Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce

Creative Remodeler Nails Small Business of the Year Award

Managing four-legged surprises can be part of a day’s work for David Goodroe, owner of Designs for Living, his staff and more than 90 subcontractors who make up his custom remodeling and new-home construction business.

“No job’s too small for us,” Goodroe said. “We hang sheetrock.” Attention to detail has involved emptying kitty litter for a client, walking the dog and keeping a home’s doors closed to foil escape-obsessed cats.

Mostly, however, Designs for Living turns out sophisticated work for customers “as unique as the projects they hire us to do.”

It’s all part of the integrity and focus on client relations that Designs for Living brings to projects, Goodroe said. And it’s one reason why the company was honored with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s 2009 Small Business of the Year Award in the 1-10 Employees category.

The Chamber’s annual award program, with American National Bank as presenting sponsor, recognizes business growth and performance, sound business strategies and practices, business challenges, unique and innovative approaches, and community involvement and contribution.

The award’s impact has ranged from “substantial recognition from the time we were nominated last fall” to “validation for our staff as well as current and future clientele,” Goodroe said.

Founded in 1989, Designs for Living has consistently recorded double- and triple-digit growth.

A customized cost-estimation process keeps projects within 1 percent of the budget. Working with a select group of interior designers and architects, “we produce a first-class product with hands-on service for each of our clients,” Goodroe said.

“Our employees and subcontractors understand the importance of taking care of details. We pride ourselves on managing small issues with the same precision and care as we manage large projects.”

A comprehensive business plan has guided Designs for Living’s robust growth in its design/build operations and marketing. Increases are shared not only with employees through enhanced benefits but also with the community in volunteer service to children-focused organizations.

Goodroe serves on boards and committees of Ronald McDonald House, the Fort Worth Club, All Church Home for Children and Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth.

Melissa Goodroe, Designs for Living’s secretary, serves on boards and committees of Ronald McDonald House, All Church Home for Children and Christ Chapel Bible Church.

The Goodroes’ love of children even plays out at work sites.

“We’ve purchased plastic hammer-and-board games for (clients’) little tykes to ‘assist’ our carpenters,” Goodroe said. As part of the Designs for Living values statement reads, the aim is “Hard work in a fun atmosphere …”

Listen to Goodroe’s interview on BizRadio.

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