Hi Dick,
Dave and I would like to thank the team at Design Shelters for helping us build our new home. I felt that the whole process was well organized and went smoothly. You effectively communicated what we needed to do and when to do it and you listened to and accommodated our needs and wants. We are very happy with the whole project.

Dave and Mary

Dear Dick,

Building our new home with Design Shelters was a very pleasant experience. We were sorry to see it end. Our designer was very insightful and helpful. Our project manager was very cooperative, organized and also very helpful. He informed us of materials and products. Our construction manager did a wonderful job overseeing the project. The whole process was very well programmed and very much stress free. We would like to do it again..

Dennis & Kay

We would like to start by saying that we couldn’t be happier with our new home. From the design, through the building process, to the completion, we were very happy with the process and the outcome.

You did an amazing job with the design of our house. It is exactly what we wanted and more. We have heard nothing but positive comments about our house in general and specifically about the design and flow.

Our project manager went out of his way to make sure that everything that we needed and wanted was taken care of. The building process was a breeze with him on board. We couldn’t have done it without him!

He did a wonderful job of keeping us up to date on what we needed and any changes that were to be made. He made sure that the subcontractors did their jobs and did not accept anything but perfect merchandise from the vendors.

All of the Design Shelters employees should be congratulated on a job well done. Although we worked intimately with a number of people, we realize that others were involved with our project. Thanks to all of you!

We have told everyone we know that we had a great building experience with Design Shelters and we will continue to do so. If you ever want to use us as references or if you would like to bring clients through our home, please don’t hesitate. We have only good things to say about Design Shelters. Although we are extremely happy with our new home, when we make the decision to build again, our only call will be to Design Shelters.

Sara & Bruce M.

I could not be more pleased with my home design and building project with Design Shelters. I have never undertaken such a project and was slightly apprehensive given what everyone says about how stressful building a home can be. Dick and everyone else at Design Shelters have minimized my stress. In fact, their experience, guidance and professionalism have made the process fun.

Most important to me is that I feel fully confident that their advice is objective and in my best interest rather than theirs. I trust everyone I have worked with and appreciate how forthright and honest they have been. I would recommend Design Shelters to anyone and would use them again without questions.

Timothy A.C.

Dear Dick,
It is with great appreciation that we write this letter to all of you at Design Shelters. Our house began as a dream which was turned into a reality with a fantastic design. I’m sure it was a challenge to design a home that fit our daughter’s and our expectations, but you did it. The layout of both of our homes is just what we wanted. The house, although technically called a condo is convincingly a home. Everyone that sees the house just thinks we have two garages! It is so charming and all the different roof lines look so dramatic. We have had endless compliments and offers to purchase our home before we even moved in! Thank you so much for your kindness and your consideration of our wishes.

We were greatly impressed with the organization our project manager. He had every last detail printed in a huge three ring binder. Whenever we needed to change a plan, add something new, or just discuss the money situation, he had everything at his fingertips. That was really impressive and efficient. We also felt extremely comfortable discussing our budget. We wanted the most for our money, and we got it. The crew who built our home, was phenomenal. The building site was always clean and so well organized. No corners were taken or cuts made to hasten the job! Thanks for your had work and kindness. Now that our home is completed, we miss talking with you!

And finally, thank you Dick for reassuring us that although we were on a strict budget, we could build a quality home, one that is admired by people riding by, one that has the stamp of “building green” one that is so solidly built that when we walk in other houses we come home and say, “Wow!” and finally a home that fits us. The first time we met you, we told you that we wanted a truly quality home on our middle class budget and you certainly delivered. We are very proud to own a Design Shelters’ Home.

Jan and Gary

We were fortunate enough to work with Design Shelters while building a Parade Home a few years ago. We were consistently impressed by their attention to detail, organization, and creativity. They were always available, forthright and easy to communicate with. Incredibly, they were also always able to stay on schedule, as well as provide regular updates so that we were able to make informed decisions about any needed changes. This is of course vital in order to stay on budget. Then, this past year we chose to move and renovate an old home. Design Shelters was our obvious and only choice. With the uncertainty of renovation, we felt secure working with such dependable professionals. Once again they exceeded our high expectations; their experience allowing for thoughtful recommendations and ideas along the way, even as the old home presented surprises an challenged. We were extremely satisfied with both homes. We have nothing but high praise for Design Shelters, and have recommended them many times to others, enthusiastically and with no reservations. It has been a pleasure to work with their staff, as they make the whole process enjoyable, and not a chore, despite the time and effort that building requires. If you ask around we think you will find that experience to be a rare fine. Thanks again to Dick.

James and Kate

Got one hell of a compliment the other day I thought you’d be interested in. A friend of ours planned to visit but forgot to write down the address. She said, “I didn’t know the house number, so I just drove through the neighborhood and immediately knew which one was yours. It’s just so you.” How’s that for building the right house.

We hope this note finds you well. As you can imagine, things have been pretty hectic since late September – forgive us for not contacting you sooner. We did, though, want to formally thank you for the incredible work all of you did designing and building our home. We just can’t say enough about how happy we are. We’ve already recommended you to friends and family looking to build.

And you should know the first question out of nearly every visitor’s mouth is, “Who was your architect?” People are transfixed by the lines of the great room. The way it opens up to the second level is simply art. From there, it’s just one compliment after another as they check everything out.

Thanks again – for everything. And please feel free to stop out at anytime – with or without new clients. We never had the time to have an open house and we feel bad you’ve never seen it lived in. Otherwise, see you at that parade. We’ll be the one’s with the double stroller……

David, Julia, Ava, Isabel

Dear Dick,
It’s not the destination, but the journey that’s important. That sums up the fantastic experience we’ve had with Design Shelters in building our new home in Middleton Hills. We are thrilled with our new home, and even more thankful that the process of designing and building it was such a positive experience.

Since we were living in the Twin Cities, we were concerned at how difficult it would be to build a home long distance. But, from the start, everyone at Design Shelters went out of their way to make us feel they were taking care of our new home 4 hours away.

You were able to capture the style we were looking for and put it on paper the way we never could have. You approached changes and difficulties up front and always offered suggestions you felt would be a benefit to us, either design-wise or financially. From there, the project was turned over to our project manager. We cannot begin to tell you all that our Project Manager has done to make this process exceptional.

Because of the distance, we developed a very unique email relationship with Ron. We swapped messages on an almost daily basis, sometimes throughout the day. And he took the time to take photos of our newly dug hole and home as it started up, and emailed them to us on a frequent basis. He always responded in a timely fashion and , again, was up front in giving us options and the pros/cons of them.

One of the best things Design Shelters offered us was contractors that were second-to-none. Our Project Manager would provide the bids to us and every single contractor/vendor that he suggested was amazing. From Jill at Acker Flooring to Al at Modern Kitchen to Curt at Action Plumbing to the entire construction crew. All of them were highly professional, personable, and interested in meeting our needs. We never felt as though any of them were trying to take advantage of us or our money. It was a great feeling to encounter so many skilled people.

Both of us started our careers at the Walt Disney Company and have come to be perfectionists in the area of customer service as we believe it is truly a competitive advantage. Every aspect of our experience with Design Shelters has radiated with exceptional customer service. It’s a part of business you don’t often see or feel and very difficult to teach. You have come to make it a part of your everyday business and we believe it will make Design Shelters successful well into the future.

Thank you for building us a beautiful home

Thomas D. E. and Kelly L. E.

Uneventful and painless, for the most part, has been our experience with Design Shelters. As first-time homebuilders of a house never built before, we were a bit nervous about everything involved. First we worked with Greg Lukas on the plan. Once this was finished, we were given a construction schedule with dates when our decisions needed to be made. both prompt in returning our many telephone calls and answering our many questions. Never did they leave us to stew with frustration. Our groundbreaking was December 26 and we moved in on May 17. Now from a perspective of five months later, we are very pleased with our new home. It is truly what we hoped it would be.

As old-timers now we offer some advice: Do your homework. Having some idea of what you want your house to look like is very helpful. Read shelter magazines like Better Homes and Gardens look at other houses to learn what’s possible. Second, start early. We spent about five months before finalizing our choices on kitchen cabinets and flooring. Plumbing and lighting fixtures took less time. Third, communication is key. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand something. We found that everyone that we worked with wanted us to be satisfied with the result. And last, relax and enjoy the process. All of our fears that something awful would happen proved to be just that, fears; never real problems. And that flat piece of paper really did turn into a lovely three-dimensional structure.

Bill and Pat P.

Dear Dick,
Our building experience with Design Shelters for our new home in Middleton Hills was excellent. From our first meetings in the design phase through the building process to the final closing you and your staff have been professional, honest and enjoyable to work with. The quality of the work and the attention to detail were exactly what your reputation as a premier builder suggested they would be. The timelines, allotments and final costs were realistic and in line with what we had budgeted and anticipated.

All of the Design Shelter staff and the sub-contractors you selected were great to work with. In particular you were either at the construction site or available when we needed assistance or when decisions were needed.

Because you have such a great understanding and feel for the Middleton Hills area, we are especially pleased with how our house was designed and set into the lot location. It was very evident to us that you have great personal pride in your homes and in the development of this area. Working with you was a very positive experience.

Should you ever wish to use us as a reference, we will be pleased to highly recommend you to others. Also, we are willing to have you show our house to other prospective clients who are interested in building with Design Shelters.

Please thank your great staff for all their good work in building our new home.

Sincerely, Bill & Kay R.

Dear Dick,
Building a house seems to require a million different decisions. Design Shelters staff guided us through that process, giving us alternatives, making suggestions, but always leaving the final decisions to us. For over a year, we invested ourselves in building our dream home, and Design Shelters was a strong partner in that investment. Building this house was an enjoyable, creative process. We felt well taken care of by Design Shelters, their subcontractors, and suppliers. Our building experience was a natural extension of the pleasure we find living here.

Whether looking at the big picture or dealing with the details, the good folks at Design Shelters treated our project as if they were building their own house, bringing all their home building experience to bare. They were patient with all our design changes, last minute or otherwise. They helped us manage construction costs while preserving the essential character of our vision for the house. They paid attention to every detail making sure we were satisfied with the end result, not just the plan.

We love our house so much that we couldn’t imagine ever living anywhere else, but if we ever had to build another house, we wouldn’t think of working with anyone else but Design Shelters.

Byron G. & Michele G.

With the electrical walk through scheduled for next week marking a major milestone, I wanted to take a moment to let you know how things are going on our house from our perspective.

It has been very exciting seeing the house rise up from the design that you created for us. Even though we spent considerable time working on the design, I have been pleasantly surprised that we have not needed to make any major changes. There has not been a single element of the design that we have disliked as we see it being built. As for the few minor changes that we have made, you have come up with excellent ideas. The design is, in a word, perfect.

As I look through the stacks of paper that have come across my fax machine, I begin to appreciate the thousands of details to keep track of on this project. Our Project Manager has been extremely efficient and organized and has not lost a single detail in the process. He even pulls things up that I forgot I mentioned to him on a phone conversation from weeks past. It has been like night and day compared to the project manager on the first house we built. He has been truly outstanding.

For all the design, planning, and tracking of a project like this it comes down to a matter of inches in the field. I didn’t fully appreciate that until recently when we did run into a problem. One corner of the kitchen came out shorter than expected and the cabinets were not going to fit. We thought this was the end of the world. But not to worry – Our Project Manager calmly walked us through it and together we worked out a fix that involved moving some walls that were framed and adjusting some trim around a door. Our Project Manager’s cooperative problem solving approach caught us off guard – we were expecting a big fight over it. That’s what friends with other builders told us to expect! This seemed like just another day in the field for him and after that problem was solved, he moved on to review about a dozen other details with us on the job site. I sleep a little better now after this, knowing that he is watching over this house for us.

So what can I say Dick? All in all this experience has greatly exceeded our expectations so far. We felt going into this that Design Shelters was a different kind of builder. But we couldn’t have imagined how much better than the first house we built (with another builder) that this project would turn out to be. Thank you, it is refreshing to work with such high caliber competent people.

Steve L.

We’re pleased to put in writing some of the positive things we’ve been telling our friends, relatives, and random passerby about the Design Shelters team. In the beginning, Dick slogged through springtime mud with us as he helped us pick out a lot in Middleton Hills. You cheerfully and creatively transformed Diane’s just-the-way-we-want-it floor plans into a just-the-way-we-hoped-it-would-look design. Next, our Project Manager stepped in to ask lots of hard questions about our preferences for color schemes, cabinets, lighting, flooring, door knobs, electrical outlets, and of course, the kitchen sink. He helped us come up with answers to all those hard questions with patience, good humor, and practical know how. You were there when the basement got poured and you were there when the last coat of paint got put on the pergola: he was there throughout the entire building process with a watchful eye, thoughtful advice and gracious answers to even the most naive of our many questions. And his still there – a year and a half after we’ve moved into the house – to help out when we face a crisis (like when the garage door wont come down and it’s because I kicked the electric eye – or whatever you call that thing – out of alignment).

Our house was completed on schedule and within budget: at all stages our input was sought and respected: and, like Diane says. “everyone on the Design Shelters team is really nice”. If we were going to build another house (But why would we? We love This one!), who would we want to build it? Design Shelters, of course.

Wayne O. & Diane H.

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