Forward Design Build Remodel

Forward Design completed an addition to our house this Spring (2018) ahead of schedule and under budget. It included removing a wall in our existing family room and connecting that room to the new room. We also had a partial wall removed between our living room and dining room and an expansion of our driveway. FD was very professional, creative, patient and kind through the entire process. At first we really didn't know exactly what we wanted and they helped us to figure that out. They even produced a computer generated "walk through" that allowed us to see what the new space would look like and how it would work for our family. During the construction phase, all our questions were promptly addressed. Our lead carpenter Rob handled absolutely everything and kept us informed about where we were in the process. He even took the time to explain things to my young grandson who was very interested in the entire process. Forward Design is a great group of people. You can trust them. We highly recommend Forward Design for any construction or remodeling. We had a great experience from start to finish.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

We have used the Forward Design group for at least four projects at our home and have never been disappointed. To find an architect with first hand experience as a builder is like falling into a gold mine. We found their communications and workmanship to be topnotch. When we've had impasses on design thoughts, Jef has been amazing at facilitating a compromise we are both extremely satisfied with. Forward Design Build Remodel stands by their work but since they've done it right the first time for us, seldom have had to return to correct. Should we have a need for more work, we will not hesitate to call them!
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

In retrospect, we could not imagine working with any other design/build team. I felt like it was a true partnership every step of the way. The firm has VERY high standards of quality which showed through not only in project design and execution, but also in their communication and on-time performance. They were great about hearing and acting on feedback Jef's got a super talented crew and we felt fortunate to be able to work with Ann Marie Clark (design) and Tim Frincke (lead carpenter). The carpenters were super friendly and professional and after four months were even a little sad to see them go! As we look around the house today, we're still awed at the fit and finish; there are simply no mistakes to be found in the craftsmanship. Going into the project, we were told that Forward Design Build is on the high end price-wise, but it's a case of getting what you pay for. If you have high standards of quality and discerning taste with expectations that promises made are promises kept, you have to go with Forward Design Build.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

We hired Jef and his team because we have had the fortune of being able to follow Jef's work in Ann Arbor for quite some time and we love his sense of flow and architectural detail. When it came time for us to buy a house in the Ann Arbor area we found that there were very few homes for sale and the thought of building popped up in our minds. When a good friend found the perfect lot for us by chance, we decided to go for it. Of course Jef was first on our list and we really did not look anywhere else as we had already admired his work from a far. Developing the plans for the house was a lot more dynamic and fun than at least I had first imagined. My husband was very excited about EVERY aspect of designing and building a house while I was a bit more tentative at first. I am now a convert and would absolutely build a house again. When we met with Jef for our very first design meeting we talked about our wishes and desires for the house etc and while we were talking he listened and free-handed a bubble diagram of the house to show the flow and the initial layout, as he saw it from our description, it was nothing short of fantastic! It was incredibly helpful for us to utilize this diagram as we kept thinking about how we wanted the house to function. Jef also did a great job of explaining the team's process and timeline for each stage, as well as what to expect from the entire experience from an emotional as well as strategic standpoint. He was 100% correct with his assessment of the emotions at the different stages of the process and he walked us through each step as it happened like a champion. Jef's team of carpenters made the vision come to life with architectural details like 20 ft ceilings and design details like walnut railing for the staircases and a giant walnut barn door that is just amazingly beautiful, just to mention a few of the items that took this house above and beyond our expectation. The crew is a great bunch of friendly and professional people and they keep a VERY clean jobsite and truly respect the property in its entirety. We also want to note that the post-construction follow up was fantastic. Any questions or thoughts we had were handled swiftly and with 100% satisfactory outcome and we want to give Monica Hough an A+ for her communication and follow through. We would, in a heartbeat, recommend Forward Design Build to anyone who is looking for a remodel or a design and build situation like ours. We absolutely LOVE our home. The only downside is that we never want to leave it; we make our friends come to us :-)!
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

We were pleased with every aspect of our experience with Forward Design. From the start, we were impressed with their process; it's obvious that they have done extensive remodeling jobs many times before. We met with designers in a structured set of meetings to determine the scope of the project, the features we needed, the materials we wanted to use, the final design and the project cost. We were very impressed with the design team that worked with us; they were able to guide our choices in a natural way that left us completely satisfied with the final product. They did a great job in each room; the final design of the entryway, kitchen, dining area, living room, bathroom, utility room, bedrooms and study all reflect their great taste and design skills. We were very impressed with the workmen who came to our home. The lead carpenter talked with us on most days, and made sure that we knew the plan for that week and who would be coming to our house. Everyone who did work in our house was obviously highly qualified; I'd hire or recommend any of those guys for future work. One of the key benefits of working with Forward Design is that they have not only tested every one of the specialist workers, FD has more influence with them because they rely on Forward Design for future work contracts. This was a long job lasting six months, and the lead carpenter, coordinator and production manager did a great job of holding subcontractors to the promised schedule. The Forward Design production team responded immediately to any concerns that we had, and their motto of "Details, details, details" is not an empty promise. We've lived in this house for 25 years and investing in a beautiful interior design not only improved the value of our home, but renewed our enjoyment of the place in which we live. Not a day goes by but that one of us remarks on how much we love our new house.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

The team at Forward Design not only met, but exceeded our expectations throughout the entire design/build process. It really could not have gone any better! The communication, attention to detail and professionalism were superb. The design process was fun! The team was quick to learn and understand our desired style and provided selections that were on point. It never felt stressful and they saved us a lot of time by providing samples and photos of everything we needed to make decisions on. I loved that all the decisions were made before we entered the construction phase. Once construction began we always knew what to expect each and every day thanks to the "job board" that hung on the wall for the duration or our project. As two working professionals with three young children we appreciated how ORGANIZED and FRIENDLY the carpenters were. The job site was always impeccably organized and no dust or debris was ever left behind. We truly became friends with the crew who showed up to our house each day. We even celebrated the completion of the project by inviting the Forward Design team into our beautiful new kitchen to toast to a job well done. A+ to the entire team! Oh, and I can't forget - our kitchen was finished ahead of schedule and UNDER budget!
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

You can't go wrong with these folks. From the outset you can tell they are a quality company with thoughtful, compassionate, and most of all knowledgable employees. They assign a master carpenter to the job along with a designer, and a full complement of people to make sure things are done right and on time (yes, they were exactly on time!). But it doesn't stop there, since their follow up goes for a full year after the job is done - and they do follow up! We can't say enough good things about their work and you can just look at other contractor's jobs to see how they are more than a step above the rest (one of the reasons we chose them in the first place). They came up with a design that really worked and was completely different from anyone else's (yes we checked out designers builders as well for over 2 years) and exactly fitted our lifestyle. We have been in the "new" house for 3 months at this point and it is performing way above expectations for having guests overnight, a cooking demonstration, and Christmas and family parties. The kitchen has worked fabulously and the house looks wonderful. They kept it in budget and kept us informed all the way through. It is like buying a new house that was designed especially for us, but, we could still keep our family house heritage. Forward you ROCK!
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

I have worked with Forward Design Build on two different projects, completing the landscape and exterior construction as a complement to their built structures. One project was a renovation of a 60's ranch in the Midcentury Modern style, while another was a more classic ground-up build. Jef and his team are one of the few companies in the area that seem to understand the value of doing something that is appropriate, thorough, and congruent in both the style and quality of construction throughout the project. If you are looking for something that is truly special, timeless, and one of a kind, I would highly suggest getting in touch with them.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

Jef Forward and his team - architect, building supervisor and associated contractors - did a very nice job on our addition, which included a bump out to the garage below and the dining area above. Family rooms and kitchen were nicely improved, and the area looks so much better. Professional expertise, which was excellent, is one part of the job. The others - accommodating the needs of a family, cleanup, family safety and security, and communication with the client - was also very good. Jef and his staff were very friendly and accommodating to last minute changes and subsequent touch ups and repairs. We recommend Jef, and would not hesitate to call him again for future projects.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

I wold like to recommend Forward Design Build for construction work in the Ann Arbor area. The owner, Jef Forward, is knowledgeable, professional, and thorough. We had roof leaks and chimney cracks. He not only hired high quality people to replace the roof, but also suggested building a slope into the flat part of the roof which was leaking, suggested putting a 3/4 inch spacer in the roof underlying to provide air flow and keep things warmer in winter and cooler in summer. For the chimney, which was constantly cracking stucco, he suggested brick for the whole chimney, and redoing our front entrance also with brick. He was able to add a little roof for the small front porch and redesigned a bit of our inside entryway. The dry-waller he hired did exceptional work, especially fixing some plaster cracks and repainting to match exactly! So we have now hired Forward Design Build for our kitchen redo. We are taking it down to the studs, and moving the major appliances to make the limited space feel bigger and provide slightly more counter space. Most wiring will be redone as we still have some knob and tube, and part of a wall will be removed and replaced with large double sliding pocket doors. This includes moving a heat vent to the second floor and we a confident that they will find a good solution to this! The demolition just started two weeks ago, but the plans seem complete, we have gotten guidance where needed on the decision making, and this work crew is dependable, hard-working (so far) and good with communication. On the fun side, my husband plays hockey (for fun) with many in the construction business. Jef is one of them, so we know he will stand behind his work. He wants things to be done right, and he wants people to be happy with the results. An honest and very likable person, though all business on the job.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

The design process exceeded our expectations. We were presented with 3 alternative floor plans. The workmanship, finish, detail and overall quality of the work are top notch.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

Forward Design Build has completed three projects at our home over the last five years. Our first remodel experience was with our kitchen. Jef Forward listened to our list of wants and frustrations with our hallway kitchen and came up with a design that solved all or our problems and improved our living situation immeasurably. When it came time for a basement and bathroom remodel, Jef again came up with imaginative solutions to design issues. We turned to him again with a remodel of our master bedroom and bath and once again he came up with a design that we never would have imagined. In all of our experiences, his work team has been great. Their craftsmanship is of the highest quality and they are always considerate and respectful. The group worked very hard to communicate with us and always left the work site tidy. The subcontractors that the group works with are the same. We are very pleased with our new spaces and would highly recommend Forward Design and Build.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

Forward is a pleasure to work with. We have used them for two large home renovations in the past few years. A completely redone basement and a new master suite. Both projects were a success and we are very pleased with our improvements. Jef and his team are enjoyable to work with and always professional on the job. They work hard to accommodate the home owner's schedules, deadlines and specific needs. (We brought a new baby home during our bedroom remodel!) I was especially happy with the amount of interaction the design team allowed us to have in the process. I always felt like we were able to add us much of our own personal contributions to the design decisions as desired and the Forward team would happily take it from there. We did some very cool new stuff together, like custom LED lighting effects, lots of electronic media built ins and even custom furniture. I found Forward eager to meet all of our goals whether the project called for things they have done a million times before or for the first time. Jef and his team at Forward also earn high marks for one of the most difficult skills, listening and improvement. In any large project there is bound to be opportunity for improvement. They care deeply about what they could have done better as much as what went well. I have personally seen them excel, listen, learn and improve across the time we have worked together.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

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.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

We used Forward Design Build for both a minor kitchen remodel, and a major bathroom remodel in a 1930's house. Jef and his team did a fantastic job and the results are wonderful. What I like best about working with Jef is his attention to detail. I am very picky and the quality of the work is excellent. If there is anything I don't like, they take care of it until I am satisfied. We had our bathroom and two closets completely torn out, all the plaster, tile and flooring, then rebuilt into a larger master bath. The jobsite was left clean each day, and they sealed the rooms to keep dust out of the rest of the house. We are extremely pleased with the results, and will use Forward again on our next project.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

Kitchen and dining area remodel. We removed a wall between the kitchen and dining room and moved the location of all the appliances (Including the sink). They took it down to bare walls and essentially rebuilt it. It's beautiful. The workmanship is beautiful...they were not only skilled workers but they were extremely neat, and pleasant to have around. As often happens we encountered structural problems when we got into the job, but Jef and his crew had the resources and knowledge to take care of everything.
Rating: 5
Forward Design Build Remodel

I would highly recommend Forward Designers & Builders. Jef is a pleasure to work with, and offers innovative practical designs that are still extremely creative and artistic.
Rating: 5