picture, which I like and they are always courteous.

Fred G.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 12

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are really on top of things and they always call me back. When I need something, I can usually talk to them and they come up with solutions and we talk about them.

They were fast.

Lyanne M.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 12

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think that they are extremely reliable and they always answer your calls.

The owner was very knowledgeable and knew more than your normal contractor because he is very highly educated. When I had doubts about something because he has done this for so many years, he knew what would work best in a situation and that was helpful to have.

Adam K.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 12

Quality 9
9 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Reliable and excellent communication

Reliable and excellent communication

Jonathan C.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 12

Quality 8
8 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are honest and a good value.

I thought their approach to remodeling was good.

Mark T.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 12

Quality 7
7 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are good about following up and bringing projects to completion.

I though Simon was a good guy and he has good experience with construction and he is eager to provide a high quality experience.

Juliana S.

VERIFIED Build SF, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 12

Quality 7
7 10
Loyalty No
CRITIQUE

I would say that they are really nice and helpful, but that if you are looking for something where the work is really done in a detail oriented way, they might not be the ones for you. For example, the hinge of a door was put on backwards and it damaged the door a bit.

They were helpful, available, friendly, and they explained the process. They had good information.

Read All 12 Survey Responses at Ratings View