Though he started off in Dell customer service, Bobby Sanders caught the remodeling bug after working on his own home. He began doing handyman jobs, and found that the projects and the company “kept getting bigger and better.”

By 2004, he had six employees, but managing that staff required a skill set he didn’t have, and because his estimating system wasn’t strong, he wasn’t making a profit on projects.

In a radical shift, Sanders let go all of his employees and now works with subcontractors on $35,000 to $45,000 kitchens and $20,000 to $30,000 baths. “I’ve developed a pretty good pricing system,” he says. “I can make more on kitchens and baths without employees than on larger jobs with an in-house crew, and I’m happier.”

Sanders is fine-tuning his design/build business to give him more control of the design process. For larger jobs, he asks for a design retainer to develop preliminary designs in Chief Architect.


—With a population of less than 200,000, Amarillo has a small-town feel. Sanders Design Build's ideal clients rely on referrals to find a contractor, so Sanders points out his projects in the prospect's neighborhood because they are likely to know his past clients.

—Sanders recently purchased a larger 42-inch screen on which to show clients the 3-D designs he has created of their project. He also purchased a printer that prints 13-inch-by-19-inch renderings.