|We have been lucky to live in two Design Guild homes since moving to Seattle 15 years ago. Our first experience was in a beautiful neighborhood, where we came across a Design Guild home ready for sale. We were impressed with the style and quality of the home and the overall level of service. Several years later we decided to build a custom home and immediately thought of Design Guild. It would be an understatement to say that they helped us with the process. Tom and Joel were partners in every sense of the word. They helped us navigate through each phase and in the end helped us build our dream home. Even after the home was built they have remained very supportive in taking care of the little things that come up from time to time. We could not be happier with the decision to buy a Design Guild home (twice!) and over time have come to know them as part of our extended family.
— Scott and Rena Pitasky, Beaver Lake
Working with Design Guild was a pleasure. Joel and Tom were wonderful to work with and were willing to answer our many questions and concerns as construction progressed. We had worked with an architectural team to design our home and were getting ready to start when the economy took a major turn in 2008. It was a few years before we felt it was prudent to go forward and it quickly became clear that the builder we'd originally planned on working with was not the right fit. We had walked through a Design Guild home for sale in our neighborhood and were impressed with the detail and feel of the home. When we asked them to bid on our project, it was clear that that they also offered the best value for our dollars. Given the uncertainty in the real estate market, we appreciated the help they provided in making smart cost-benefit choices without compromising the quality of the final product.
It was our first (and only) time building a custom home and there was a lot of thought and effort and that went into the process on everyone's part. A dear friend who is a retired building inspector has frequently commented on the quality of Design Guild's work. We could not be happier with our home and the craftsmanship is evident throughout.
— Marlowe and Kristen Dayley
It was a pleasure working with the team of Design Guild. We love the results of our remodel and marvel each day at the difference in the before and after.
— Bob and Karen Eggerston, Bellevue
We’d seen a home Design Guild had done at the Pinnacle. Having seen their work, we just fell in love. Design Guild doesn’t cut corners. I’d gone through magazines and cut out hundreds of pages and sorted pictures by room and came up with a Country French style. Joel Glass got us together with an architect, Ed Horner, who was delightful to work with and captured everything we wanted. It was a great relationship from the very beginning. They were all so professional. It was so thrilling for me to watch it all come together every little step of the way. I found that every vendor they worked with was marvelous—we had a party for everyone that worked on the house. The house is just beautiful; it’s all made of stone and I love the openness of it, the high ceilings, lots of light. It just flows from the outside to the inside. The whole experience was delightful—everyone loves the house. Joel and Tom Glass were wonderful. Tom was our foreman and just a joy. We cried when they all left. I still stop in once in awhile to say hello.
—Bob and Barbara Bridge, Clyde Hill
Several years prior to building this house, there was a development in Woodinville that Design Guild Homes was about to begin construction on. Were interested in the house pending some land-use issues. But we wanted changes made to the layout of the planned house. DGH won our business, frankly, by how accommodating they were to our changes, even though we ultimately couldn’t resolve the land use issues to our satisfaction and did not go ahead with the purchase. So when we bought the land for our house, we went to Design Guild and weren’t let down. We thought that Design Guild was terrific to work with. They were very accommodating of our requests. When we needed help, they guided us through decisions, but they never steered us towards their idea of what was best for our house. They made helpful suggestions, were responsive to us, and shielded us from the headaches of things like permits, subcontractors, schedules, etc. The end result was a home that was truly our own.
—Eric and Luann Berman, Hollywood Hills, Woodinville
When we wanted to move from Lakemont to Medina, we bought a house and tore it down. Design Guild had found the property for us and they also did the demo. We hired our own architect and when we had the plans we went to three different builders. We’d seen and liked the quality and look of Design Guild Homes and when we reviewed prices we went with Design Guild, which we’d always wanted to do anyway. We liked their styles and how easy they were to work with. Their project manager was great. For example, whenever we met here, he’d write down everything we said. We got exactly what we wanted; I can’t think of anything I’d want to change.
Our home has an Italian or Mediterranean look. All the rooms are big. We love the pool; we have a downstairs playroom for the kids, a media room. My favorite feature is the oversized kitchen with one of the biggest islands you’ve ever seen. We entertain a lot and not only enjoy the inside, but also the big deck, the cabana and the pool. My son swims like a fish. My husband likes the huge backyard and the space. They love the house. Our friends do, too. Everyone says it’s gorgeous. They love the high ceilings and the open feeling. It’s so easy to feel relaxed.
Our first house was ready-built. When we built this we had to do most of the permit work ourselves because we hadn’t yet chosen a builder. It was very difficult, and we wouldn’t do it that way again. After we picked Design Guild they took all that off our hands. The next time we’d have Design Guild do everything from the beginning.
—Kevin and Laurie Kaufmann, Medina
We’d just built a house in Virginia and had been in it only about nine months when we got transferred. We bought our Design Guild home here when it was under construction. It was under roof, the studs in the walls were up, but no drywall or that kind of thing was up. We did a little bit of customizing and moved a couple of walls, reconfigured a couple of other things, and picked the interiors, the colors, the floors and the marble and the granite. We’d built another house from the ground up in California a couple of years before we were transferred to Virginia, so we’ve actually had three experiences, fortunately all good, all with different price points and detail. But, as a stickler for quality, Design Guild far surpassed any of the people we had dealt with in the past—very detailed and always with an eye to quality.
They always listened to ideas we had and came back with a suggestion of what they thought might be better or different. For example, the finishes we did in our house are a little bit more contemporary than in the some of their other homes, which were a little more formal with dark wood. Ours is very light—light wood, white trim. They absolutely did what we asked, not pushing us in any way, just making suggestions and saying, “We hear what you’re saying; this might make it even better.”
Because we’d done this before, we know exactly what we like. We had already picked out a lot of things, and actually used Joel’s (Joel Glass) mother who handled access to some of the carpet choices and some of the tile and those kinds of things. She provided me with all of that while we were still under construction, so it could all be done before we moved in, which was great. She also put me in touch with an awesome guy to do the shutters and blinds and windows—we’ve already recommended him to a number of people and everybody’s raved about him.
We did some things long distance while we were in process of moving from Virginia. If we had any kind of concerns (and I can’t remember much of anything really concerning to us) we’d call or e-mail Steve Glass and things were taken care of very quickly. We wanted a media room put in the basement and Steve recommended a company that turned out to be awesome. The two of them coordinated the electrician, the heat and all of the equipment, and just took care of everything without us really having to be involved. It’s one of our favorite parts of the house.
I really like the floor plan with the master’s on the main floor. There’s also a family room in the basement with a big rock fireplace and an extra room upstairs that could be a playroom. We both work and travel a lot for both business and pleasure, so don’t have hobbies; we have a workout room and both work out quite a bit. We do a lot entertaining; it’s also a great party house. My favorite is the kitchen area. It’s circular with a big island and it’s right off the deck where most of the gathering is. We have a small group of friends and everybody always comes to our house because we’ve got a great deck that has a great view of downtown—it’s definitely a house you can live in. We still have ongoing contact with Joel and Design Guild Homes. They have been just great to work with.
—Jim and Lisa O’Neal, The Pinnacle, Bellevue
Kim: This was the third home we’d built, so when we went shopping for a builder, we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for. Of the three or four we talked to, one had only stock floor plans and wasn’t willing to alter them. It was “take what we’ve got and that’s it. I’m not going to work with you on anything.” Others told us we needed to work with them on “our time frame, not yours.” We landed on Design Guild. They were the friendliest; they were the ones who would work with us the best, and Joel Glass and the people there are just absolutely wonderful.
Joel: After our first two houses, this one was a blank sheet of paper. As far as a dream house goes, we got what we wanted and more than we expected. For example our contract with Design Guild said our computer room would have cherry wainscoting, so I expected cherry wainscoting. When it was all done it had cherry wainscoting all right, but there was also cherry wrapped around the window and there was cherry cove molding up at the top. That’s what I mean by exceeding my expectations.
Kim: The general [contractor] was phenomenal about working with us, The most important thing I wanted was a master down. A lot of builders don’t want to do that; they don’t have the floor plans; they won’t work with an architect to help. We also wanted a great room design. We’re not formal people, we didn’t want the living room and dining room and my husband wanted a six-car garage.
Our kitchen is perfect with the great room design. We’ve got an island in the middle that flows right out into the dining area that flows right out into the great room. The quality of cabinets just blows me away; they’re beautiful. Construction quality is above. Our curtain installer was amazed by the wood in the window framing. They have excellent quality millwork. They went four steps beyond; they didn’t just frame the windows they did all kinds of decorative things above and below—crown molding and more.
Joel: When we had anything that needed to be changed or fixed as we went along, their project manager just got it done.
Kim: The crews were extremely professional and very courteous. In all the meetings and walkthroughs, Joel Glass was always here. If there was any problem, it just got fixed. A painter spilled stain in the middle of the rug in the great room. Joel looked at it and said, “That’s replaced.” Period. No question—they didn’t try to hide it or clean it up. Our homeowners association came out to see our landscaping one day, and they even made the comment that Design Guild is the neatest builder they have around here as far as picking up after themselves. We’ve had nothing but just absolute raves about the place. When they see our house, our friends say, “Oh, my god, I’m moving in.” Most of them want to come live here.
—Joel and Kim Smith, The Uplands, North Bend.
Design Guild Homes did a fine job creating our new home. They were part of a team that helped with design ideas, then took those ideas, and translated them into stone and stucco and slate and wood. Throughout the process they communicated well, and gave us many options, which, left to our own devices, would not have been incorporated into the final home. We love the home and still like the contractor. In this business, that is a rare combination.
—Mikal and Lynn Thomsen, Meydenbauer, Bellevue