During the last few years, Strong Construction has slowly increased its revenue and project size, a growth that owners Sandy and Steve Strong attribute to their user-friendly design/build system. Homeowners interested in larger whole-house remodels like having a design contract with time to focus on both style and budget. “Trust is a big issue. During the design process, Steve gets to know the clients and gains their trust,” Sandy says. “Then you can lock them into a budget that is comfortable.” The design/build program also helps the Strongs develop a client base that is willing to pay for quality and service.

The couple uses an outside architecture firm to develop the drawings, but keeps close tabs during the process. They charge customers per hour for the work done by Steve and the architect during the design phase. “Ninety percent of our clients are thrilled with the floor plan,” Steve says. “Those who didn't give us a budget are usually not happy with the cost, but love the design.”

The company added virtual tours of completed projects to its Web site. Customers like being able to send friends to the site to view their project. In addition, it saves Sandy and Steve from having to schedule house tours for potential clients. “We're not looking for people just surfing the Web to be our clients; when we get a referral, we send them to the site. It helps solidify that we are professional remodelers,” Steve says.