For David Supple, who studied architecture and then worked for a commercial architect, “schooling, desk time, and 2-D plans” weren’t enough. So he apprenticed as a carpenter for a residential construction company before starting his own. Now he has a design team in place and systems for doing high-end fine design/build work.

President and sales manager Cory Desjardin (right) arranges for prospects to do a paid feasibility study prior to signing up for design services. This results in a guaranteed budget range to guide the design process. “The goal is to have solutions to design challenges and potential barriers to the project’s moving forward, as well as awareness of items outside the scope of work,” Desjardin says. “This lays the groundwork for a successful project.”