Bruce Bowers learned construction at the feet of his grandfather, who was a contractor, then put himself through the architecture program at the University of Maryland by working as a carpenter. These experiences, which showed him the building industry from all sides, inspired Bowers to combine his knowledge and experience into a design build firm.
His decision proved to be a good one: Bowers Design Build has been thriving ever since its inception in 1990. With a staff that includes five architects, an interior designer and a team of carpenters, the Northern Virginia-based company assigns each project a supervisor, lead carpenter and purchasing manager who keeps the timing on track from design through construction. A project estimator ensures that the work is being done within the client’s budget.
Bowers and his team emphasize the client’s needs, making it a priority that the building/remodeling process be a positive one for every client. “The client is key,” explains Wilma Bowers, who is Bruce’s wife, co-owner of the company and the vice president of business operations. “From the beginning, Bruce’s vision was a well-run design build business that would defy the expectation that you couldn’t have a good experience building or remodeling your home.”
Today, Bowers Design Build is mainly a remodeling firm, though they build a couple of custom homes a year. Most of the time, Bowers finds he can modify an existing space and that tearing it down is not necessary. Because they work largely in Northern Virginia, the company deals with a lot of older homes—traditional Colonials that need to be repurposed for today’s lifestyles. Major structural alterations, kitchen and bath renovations and the transformation of main-floor spaces are among the most common types of projects they work on—which is just what the owners prefer. “The inherent constraints in the remodeling process mean that it can be more challenging than a custom building job,” says Wilma Bowers. “Bruce is energized by challenges!”
Along with learning construction from his grandfather, Bruce Bowers also picked up a very specific work ethic. “I was taught that there’s a right way to do things and you don’t cut corners,” he says. “Our brand stands for doing the right thing for the client. I think that’s the reason we’ve weathered the economic storm so well—clients know that they can depend on us to do the right thing.”
Facts & Stats
Bowers Design Build builds and remodels homes with a high level of customization. The firm has 24 employees. At any given time, 30 percent of their projects are for former clients.
About 95 percent of Bowers Design Build’s portfolio includes kitchen and master bath renovations. Whole-house structural alterations are also common.
Bruce Bowers, president, and Wilma Cairns Bowers, vice president of business operations, Bowers Design Build,
6715 Whittier Avenue, Suite 200, McLean, Virginia 22101.
703-506-0845; bowersdesignbuild.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org