Growing Together: My dad started the business in 1984, and no job was too small. We were mostly doing handyman and repair projects. As our reputation grew, we had more opportunities for larger-scale, projects and I knew that the larger the project, the more trust homeowners needed to have in their contractor. When I took over the business in 2009, I saw an opportunity to combine my skill set with the design expertise of my wife, Jeanne, to create Liston Design Build—a one-stop shop for all remodel projects. Clients value the craftsmanship and client experience we provide; now, my daughter is lead designer and son-in-law runs production. Over the last five years, our average project size has increased by over 250 percent.
Made for Remodeling: Remodeling is such a satisfying business; it’s a business where you get to see the results of your efforts. Trends are always changing and families and their needs are unique, so no job is ever the same. Although it certainly has its challenges, it is so rewarding to know that we are changing how our clients experience their spaces and their lives, and we really get to know our clients well during the remodeling process. We get to become a part of our clients’ lives and, more often than not, give hugs and not handshakes when the project is complete. I’ve always said “Take care of people and they will take care of you,” and that belief has served us well.
Tricks of the Trade: It’s important to use a vetted and trusted group of tradesmen and craftsmen. We have long relationships with those we choose to work with; they are part of the Liston team. This trust is so important when you are bringing individuals into a client’s home. We need to know the quality of the person and of the workmanship because they are an extension of our team.
Family Matters: Family is a big part of both our professional and personal lives, and I’ve been blessed with the best! My wife Jeanne, daughter Andrea Liston-Jones and son-in-law Scott Weaver all have important roles in the business. We may not always agree on everything, but we all hold the same values and commitment to client service, our community and our business.
Changing Times: I would say year-over-year, kitchen and bath remodels lead the way as the most popular remodels. Since the pandemic though, we’ve seen a higher demand in expanding existing footprints with lower-level finishes, additions or outdoor living spaces. People want more space to live or to change how they are living in their homes.
Remodeling Trends: We’re noticing more natural colors and textures. We’ve certainly seen a desire to either go outdoors or bring the outdoors in since the pandemic, and that mindset is apparent in layout preferences, color selections, finishes and more.
Dear Homeowners: Do your homework and due diligence. If you are hiring a contractor, understand how they approach projects. Make sure they are a fit both in project size and personality. Ask about their process and communication protocols—how they will keep you informed and respect your space. A remodeling project is a relationship, not a transaction. Always ask for references (and call them!) and get everything in writing
Last Words of Advice: If anyone is thinking about a remodel, it is best to get started as soon as possible. With shipping and supply delays, project timelines are extended, so it is important to start the process as soon as you have completed your due diligence.