From concept, to design services, to permitting and construction

Launching a building project can seem extremely complex and daunting. At Testorff Construction, we guide you through every stage of the process, from initial concept to project completion. Our team are the right professionals to ensure your vision remains intact from start to finish, providing peace of mind and exceptional results.


At this stage, think of the big picture. This is blue-sky time, when everything’s on the table. Don’t hold back. Write lists. Jot down notes. Draw stuff. Start thinking about colors, textures and materials. Tell us everything you want. That way, we can help you get where you want to go.

We like to be involved at this stage. It’s as much fun for us as it is for you. Also, we have a ton of expertise. Pick our brains for new information. We’ll chime in with supportive ideas.

At this point, we start the acquisition of players. We’ll connect you with the right people for your project. We build teams that get the job done. Our depth of players is extensive, so we can find the ones who matchup with your vision.


Keep your budget in mind at every step of the process. We understand that your project may well be the biggest expense and investment of your life. Most people build a home or business site once or maybe twice. With that in mind, be realistic, but don’t scrimp on quality.

Do it once. Do it right. Do it now.

High-quality construction comes at a premium, and choices made along the way can change that overall cost of the project.

At this stage, you need to get clarity around how much you are able to spend and communicate that to the team. This allows everyone involved help you maximize and stay within your budget.

Design Professionals

Architects, Engineers, and Designers turn concepts into plans. Once we wrap our heads around your desires, we can recommend you to the long-standing partners we are proud to work with.

We are often introduced to a project through our partners.

Your job here is to make decisions. There are many options at this point and it is critical to work with our team of experts to narrow them down.


Permitting is a complex process. It can be an arduous sticking point in the process. We’ve been handling this a long time, and can practically do it in our sleep. We know just the right procedures, agencies, language and players in cities and counties that can most efficiently move your project through the various permit stages.


This is the fun part. It’s also the easiest. Still, there’s much more to this than meets the eye.

Breaking Ground

The initial step when building a house from the ground up. It’s big machines and massive changes. Adding, removing, shoring, compacting and enhancing soil are all elements of this step.


Major remodeling and “scrapers” require varying degrees of demolition. We prefer to demolish in a way that allows recovery of as much construction material as possible.

Initial Construction

From foundation and framing, up to the roof, this is where we build the envelope of the building. Progress is easy to see.

Rough Systems

Thousands of interconnected elements go into this step. Electricians, plumbers, sprinkler systems, tile, flooring, heating and air conditioning specialists and more are involved at this point. This is everything pre-drywall. Progress may be less obvious.


There are a lot of details that go into buttoning up the final steps. “The Devil’s in the Details” it’s said, and it can seem that way in this phase. Progress may seem slow, but these details elevate a project from mundane to spectacular.

The project is close to completion and sometimes feels like little is happening. Patience is required at this stage. You’re almost there and it doesn’t pay to rush it.

Living & Iterating

This is where you move into your new place. After you’ve been there awhile you might think of some new features that hadn’t occurred to you before. We’re happy to talk about how to develop those with you.

Maintenance & Additions

People live in their homes and expand their businesses. Having built your place to begin with, it’s easy for us to make repairs.

When your business or family grows, you need to expand. We can seamlessly add to your project.

Sun Collection & Mitigation

The sun provides free energy all day long. Why not utilize it?

Solar Panels

The cost of solar panels continues to drop and programs from state and local agencies can make it possible to install them with little up-front expense. If you live in a sunny area, they can turn your building into an energy producer, repaying you the cost many times over.


Don’t cut costs by removing or reducing awnings. An awning, correctly sized for the sun exposure of your building, can reduce sunlight coming in during the summer, but allow it in during the winter, when you want it.

Passive Solar

Passive solar systems use windows, walls, and floors to collect, store, and distribute solar energy as heat in the winter and to reject it in the summer. It is called passive solar or climatic design because the systems don’t use mechanical and electrical devices.

Cool & Living Roofs

Cool roofs are rooftops that are painted light colors to increase the albedo (surface reflectivity) of the building. We have also built roofs from plywood covered with reflective radiant barrier sheathing to achieve this result. This prevents heat from penetrating into a building, keeping it cooler on hot days and reduces the cost of keeping it cool. A living roof, sometimes called a green roof, is a building roof that is partially or completely covered with plants. They absorb rain, provide insulation and help mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.

Commercial Heat Island Effect Mitigation

An Urban Heat Island (UHI) is defined as the rise in temperature of a man-made area resulting in a distinct warm area among the relatively cool area of the nearby natural landscape. The effect of UHI is an increase in overall energy use for cooling, which in turn, requires increased energy production by power plants creating heat-trapping greenhouse gasses and particulate matter pollution. In addition, UHI intensity peaks have been linked to heat-related illness and fatalities.

In commercial construction, there exists significant potential for large areas to collect both sun and water. Buildings are the biggest source of greenhouse gasses. Solar panel covered parking lots (solar gardens) and rooftop shade gardens, or living roofs, can reduce the Heat Island Effect of parking lots and buildings.


The potential performance of a new development is vast. A mindset that balances cost, time and aesthetics is essential.

Door Choices

Distance to public transportation, stores, restaurants and services affects the energy efficiency of a new development.

Insulate Wall Penetrations

Buildings that share resources, like apartments with ground level shops, require less use of resources.

The Building Envelope

Indoor air quality is a primary concern of modern builders. An efficiently functioning building has a tight envelope while providing controlled sources of fresh air. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification specifications guide us in all of our projects, regardless of certification goals.

Spray Foam Insulation

Spray foam insulation saves on energy costs. US Dept. of Energy studies indicate that 40% of a home's energy is lost as the result of air infiltration through walls, windows and doorways. Buildings treated with spray foam insulate as much as 50% better than traditional insulation products.

Spray foam also protects against moisture, which in turns reduces the chances of mold and mildew. In addition, it reduces noise, acting as a barrier preventing sound transfer through the walls, roof and floors.

Sealant Between Framing Gaps

Injecting sealant in the spaces between the framing reduces airflow, increasing a building’s efficiency.

Foundation To Sill Plate Insulation

Though it may seem impossible for there to be gaps due to a building’s weight, heat is easily lost between the sill plate and the foundation. Insulating these gaps will help keep your heating costs low and make your building more energy efficient.

Window Choices

Like any fenestration (exterior openings of a building), windows can be thermal holes. Up to 25% of heat loss in a typical home is through the windows. There are many choices in windows and we can help you pick the best ones for your project.

Door Choices

We’ve all felt a draft coming under a door. What we don’t usually feel is the heat moving through a door. An insulated energy efficient door has more than good seals around the edges.

Insulate Wall Penetrations

Whenever you put a hole in a wall, for plumbing, outlets, etc., you create an opportunity for energy loss.

The Foundation

We must get past the idea of digging a hole and putting a house over it. The foundation is the largest thermal mass in a building. This massive heat sink can be your friend.

Radiant Heat & Floors

A building with radiant heat floors is more cost-effective to heat than a forced-air system. With a forced-air system, heated air is pushed out of the structure—requiring more air to be heated. Radiant heat provides a very efficient method for maintaining a consistent temperature.

For those more visually-inclined: forced-air is as efficient as a hair dryer for keeping you warm, while radiant heat is like a good pepper—it goes down into the core and warms from the inside out.

Outside-In Warming vs. Inside-Out Warming

Building Orientation

The sun changes its position throughout the year. If you have the opportunity, careful study can allow you to place your building to take advantage of sun and shade.

Foundation Height

Ground moisture and poor water flow can cause wooden siding to rot. Having an elevated foundation can be beneficial during severe weather events.

Vapor Barrier Under Foundation

Moisture in your foundation can cause decay, termite problems and mold, which can migrate upward. A vapor barrier also helps insulate a home, improve heating and cooling performance and affect interior air quality.

Insulation Under Foundation

Remember that the foundation is a giant heat sink. An un-insulated foundation can result in a large heat loss from a house with an otherwise tight envelope.

Water Efficiency

Every aspect of water movement in and around the house is important. Efficient water management lowers your operating costs.

Water Catchment

Rainwater can be harvested for reuse before it seeps into the aquifer or runs off into the drainage system. Uses include water for gardens, greywater systems and more. One benefit is that, despite climate change forecasts, rain is 'renewable' at acceptable volumes. Water catchment systems generally have low operating costs, providing water at the point of consumption.

Water Recovery

Greywater is created by such activities as dishwashing, laundry and bathing. It can be recycled and used for landscape watering. Greywater use reduces demand on conventional water supplies and sewage treatment systems and reduces energy use and chemical pollution from treatment.


Every system in your building affects its performance.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps pull heat out of the air or ground to heat a building, but can be reversed to cool instead. A big bonus of a heat pump is that you only need one system for heating and cooling. Heat pumps are extremely efficient. They simply transfer heat, rather than using fuel to create it. This makes them a little more environmentally friendly than a gas-burning furnace.

LED Lighting

EnergyStar-qualified LEDs provide stable light output over their projected lifetime. They are compact and can be used singly or in an array. They give off light in a specific direction, making them more efficient than conventional bulbs that project light in all directions. LEDs have a lifespan of 25 – 45 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Smart Environmental Systems

Systems that learn the occupant’s habits over time make a building run more efficiently without the guesswork of complex timing systems.



From concept, to design services, to permitting and construction Launching a building project can seem extremely complex and daunting. At Testorff Construction, we guide you through every stage of the process, from initial concept to project completion. Our team are the right professionals to ensure your vision remains intact from start to finish, providing peace […]