fancy kitchen remodel with fireplace bethesda md

The Process

Crafting Your Dream Home

Our Proven Method for Designing and Building Your Perfect Space

The process begins with a personal interview and a free one hour, on-site design consultation where we discuss your wants, your wish list desires, and get a direction for your taste and style. Then I will follow up with a written estimate which includes an outline of the work discussed and a budget range (from the target low to a not to exceed high) for all anticipated costs. This Excel workbook budget range proposal is the basis for budgeting and refining details so the “Design Proposal” result can become a fully itemized and line item priced “Construction Proposal.”
Suppose the initial budget range estimate falls within your comfort zone, and we want to work together. In that case, we proceed to the next step, which is to approve and fund the Design Services Agreement, and I begin to produce Auto-CAD drawings and work specifications to define the project parameters. I use your choices on fixtures and finish material for things like plumbing and electric fixtures, tile and cabinetry. We hammer out the scope of work items and the cost associated with each for all material, labor and equipment.

During the Design Phase, we will have additional phone calls and meetings to review your project. The work breakdown will provide a workable, easy-to-see layout of all estimated construction costs broken down by trade and task. I am the only one I know who offers this “open book” approach to budgeting and project management. This is actually a Construction Management approach rather than the typical General Contractor approach where all you get is the final lump sum bid number and no information on how they got there. I will show you all my costs for material, equipment, labor, company overhead and even my profit. It’s all open book, so there are no surprises or hidden costs.

The ‘Design Services Proposal’ end product is a complete set of Auto-CAD drawings and a fully developed, line-item priced schedule of material, equipment, and labor. This gives us the information needed to finalize an “exact cost,” lump sum “Construction Proposal.” This separate Construction Proposal is reviewed and approved by you before you agree to the contract or spend any money on construction. You are in complete control. I work with you through the design and advise on the costs as the design progresses, and you are in control of the budget and approvals. I use my 30-plus years’ experience to guide you and coordinate all men and material vendors on the project, from initial concepts through design through all construction to the final turn-key polished product. I am your one-point contact for all issues from start to finish. It is a fun and exciting process with many interesting stages. I endeavor to make the entire experience pleasurable so that you (and everyone else involved with the project) will say in the end that this was a great experience and a lot of fun. This is doable because I love what we do, and that’s catching.

Transparent and Affordable Home Design Services


To move forward with the Design phase of the Design / Build process, the first step is to zero in on a style and look for your rooms. And in this business, it is definitely true that “One picture is worth a thousand words.” So we start shopping for your style and look.
Find and save photos of rooms you like from,,, or Google Images. Pick a few room photos for a starting point. Look for a style and color that resonates with your dream room. Save to an “Idea Book” in Pinterest and Houzz, or print a few to review.


See, touch, and feel a range of cabinets. I can accompany you to some of my preferred showrooms in the Bethesda area, and they will showcase the 2 or 3 manufacturers they carry. No showroom manufactures cabinets. They have deals with a manufacturer or two to bring those cabinets and only those cabinets. I work with all manufacturing reps.
First, you focus on your preferred door style, raised panel, flat panel, or flush. Then pick a color and finish sheen. There is of course a considerably more extensive selection on display at the big box stores, as they have the floor space to handle that. You might want to check them out as a starting point, as there are a lot of styles and colors, and sheens to consider at first, and that’s easier to do with actual samples in your hand. Home Depot and Loews carry about 6 or 7 manufacturers each. Boutique showrooms carry two or three manufacturers. Remember, every manufacturer has an inexpensive grade, a mid-level grade, and an expensive grade product. All you need to do at this point is pick the style and color you like, and I know how to ensure we get the better quality without busting the budget. The niche I prefer is the high end of the mid-range—outstanding quality without busting the bank on custom pricing. I know how to specify the upgrades we want, which are worth the upgrade cost. Solid plywood boxes not compressed particle board. Glued and screwed joints, not just stapled. Dovetail drawer fronts, soft close hardware. Things like that.

Ready to Build Your Dream Home?

Here are my preferred supply vendors