Zachi's approach to project design & organization, and why he bills Time & Materials vs. bidding

I love to develop environments for clients that involve unique features and stonework.  As a craftsman and general contractor, I enjoy one-on-one relationships with the client as I strive to expedite their vision. I enjoy being hands-on and on site managing the work.  My goal is to produce not only creative and well-designed environments, but to lead the client through a design process that creates a personalized and interactive space.

As a contractor, I serve clients slightly differently than the norm. I work by the hour for the client as their advocate. Although capable of producing projects in a set price or bid format, I find that this works against the client’s interest in many circumstances. Although I facilitate projects within a structure that reflects a schedule and budget, being paid by the hour reminds both parties that a positive relationship and good communication is essential. This also allows for projects to be fleshed out during the process.  The bid works great for simple and out of the box projects, but can limit creative input, project modification and client empowerment. Once you sign the dotted line on a bid contract, the project leaves your control and the contractor’s interest will be ultimately to maximize profit.  This grey area of interpretation, especially with poorly defined bids, can lead to stress and conflict.

So this process – billing by time and materials rather than bidding — achieves two results:  it benefits the client financially so they pay only the real cost (rather than built-in overages and buffer for unknowns that bids require), and it supports an organic development process which allows the client flexibility, choice and creativity as they collaborate with the contractor.

Most of my projects are long-term relationships as we work from a design process through implementation.  Different than subcontractors who are on and off the job in a few days, I have many projects that have lasted over a year and many that total years of work based on distinct projects. I work mostly through referrals and strive to leave a client as my best advocate.

Though I am not an architect, I have a creative spark and a lot of experience in guiding clients in their design process – this may be done by several means including freehand drawing, clay models, and computer drafting.  My goal with a project is to bring out the best of design.  I have a lot of experience with site development and considerations that go into a well thought out project.  I enjoy working with clients alone and/or with their architects and the synergy that can happen along the way.


Many of my projects are complex, so I keep my costs down by living modestly and my docket full by charging a modest hourly rate. If you like any of the work you see or would like to discuss a special project, please feel free to contact me..