From projects as small as a fireplace or a portico, to whole-house remodels exceeding $1 million, David Roberts (front, center) thinks of every client as a potential client for life. “There’s never a time when we’re not working for a past client,” he says. His emphasis on doing good work — and establishing quality relationships — plays out in a 27-year-old book of repeat and referral business that includes homeowners whose parents hired him years before.

“We really work hard at the third aspect of a project,” Roberts says. Quality design and construction are non-negotiable, of course, but the third and critical part is the client experience, he says. He imparts this message to staff and trade partners by setting clear expectations and holding semi-annual performance reviews — and clients notice. “Customers often tell us how nice everybody is,” Roberts says.

While in architecture school, Roberts began remodeling, initially taking on old-house jobs to help with tuition. Today, Roberts Construction Group and Roberts Architects are separate companies that work closely together on design/build projects in the Arts & Crafts and other traditional styles.

Not in every project, though. A lifelong Cubs fan, Roberts is now restoring a 1953 ballpark for a local Little League association. All four of his sons played at this “little field of dreams,” he says. So do the children of many of his clients.

- Leah Thayer