My wife and I started our design-build journey in the Spring of 2017 with an idea that we wanted to create a true master suite in our mid-century home, something that was not a priority in that era. After much consideration we figured out that the “easiest” way to accomplish our goal would be to demolish an old sun room, knock out a wall, and combine two existing bedrooms to create the space needed for a large bedroom, bath, and walk-in closet. We consulted an architect friend of ours, who suggested that we look into design-build firms, largely to ensure a consistency of vision and communication throughout the project.
We interviewed two. The second one was Factor Design Build, and we were done. We were in a bit of a unique position, as we were determined to live in the home while it was coming down around our ears. Thus, we felt a strong desire to find someone we could trust and, possibly even more importantly, enjoy spending time with while our lives were being disrupted. I cannot emphasize this enough—from the first moment we met with Josh Fiester (owner) and Jane Blumer (architect) at our home we could tell that Factor is a FAMILY that genuinely and earnestly cares about its clients. Months later, as the final paint touch-ups are concluding, we feel they are now part of our family, too.
We wanted someone who could help us enhance our vision for our home and was competent enough to actually accomplish the design. We could not be more satisfied. From interior design to solid construction to seamlessly meshing the new build with the existing structure, Factor continually exceeded our expectations. I should say that our home is the home I grew up in, so it was also paramount to maintain the “good bones” and homey vibe that had existed here for 50 years. No problem there. From the outside, you would never know an addition had been attached.
A few words about the people—they are very, very good at what they do. They are scrupulously honest, funny, and fun to be around. When you have someone in and around your home 8 hours a day for months on end, that’s important. Josh and Kent run the ship crisply, Jane is a fantastic architect, Jenny is a spectacular designer, Travis Orme is as skilled and caring as any project manager you’re likely to meet, and Travis Surkalo is a “carpenter” without compare (I use the quotes there because he can actually do everything from framing to cabinetry, plumbing, trim, and electrical, too).
I have no doubt whatsoever that the Factor team is imminently capable of executing a client’s specific vision down to the smallest detail. However, I will encourage any person considering a design build (Factor in particular) to relax a bit and engage with the process. Everyone at Factor from the top down is a creative person, and when given the opportunity to let their creativity flow, they work magic. If you can relinquish a little control and truly embrace their collaborative mindset, then your project will turn out more amazing than you ever could have imagined. Ours did.
Some things will not go smoothly. Some things will not be perfect on the first try. Some things will not go quickly. Construction is not a simple journey from point A to point B, any more than life is. But, like life, it is quite possible to enjoy the ride. We enjoyed the ride enough to cry when they finished.