When Annapolis-based Timberlake Design/Build began life 12 years ago, the firm already had plenty of experience to draw from: Sister company Timberlake Homes—with whom it shares an office—has been building custom homes for 50 years. “We have their expertise and personnel to fall back on if we need them,” explains company president Dave Lunden, who’s been at the helm of the design/build division since its inception.
Timberlake Design/Build focuses on a combination of custom homes, renovations and additions but eschews smaller projects like basements, baths and decks. “Our sweet spot is really large-scale renovations,” observes Lunden. “They are most rewarding because that’s where we get to be miracle workers. The homeowner has an emotional connection to the home before we start and we can get them to where they say, ‘I would never have believed my house could turn out so well.’”
Timberlake’s staff of five includes operations manager Lunden, two project managers, an estimator and a sales manager. The design/build process begins with a “scope of work” document 10 to 15 pages long that details everything with fixed prices. “It puts certainty into the process,” says Lunden. The design team then selects the right architect—someone who will understand the clients’ vision and be able to work productively with them. The firm taps subcontractors with whom they have long-standing relationships to work under the auspices of the company, and supervises each project from start to finish. “We like the design/build process because it helps the client make realistic choices and lets us manage the budget so there are no surprises,” Lunden says. “It makes for a better, more seamless product. Timberlake takes pride in its attention to detail.”
A recent project incorporated universal design into a Bethesda home. The owners wished to create a safe environment for their special-needs child to navigate without detracting from the charm of the space. Features included state-of-the-art technology, a stair rail that pivots to become a gate and a secret passage that connects rooms via a movable bookcase. “The project was a treat all around,” Lunden says. “We were able to get them into a beautiful home that worked for their needs.”
The majority of Timberlake’s business occurs through referrals, and repeat clients are the norm. “Our philosophy is to put the customer first,” Lunden says. “We like to say, ‘On time, on budget and most important, with care.’ We don’t want just happy clients, we want disciples.”
FACTS & STATS
Timberlake Design/Build completes 15 to 20 projects per year. Two to three of them are custom homes and the rest are large-scale renovations and additions.
The firm’s projects are located mainly in central Maryland, including Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Howard and Prince George’s Counties. They also do work on the Eastern Shore.
Timberlake Design/Build, 888 Bestgate Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21401; 443-837-3131; timberlakedb.com