Diamond Certified Company Report

Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

Diamond Certified Company Report

Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 74 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Jackson W.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

1 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

High quality and excellent customer service

When you ask them to do something, before you even finish the sentence, their answer is, done". I highly recommend them."

Susie S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

2 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are friendly, they care about the project, and they have integrity. They are meticulous and detail-oriented.

I like Greg and Gary the best. I just really think that they take care of me. I trust them implicitly.

S.S.W.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

3 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they are excellent. I've used them three times now.

Communication is number one. From the time you call them to the end of the project, they are just a phone call away. They are good about keeping you updated and informing you about what they are doing.

Read All 74 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders (MNCB) is a general contracting firm that specializes in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for residential clients in Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. As a general contractor, the company is qualified to handle all phases of construction, from design to finish work. It also has a kitchen and bath design showroom in Petaluma and acts as a cabinet dealer for several leading brands, including Wood-Mode and Brookhaven Fine Custom Cabinetry.

Partners Gary Merritt and Greg Nelson have more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry—they’ve built custom homes, remodeled interior spaces and worked on all types of general home improvement projects. Mr. Merritt and Mr. Nelson say their attention to detail and superior craftsmanship provide exceptional value for each of MNCB’s customers.

MNCB has an in-house Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and Certified Bath Designer (CBD) who specializes in coordinating remodeling project issues and details. The company is also a proud member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), an organization dedicated to promoting professionalism and ethical business practices within the kitchen and bathroom remodeling industry.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

Service AREA

Marin County
Napa County
San Francisco
Sonoma County
including Santa Rosa
San Rafael
Napa,
Sausalito

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling
Additions
Custom Homes

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

Company Profile

Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders (MNCB) is a general contracting firm that specializes in remodeling kitchens and bathrooms for residential clients in Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. As a general contractor, the company is qualified to handle all phases of construction, from design to finish work. It also has a kitchen and bath design showroom in Petaluma and acts as a cabinet dealer for several leading brands, including Wood-Mode and Brookhaven Fine Custom Cabinetry.

Partners Gary Merritt and Greg Nelson have more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry—they’ve built custom homes, remodeled interior spaces and worked on all types of general home improvement projects. Mr. Merritt and Mr. Nelson say their attention to detail and superior craftsmanship provide exceptional value for each of MNCB’s customers.

MNCB has an in-house Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) and Certified Bath Designer (CBD) who specializes in coordinating remodeling project issues and details. The company is also a proud member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), an organization dedicated to promoting professionalism and ethical business practices within the kitchen and bathroom remodeling industry.

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Company Philosophy

"We're personally committed to every job, and we're dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service for our clients. We build lasting relationships with our customers by supplying meticulous craftsmanship, communicating clearly throughout the entire project, and consistently completing work on time and on budget."

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for remodeling contractors that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: take a detail-oriented approach to every job that ensures the client knows exactly what to expect. “Before we start a project, we provide a spreadsheet that shows the total cost and where every dollar is allocated,” explains Manager Donna Merritt. “That way, there are no questions about cost, materials or quality. Our clients know what they’re getting from the outset, and they really appreciate having access to that information.”

Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders offers a variety of general contracting services (with a special focus on kitchen and bathroom remodels) to residential clients in Marin, Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma Counties. The company has the in-house capabilities to handle every aspect of its customers’ projects, from the initial designs to the finishing touches, and it also acts as a cabinet dealer for leading brands like Wood-Mode and Brookhaven.

Unlike remodeling contractors that hire inexperienced workers in an effort to reduce their operating costs, Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders maintains a staff of industry professionals who have been trained to handle every aspect of the remodeling process. “We’ve had the same crew for more than 10 years, so our clients know they can trust our technicians to do a great job,” says Mrs. Merritt. “Everyone who works here is highly skilled and trained to offer the best quality from beginning to end.”

Another distinguishing attribute of Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders is its ability to offer fine cabinetry made by industry-leading manufacturers with long histories and excellent reputations. “Other remodeling contractors sell cabinets, but few have the connections that we have,” says Mrs. Merritt. “As a manufacturer-approved dealer, we can offer our clients the finest cabinetry at a discounted rate, and all our cabinets have a 100 percent money-back, transferrable guarantee.”

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Industry Info

If you’re thinking about installing custom cabinetry in your home, make sure you know which features to look for. The cost of custom or high-quality cabinetry makes some customers think twice, but it’s important to recognize that the quality of new cabinetry can impact its look, function, durability and overall value. In fact, settling for cheaper or off-the-shelf cabinets can have several long-term effects. “The biggest differences in fine cabinetry and low-quality cabinetry are the drawers,” shares Donna Merritt, manager of Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders in Rohnert Park. “When you pull out the drawers of low-quality cabinets, the interiors are usually unfinished and made of particle board with corners that have been mitered together. On the other hand, the drawers in custom cabinetry usually have hard interiors that have been stained and sealed. The corner joints are usually dovetailed, which is a technique that makes the drawers sturdier and longer-lasting.”

Hardware (door hinges, drawer glides) is another area where high-end cabinetry stands out. “Soft-closing hinges and glides are commonly found in quality cabinets—they never slam shut because the hinges are designed to slowly close,” says Mrs. Merritt. “This protects cabinet drawers and doors from wear and tear, and it’s the mark of a quality product.”

Mrs. Merritt explains that quality cabinets may be made out of wood or veneer, but cheap veneer cabinets aren’t the same as the quality veneer found in higher quality cabinet shops. “Wood cabinets are expensive, and homeowners can get a good value by purchasing quality veneer cabinetry, but you have to look closely to spot the differences,” she says. “Lesser-priced cabinets are usually made of particle board with a vinyl-type veneer. These may look good at first glance, but they’ll age faster and look worn in a short time. On the other hand, quality veneer cabinetry is made by fusing solid wood layers with several coats of sealant. These cabinets wear like real wood, and in some cases they can even be more durable than solid wood.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to move out of my home while the work is in process?

A: It depends on the size of your project and your personal preferences. Most of our clients don’t move out, but if your project entails substantial work like a kitchen or bathroom renovation, it’s might be more comfortable for you to stay somewhere else.

Q: Will you stay within my budget?

A: Absolutely. We’ll sit down with you and make sure your budget is in line with your expectations of the finished product. We’ll also provide a detailed spreadsheet that shows you where every dollar will go, so you can be sure you’re getting the best value for your budget.

Q: Will you keep my home clean while you’re working?

A: Yes. We do a site cleanup and the end of every work day, and we use dust shields and vinyl barriers with zippers to contain as much debris and dust as possible.

Q: Will you have to stop working on my project to wait for materials or appliances?

A: We pride ourselves on never starting a project until we have everything we need to complete it. That includes appliances, cabinets, countertops, tile, light fixtures and other materials. In this business, things sometimes get backordered, broken in shipping or even shipped incomplete, all of which can prevent contractors from completing a job on time. That’s why we order everything ahead of time and keep it in our shop before we start a project.

Q: How long does it take to order cabinetry?

A: It usually takes one to two weeks from the time you finalize the design until your cabinetry order is placed.

Q: How long will it take for my cabinets to be delivered?

A: It takes 10 to 12 weeks for the cabinets to arrive, depending on the finish you’ve chosen. That’s why it’s important to budget enough time for cabinets at the beginning of your project.

Q: Do you sell countertops?

A: Yes. We offer a complete selection of countertop materials, including granite, marble, soapstone, quartz, stainless steel, butcher block, and environmentally-friendly options like IceStone and PaperStone.

Q: Do you sell appliances, plumbing fixtures and decorative hardware?

A: We sell appliances and plumbing fixtures as part of complete remodeling projects. Decorative cabinetry hardware can be purchased separately, but we don’t stock those materials.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Donna Merritt

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE

Donna Merritt: The Athlete in the Office

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — Donna Merritt has been managing Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders’ office for more than 20 years, but outside of work, she has an entirely different claim to fame. “I’m a competitive slalom water skier, which is something I’ve been doing for the past seven years,” she explains. “In 2013, at the age of 58, I became a U.S. champion with the tournament group I compete with.”

Donna’s athletic abilities don’t stop there: she’s also a world record-holding powerlifter. “With some encouragement from my personal trainer, I began powerlifting in 2012 and actually set a new world record in my first competition,” she says. “Needless to say, I was shocked at how well I did!” As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she also recently entered her first bodybuilding figure competition and won first place in her age bracket.

When asked her motivation for pursuing these various athletic endeavors, Donna says it’s simply a natural extension of the way she feels. “I’ve always been very interested in health and exercise, and I’ve found that the more I do it, the better I feel. I’m nearly 60 and I’ve never felt better. Some people call me crazy, but I plan on competing as long as I feel this good.”

Long before she became a record-setting athlete, Donna began working for Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders after her husband, Gary, and his partner founded the business in 1993. After two-plus decades with the company, she says her favorite part of the job is helping clients realize their remodeling goals. “I enjoy the process of taking a client’s dream for their home or office and turning it into a reality.”

A resident of Marin County, Donna expresses her appreciation for the natural beauty and diversity of the local landscape. “I’m really grateful for such a beautiful area to live in, as well as having access to so much within such a short distance. The coast, the mountains, San Francisco, the wine country—anything you might want to do is just a few hours away.”

When she’s not in the office or training for her next competition, Donna spends much of her time relaxing at local reservoirs. “My husband and I are avid boaters, and we like to be on the water as often as we can,” she says. Additionally, she enjoys spending quality time with her grown children, Dawn and Nick, and her two-year-old grandson, Peyton.

In regard to both her athletic and professional careers, Donna credits much of her success to her willingness to step outside of her comfort zone. “When my personal trainer first suggested I compete in bodybuilding, I had my doubts, but now I’m a world-class powerlifter,” she says. “I think that just goes to show what you can accomplish when you simply step outside your comfort zone and attempt new things.”

When asked what her future retirement might look like, Donna says she’ll likely split her time between life at home and travels abroad. “My husband’s dream is to buy a big yacht, sail to the Caribbean and just hop from island to island. As good as that sounds, I also want to be able to spend more time with friends and family, particularly my grandkids, so we’ll have to find a compromise.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Dog person. We have two dogs: Duke, a little Yorkshire Terrier, and Star, a Bichon Frise.

Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: “On Top of Your Game” by Carrie Cheadle. It’s a lifestyle coaching book that can also be applied to sports psychology.

Q: If you could travel to any country, where would you go?
A: Ireland. My mom was born and raised there, and I would really love to see the place she came from.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Roar” by Katy Perry. My wonderful daughter put together a video of all the competitions I did over the last two years and included that song, which is about never giving up.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: I played volleyball, and I was a really good server. They called me “The Slugger.”

Q: What do you like to eat for breakfast?
A: Oatmeal with fresh fruit on top.

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Expert articles
  • How to Break the Ice with Design

    ROHNERT PARK — When planning for a remodeling project, many homeowners find design to be the most intimidating aspect. Fortunately, for those who don’t know where to begin, there’s an easy and effective way to “break the ice” when it comes to composing your vision.

    One of the best ways to get the ball rolling with design is to look through home remodeling magazines and cut out pictures of things that catch your eye. Keep a file of the images you collect—as you continue to accumulate them, you’ll start to develop a more crystallized vision of what you’d like to see in your remodeled space. Furthermore, this file of visual examples can be a great tool for communicating your ideas to your contractor. As a tangible reference point, the images will help your contractor understand what you’re looking for, which will make it easier to translate your vision into reality.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Designing For Your Remodel

    Complete Video Transcription:

    ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: When thinking about a remodeling project, there’re a few things you can do before meeting with a designer and a contractor. Today we’re in Rohnert Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Donna Merritt of Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders, to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Donna Merritt: I think the biggest suggestion when you’re ready to remodel your home to ease you through the process, I think the first big hurdle everybody is kind of scared of is design.

    So, what I suggest is to start looking in magazines and any building-type periodical and anything that strikes your fancy, cut it out, and start making a file. And then it helps not only you, but us guide you through the design and entire project.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local top-rated companies visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

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Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Diamond Certified Qualification

Based on customer surveys, we declare this company has passed all rating steps and has earned The Diamond Certified Award

David Pak
Director of Ratings Research
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 74 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders : Average 9.6 out of 10 based on 74 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Jackson W.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

1 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

High quality and excellent customer service

When you ask them to do something, before you even finish the sentence, their answer is, done". I highly recommend them."

Susie S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

2 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are friendly, they care about the project, and they have integrity. They are meticulous and detail-oriented.

I like Greg and Gary the best. I just really think that they take care of me. I trust them implicitly.

S.S.W.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

3 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think they are excellent. I've used them three times now.

Communication is number one. From the time you call them to the end of the project, they are just a phone call away. They are good about keeping you updated and informing you about what they are doing.

N.V.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

4 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very friendly and very reliable.

They are very friendly and very reliable.

S.S.W.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

5 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very professional, they respond immediately, and their prices are very fair.

Quick response and quality work

Dave A.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

6 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The level of conscientious work and the quality in detail, they offered suggestions outside of the box that I would not have thought of, but they worked out perfectly.

Their professionalism, friendliness, quality of work, and their commitment to finishing the job on time and on budget

Nick A.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

7 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have been using them for years, and they are terrific.

The way they do the work

S.R.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

8 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very reliable, honest, and always on time.

Their honesty

Susan S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

9 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do a really good job, and I can trust them.

I like the two owners running the show. They are always available and always very helpful.

Leonora B.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

10 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are professional and personable.

They seem to have it all covered. Not only do they do good work, but they are pleasant to work with.

Steve S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

11 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are thorough, focused, and time efficient.

I'm an architect, and I like working with Greg. He's a good guy.

Glen S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

12 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a nice job.

They were nice guys. They came and finished when they said they would. Everything was fine.

A.C.B.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

13 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I liked several things. I liked their personal attention and their attention to detail in regards to my project and its design. They were attentive to the details of the design and their work with me. They understood what I was trying to do. They did a good job on the cabinets.

F.S.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

14 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I like their customer service and their ability to design what we are looking for. They are good.

Alan K.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

15 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I thought their designer had very good ideas, presented them well, and made it very easy for me to make up my mind.

James C.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

16 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I just like dealing with the people. They are very courteous and they seem to know what they are talking about. I think they are pretty good at what they do.

Larry N.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

17 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very accessible, they have good communication, and they do very good work. If you have a problem, they address it. You don

Raul H.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

18 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I liked their commitment to my specific work.

Teresa O.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

19 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are really good. Whatever you want is what you get.

Tom L.

VERIFIED Merritt-Nelson Custom Builders CUSTOMER

20 of 74

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very professional, organized, and reasonable.

Read All 74 Survey Responses at Ratings View