Jef Forward is the president and creative director of Forward Design Build. He worked his way through a Master's Degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan by building decks and working as a carpenter for a local remodeler. After graduation, he spent 4 years working in local architectural offices, which was a great experience, but he missed building. He loves to design and he loves to build. In 1997, Jef started this company focusing on a Design-Build method to ensure successful projects. 

To Jef, a successful project is a happy homeowner with a beautiful, functional home completed within stated expectation of cost, service, and schedule from the beginning of design to the end of construction.

Design-build services feature us as your designer and builder, an all-inclusive one-stop shop experience. All of the projects on our website are products of this.


Our company mission is to create client satisfaction and loyalty by providing a "wow" experience. We begin with the end in mind. We deliver innovative design, consistent communication and beautiful craftsmanship... on time and on budget.

Our experience with Jef Forward and Forward Design Build was very positive. Jef designed and built a lake home for us. We especially appreciated his willingness to listen to our ideas and desires and then produce a home that incorporated those in a very liveable and beautiful way. Our home is “us” and we have the designer touches that make it special. The workmanship and timeliness of the project were great. We are happy to recommend Jef and Forward Design Build.
— Laurie and Fred, Lake Front Cottage | Red and Blue

Community Support

Forward Design Build takes pride in not only our projects, but also our community. Seeing Michigan grow and strive forward is always a delight for us, and we love being a part of it.  We are advocates for several local organizations in Southeastern Michigan, and the list is growing.  


 builders and remodelers association of greater ann arbor
 National association of the remodeling industry southeast michigan chapter
Remodelers, home builders, and real estate developers rely on GuildQuality's customer satisfaction surveying to monitor and improve the quality of service they deliver.
 United States Green Build Council Detroit Chapter
 national association of home builders association.

Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist