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A New Way Of Building & Renovating That Delivers A Better Home, On Time & Within Budget — Guaranteed

Building & renovating are exciting but can be fraught with confusion, chaos, and risks. This is especially true when building a high-performance, energy-efficient home where attention to detail is paramount.

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Our Process To Achieving a Healthy, High Performance Home Or Renovation

If you’re dreaming of a new or renovated home that has any of these attributes: Carbon Neutral, Net Zero Energy, All Electric, Healthy Indoor Air or just want to build with best a home that will be comfortable and last longer our proven process gives you the stunning home you deserve. Our unique process is anchored on these key steps:


Initial Consultation

Getting to know exactly what your vision is for the project is the first (and most important) part of the building process. Through an initial phone conversation and face to face meeting with Scott, you will be discussing your goals for the project from a performance, architectural and functional standpoint. You will take a look at where you are in the process and discuss how to best move forward. If your goals are Net-Zero Energy or Carbon Neutral we will also be evaluating your current energy usage and discussing what features, like electric car chargers, you want included in the new house.



A healthy, high-performance home begins with the right design. Get the design wrong and you’ll be fighting against budget overruns and missed opportunities to create the house in your vision. And this doesn’t mean you have to give up features you’ve always wanted.

  • Know matter where you are in the design process we can help ensure your vision and performance goals are met.
  • If you haven’t started the design phase, we will analyze the information we’ve gathered and recommend one of our design associates to get you started.
  • If the design has already been started, we can advise on how it can be improved to meet your goals and guide you through the finalization of the process.
  • If your design is done and you’re ready to build without making major changes we can move on to the preliminary building agreement and include our recommendations for items and standards to include to meet your performance goals.

Preliminary Building Agreement

The PBA allows us to tailor the final design process to fit the needs of each individual client and project. We carefully analyze your t and specifications to ensure it is setup to meet your goals while also putting together a well thought out budget and schedule.

  • You have settled on an initial design for your home. During this phase your working drawings will be completed including final architectural, structural engineering, mechanical system design, Title 24 energy code compliance.
  • To help ensure a timely start to your project the permit process will most likely get started during this phase along with applying for service from applicable utility districts.
  • You will be making finish selections for the project to enable us to give you an all inclusive price for the project and eliminate last minute changes and schedule bottlenecks.
  • We will be continually evaluating the project documents throughout this time to make sure the most cost effective strategies are being used to create the home of your dreams.
  • Once the plans with engineering and specifications are complete, we can provide you with a comprehensive, fixed price offer to complete your project.

New technologies and products are coming onto the market all the time. While some offer measurable benefits, many are simply marketed as eco-friendly as a strategy to charge more. And many of the energy-efficiency claims come from controlled laboratory tests that differ from the results they get in the real world. We know what products work and help our clients prioritize purchases, so they get more for their money.


Contract and Deposit

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Even the most energy-efficient products won’t work if they are installed incorrectly. Our meticulous building practices ensure your home is tight, with no gaps to allow the transfer of energy or pollutants. And unlike many builders, we actually understand what’s required to build an all-electric Net-Zero home, and take time to get things right from the beginning. Something about an organized, enjoyable experience.

  • You will have full access to our online project management system. There you will be able to keep tabs on the progress and know when important milestones are approaching.
  • On site prior to major milestones, like completion of electrical boxes and light locations. This will give you an opportunity to make no cost changes before the wires are installed.
  • This is the phase where our tremendous pride in craftsmanship and performance comes to light. We know all of the steps that need to be taken to bring your vision to life and will make sure they get done.
  • Testing will be performed on the ducts, the house and the HVAC systems to make sure they are being built and installed correctly and according to the specifications.
  • Our purpose is to provide you with a wonderful building experience and deliver the house you dreamed of having. The end result is a home that looks better, lasts longer, and is more comfortable, healthy, and energy efficient.


It’s time for you to take the keys. But we won’t abandon you. We will show you how everything works, show you how to maximize the energy and health performance of your new home (including measurable KPIs), give you simple maintenance tips, and be available to support you for as long as you live in your home.


Five Simple Steps To Get The High-Performing, Energy And Carbon-Neutral Home You’ve Always Wanted


Your ideas

It’s time to dream big. Nothing is off limits. We’ll help you put all your ideas on paper so you can get clarity about what you really want in your new custom home.


Our Experience

With 25 years of total experience and 15 years of experience designing, inspecting, and building high-performance homes, we will help you refine and prioritize your ideas. We’ll point out where to invest your money (for the most impact), and where you can save (on things that don’t make much difference) so you get the best performance and value. And we will show you the Key Performance Indicators that prove you’re getting measurable energy savings and health benefits from your home.


The Plan

We will work with your architect to finalise your plans and provide a fixed-price contract. We will also guide you through the many decisions including custom design elements, building materials, finishes, appliances, landscaping, and even colours. And we will arrange all approvals. And if you don’t have any plans, we will provide designer options and work with you through the process, providing a full design-build experience.


We Build

This is when your dreams come to life starting with grading and foundations, then frames, plumbing, electrical and air conditioning, then sealing, insulation, drywall and exterior finishes, and finally all the interior finishes – all completed to our rigorously high standards.


You Enjoy

It’s time for you to take the keys. But we won’t abandon you. We will show you how everything works, show you how to maximise the energy and health performance of your new home (including measurable KPIs), give you simple maintenance tips, and be available to support you for as long as you live in your home.

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Real Clients Talk About Their Experience With Our Process

Over the past 15 years, we’ve helped a wide range of East Bay Residents enjoy healthy, energy and carbon-neutral dream homes. Here’s what some of them say about their experience with our team:

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“Honorable, straightforward, responsive and wise, Scott O’Hara has completely reset our expectations of general contractors and builders. We can’t imagine working with anyone else.”

Steve and Gina

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“It’s about putting our money where our mouth is and telling people how their house is going to perform…”

Keith O’Hara

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“The process was seamless and the results were outstanding! I couldn’t recommend Scott O’Hara Construction more highly!”

Samira Heshmati

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“Scott’s project management skills are truly unbeatable. He is honest and inclusive during all steps of the project, and will involve you to the level of detail you desire. He is very easy to work with, responsive, timely and accountable.”

Len Brown

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“This home is not only stunning to behold, but promises to be incredibly comfortable, supremely healthy and exceptionally efficient…”

Mary Neuberger

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“As with the other projects, the attention to detail in all phases of the work was evident and the project moved smoothly and turned out beautiful. We trust Scott O’Hara and look forward to our continued working relationship.”

Glenn Friedman

Don’t settle for less

Imagine how outraged you’d feel if you found out the expensive energy-efficient home you just had built was not very energy-efficient after all. Common disappointments include:

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Energy bills that are still too high
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Unbearably hot and cold (requiring large, expensive HVAC systems)
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Allergy and health problems from smoke and pollutants
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Uncomfortably loud with noise transfer from outside and room-to-room
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Poor workmanship that becomes even more apparent over time
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Regret over design compromises the builder said you had to make

You need not suffer these disappointments. Because we have developed a proven process that gives you a healthy, energy-zero home with all the design features you want, without unnecessarily overspending on things that don’t matter.

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See How Our Process Will Work For Your Custom Home Or Renovation

Many clients we meet say, “I spent hours researching energy-efficient homes online and wound up totally confused. I wish I’d found you sooner.” You don’t need to go through the frustration of learning alone. Book a Free Discovery Session and we’ll answer your questions and give you the information you need to feel comfortable and confident about building or renovating your dream home.