“I don’t shy away from working for family, friends, and neighbors,” says Stephen Gordon whose “bread-and-butter” projects are located in a five-neighborhood radius of his metro Washington, D.C., office.

Gordon, InSite’s main salesperson and estimator, says he uses a “modified design/build” approach: Once a homeowner has contracted with an architect, Gordon puts together a plus or minus 10% of estimate based on the client’s initial wish list, the architect’s drawings, and supplier input. He helps clients make “economic choices” throughout the process to reach their desired investment amount and gets two bids from each category of trade partner. Once selections are made, he provides a revised contract with an approximate start date. Though labor-intensive, the approach provides clients with a more precise estimate.

• Neighborhood listservs keep InSite Builders top-of-mind locally.

• Technology helps streamline processes. InSite uses iPhones and iPads, and uses Evernote for sharing information within the office, and BuilderTrend for scheduling and communication with subs, which also allows clients to keep track of renovations.

• Gordon took a universal design course and his goal this year is to implement the concepts on every job.