Diamond Certified Company Report

MSK Design Build

Diamond Certified Company Report

MSK Design Build

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 169 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Martin J.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

1 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I thought they were outstanding, and they are probably the only group in the trade that I can say that about. They're my go-to people if I need a referral. I always call them first when I need anything.

They did exactly what they said they were going to do, and they did it on budget. They were clean and neat. Everybody was nice and polite. They were respectful of my property. I really liked the guys that work there. You can tell they're employees, not just day-workers working for them.

Gerald B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

2 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very professional, they did everything on time, and we were very pleased with the results. They get an 'A+' from us.

I liked their professionalism and how they were always on time. Linda was very helpful. I have nothing bad to say about them.

Kate B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

3 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They really are the best in the business, and Kelly is really, really great. I think a lot of people assume that they can't afford the design team or that they don't need it, but the design team really makes the whole process go smoothly.

I liked the personal service. They were very attentive. Whenever I had questions or problems, they were right there to respond. I thought I may have had an electrical issue, so I called them up, and they came right over to check it out, no problem.

Read All 169 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Scott Westby and Kat Mullen, Owners

MSK Design Build works with homeowners to create successful and comfortable remodeling experiences. The company’s designers partner with clients to navigate through the myriad choices involved in planning and designing remodels, and its interactive design-build software helps them manage their projects from their personal dashboards or smartphones.

MSK Design Build’s project managers work with customers throughout the construction phase and monitor everything from the quality of work to the cleanliness of the jobsite. With skilled craftsmen, designers and project managers on staff, the company strives to make remodeling an easy, manageable and worry-free experience.

Owner Scott Westby, a contractor and award-winning designer, believes in professionalism and attention to detail on every project. Scott says he’s proud of the personal approach his company takes. “Passion, skillful execution and a sense of humor go into every project. From the first meeting through completing the last fine detail, we enjoy working with our clients, and we’re dedicated to the successful completion of their projects.”

MSK Design Build has won 15 design-build awards since 2005, including NARI’s 2017 Remmie awards for Residential Kitchen $60,001 to $100,000 and Residential Bath $75,001 to $100,000. The company invites potential clients to visit its Walnut Creek design office five days a week to see displays of Crystal and Hertco cabinetry, Cambria and Caesarstone countertops, and more.

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COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON MSK Design Build

Service AREA
SERVICES PERFORMED

Residential Remodeling
Design-Build from A-Z
Custom Cabinets and Countertops
Permitting and Inspection

BRANDS Supported
  • Crystal

  • Cambria

  • Caesarstone

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON MSK Design Build

This transitional kitchen features Crystal cabinetry and hickory flooring.

Company Profile

MSK Design Build works with homeowners to create successful and comfortable remodeling experiences. The company’s designers partner with clients to navigate through the myriad choices involved in planning and designing remodels, and its interactive design-build software helps them manage their projects from their personal dashboards or smartphones.

MSK Design Build’s project managers work with customers throughout the construction phase and monitor everything from the quality of work to the cleanliness of the jobsite. With skilled craftsmen, designers and project managers on staff, the company strives to make remodeling an easy, manageable and worry-free experience.

Owner Scott Westby, a contractor and award-winning designer, believes in professionalism and attention to detail on every project. Scott says he’s proud of the personal approach his company takes. “Passion, skillful execution and a sense of humor go into every project. From the first meeting through completing the last fine detail, we enjoy working with our clients, and we’re dedicated to the successful completion of their projects.”

MSK Design Build has won 15 design-build awards since 2005, including NARI’s 2017 Remmie awards for Residential Kitchen $60,001 to $100,000 and Residential Bath $75,001 to $100,000. The company invites potential clients to visit its Walnut Creek design office five days a week to see displays of Crystal and Hertco cabinetry, Cambria and Caesarstone countertops, and more.

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Company Philosophy

“Remodeling should be an enjoyable, rewarding experience. Every customer is different, but they all want to be heard; to have a great design; to be kept informed; to work with people they trust; to have a clean, organized project; to finish on time and on budget; and to finish the process knowing they made great choices.”

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Comparative Summary

MSK Design Build offers residential remodeling services to clients in Contra Costa County. Its remodeling projects include kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms and additions. Owner Scott Westby says the company calls up resources only as needed, unlike other remodeling companies that employ large staffs. “That allows us to offer lower mark-ups, and we can pass those savings on to our customers.”

Mr. Westby says his dedicated staff is MSK Design Build’s greatest asset. “They’re seasoned professionals with exceptional credentials who take their jobs very seriously.” Similarly, Mr. Westby says the company’s vendors were specifically chosen because they offer superior products at their given price. That enables the company to accept a range of clients and projects—whether a simple condominium renovation or $10 million home remodel—and guarantee value to each of them.

Because it’s a design/build firm, MSK Design Build is a single point of contact throughout clients’ construction projects. “We bear sole responsibility,” says Mr. Westby. “Everyone is working in unison and communicating closely.” If a job foreman is unable to resolve problems satisfactorily, customers can contact Mr. Westby personally.

Mr. Westby describes MSK Design Build’s Walnut Creek showroom as “comfortable and convenient, devoid of high-pressures sales tactics.” Every product the company sells is displayed on the showroom floor, and customers can also view photographs of previous jobs and design awards the company has won.

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Industry Info

It’s important to have a positive and friendly working relationship with your remodeling contractor.

You and your contractor will ultimately share “an extended, very involved relationship,” says Scott Westby, owner of MSK Design Build in Walnut Creek. If you have a good rapport, not only will the remodeling experience be more pleasant, you might actually “have some fun with the project,” he says.

When deciding which contractor to hire, Mr. Westby advises to compare quotes and dig into details. In particular, determine the exact scope of the project. “There are all sorts of possibilities for conflicts when you hire a designer to design the project, a cabinetmaker to build the cabinet and a contractor to put them in,” he says. “If something doesn’t fit, whose fault is it?”

Design/build firms, which provide both contracting and design services, are gaining popularity. “When you have one place to go, it makes for smoother relationships and harmonious resolutions to problems,” says Mr. Westby. “A design/builder gets to take credit for a great job, but if something goes wrong, it’s their responsibility as well.”

Mr. Westby encourages people to “do their due diligence” by confirming the licensing of any contractor they’re considering. Equally important, he says, is to ask for recent customer contacts. “Talk to them and see what their experience was like. If possible, look at an existing job to see how it’s being managed and maintained.”

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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s design/build?
A: “Design/build means a single firm offers both design and construction services to its clients. Design/build minimizes risk for homeowners and speeds up construction projects.”
 
Q: How long have you been in business?
A: “We opened our doors in March, 2001.”
 
Q: Do you have proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance?
A: “Yes. As a licensed, professional construction company, we wouldn’t have it any other way. We also conduct bi-weekly crew safety meetings for our own additional ‘insurance.’”
 
Q: Do you offer separate design services?
A: “No, but our design expertise is an integral part of our design/build projects. We also supply cabinetry design assistance through our retail cabinetry division. Some of our clients are do-it-yourselfers or already have a contractor. If they need help with their cabinetry design and layout, we can maximize their space and functionality. There are also a number of contractors who send their clients to us for their cabinetry needs.”
 
Q: What type of work do you do?
A: “We handle full-service design and remodeling for kitchens, bathrooms, whole homes and additions. Part of our full-service design process may include partial remodels of other rooms, such as refacing fireplaces, adding new tile in foyers, changing out windows in a bedroom, or adding a skylight and wood flooring in hallways. Separate retail services include cabinetry for clients who have contractors, do-it-yourselfers and contractors who don’t carry their own cabinetry lines.”
 
Q: Are your staff and crew employees or subcontractors?
A: “We prefer a mixture of both. Our in-house design and office staff members are employees, as are our project manager and framing and finishing carpenters. Our subcontractors tend to specialize in fields like electrical, counters, tile setting, texturing and painting. Most of our subcontractors have been with us since the beginning.”
 
Q: What suppliers do you carry?
A: “We carry the following:• Three lines of cabinetry: KraftMaid, Hertco and Crystal. • Three lines of quartz counters: CaesarStone, Cambria and Zodiaq. • Three lines of flooring: BR-111, Mullican and Tarkett (in addition to custom laid-in-place) • LaFor wood countertops.We’re also an Anderson window and door dealer, and we supplement our projects with outside vendors such as Marvin, Velux, SolaTube and Milgard.”
 
Q: Why are you such a casual operation?
A: “We prefer the term “at-ease.” We’re a close-knit team; some of us are second-generation, and others have decades of experience. Simply put, we believe remodeling should be an enjoyable, rewarding and stress-free experience.”
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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM MSK Design Build

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Scott Westby

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Scott Westby is owner of MSK Design Build, a Diamond Certified company since 2010. He can be reached at (925) 385-8975 or by email.

Scott Westby: West by Northwest

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

WALNUT CREEK — The son of a building contractor, Scott Westby had been involved in construction for most of his life when he decided to return to school in pursuit of a new career. However, even after he became a lawyer, his former livelihood managed to find a way back into his life. “After several years in construction, I left my home state of North Dakota to attend law school in Eugene, Oregon,” he recounts. “Following school, I passed the bar exam and moved to Portland, where I practiced law for 10 years. I originally planned to go into business law, but due to my prior professional experience, I kept getting construction litigation cases and ended up practicing construction law.”

Following his Northwest stint, Scott moved to the Bay Area with the intention of continuing his law career. However, following an intermediary sabbatical, he made the decision to return to his construction roots instead. “After moving to California, I decided to take a couple years off before jumping back into my law career,” he explains. “During that time, I kept myself busy by helping friends and neighbors with their home remodeling projects. Everyone kept telling me I should get my contractor’s license and start charging for my work. After enough pestering, I finally decided to take their advice and started my own design/build firm.”

Today, as owner of MSK Design Build, Scott says his favorite part of his job is combining creative ingenuity with financial practicality. “I enjoy working with my clients to conceptualize their projects and explore creative possibilities while figuring out how to get the maximum value for their investments.”

As a resident of Oakland, Scott says he enjoys the creative perks of building in the Bay Area. “The Bay Area is known for its cultural diversity, but it also has a lot of structural diversity. In addition, there’s a wide range of tastes and artistic aspirations among Bay Area homeowners, which makes my work a lot more fun.”

Outside of work, Scott engages in a variety of pastimes, from reading to exploring nature. “I enjoy going on hikes at Redwood Regional Park, Lafayette Park, Big Sur and other natural sites,” he says. Scott also enjoys cultivating his artistic side by drawing, painting and collaborating on creative projects with his daughters, Ana and Alicia.

When asked what his future retirement might look like, Scott says he’ll invest more time into his artistic pursuits. “I’d like to set up a shop where I can have all my tools and art supplies together so I can work on personal projects, as well as collaborations with my girls and various friends who enjoy art.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Italy. I’ve actually already been there, but I really like the pace of life and the history, plus there’s still a lot of it I haven’t seen.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Read.

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: The horse—they tend to have really interesting personalities.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect shells, particularly ones with irregularities.

Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Talk radio.

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Expert articles
  • Differentiating Cabinet Styles

    WALNUT CREEK — Some homeowners assume shopping for new kitchen cabinets will be a simple endeavor, but there are actually numerous options from which to choose. By familiarizing yourself with the various cabinet styles ahead of time, you’ll be able to make a more educated choice. Here’s some information on three of the most common styles:

    European cabinets
    Also known as frameless cabinets (due to their distinct lack of a face frame), European-style cabinets are structurally supported by “gables,” which are situated on either side of the cabinet, as well as on the top and bottom. In addition to being very sturdy, frameless cabinets offer advantages such as ample storage room and optimal shelf access.

    Framed cabinets
    A framed cabinet is essentially the same as a frameless cabinet, except it has a face frame. The frame is comprised of two elements: the upright elements (“styles”) and the side-to-side elements (“rails”). The styles and rails act as points to attach doors or drawers, and they also provide stability for the cabinet once it’s installed. While it’s an aesthetically pleasing option, framed cabinets have functional drawbacks such as more limited access and smaller drawer box size, both of which are caused by the protrusion of the face frame.

    Inset door cabinets
    With an inset door cabinet, the door and drawer faces are flush with the cabinet’s face frame. As with framed cabinets, the design of an inset door model limits access and gives you less room for drawer boxes, but what it lacks in functionality, it makes up for in aesthetic style.

    When selecting cabinets, it’s important to establish a balance between your aesthetic goals and your storage needs. By carefully weighing the various aspects involved, you’ll be able to choose the right cabinets for your kitchen.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Cabinet Choices

    Complete Video Transcription:

    WALNUT CREEK — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re planning on installing new cabinets, you’ll want to know your options. Today we’re in Walnut Creek with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Scott Westby of MSK Design Build to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Scott Westby: When you are shopping for cabinetry, one of the first questions you will be asked is, “what type of cabinetry are you looking for?”

    There are three essential types of cabinets, European or frameless style cabinet, a face framed cabinet and an inset door cabinet. We’re going to show you those today so you will be familiar with them while you complete your shopping.

    The first type of cabinetry we are going to show you is a European or frameless style of cabinet. With a frameless style of cabinet, there is no face frame or anything around the outside. There is just the ends which are often called gables, one on each side, and the top and bottom of the cabinet which are generally securing the structure. A frameless style of cabinet is, depending on construction, a very sturdy cabinet. It has some distinct advantages including that it is very easy to clean, its got good access across the cabinet and obviously it has adjustable shelves in that.

    Now I am going to show you a framed cabinet. A framed cabinet is essentially the same cabinet as a frameless cabinet but with the addition of a faced frame. Now that is a simplistic explanation but that is essentially what it is.

    The faced frame is comprised of two elements essentially, the upright elements which are the styles and the side-to-side elements which are the rails. The styles and rails act as points to attach doors or drawers and they provide stability for the cabinet once the cabinet is installed. The downside, in my opinion, of a framed cabinet is that you are loosing a little bit of access to the cabinet because of this protrusion of the face frame. The drawers have to be a little bit smaller because of the protrusion of the face frame and the overall opening is a little bit smaller. In addition, down below when you are cleaning a framed cabinet, this element here where the style is slightly higher at the bottom of the cabinet makes cleaning more difficult because you have to clean over that edge.

    Now we are going to show you a inset door, drawer cabinets. With an inset door or drawer, the door and drawer faces are flush with the face frame of the cabinet. On a framed cabinet, the drawers being flush, you are loosing a little bit of space on your boxes typically because the glides are often the same. Now they have to go back a little bit farther so you’ll end up with slightly shorter drawer boxes. An inset cabinet is slightly more expensive than some of the other styles but at the end of the day it comes down to style. What are you looking for for your project and what are your storage needs?

    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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MSK Design Build WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • MSK Design Build SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
COMPANY WEBSITE
www.mskdesignbuild.com
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON MSK Design Build
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
  • Legal & Finance
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 169 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
MSK Design Build : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 169 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Martin J.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

1 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I thought they were outstanding, and they are probably the only group in the trade that I can say that about. They're my go-to people if I need a referral. I always call them first when I need anything.

They did exactly what they said they were going to do, and they did it on budget. They were clean and neat. Everybody was nice and polite. They were respectful of my property. I really liked the guys that work there. You can tell they're employees, not just day-workers working for them.

Gerald B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

2 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very professional, they did everything on time, and we were very pleased with the results. They get an 'A+' from us.

I liked their professionalism and how they were always on time. Linda was very helpful. I have nothing bad to say about them.

Kate B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

3 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They really are the best in the business, and Kelly is really, really great. I think a lot of people assume that they can't afford the design team or that they don't need it, but the design team really makes the whole process go smoothly.

I liked the personal service. They were very attentive. Whenever I had questions or problems, they were right there to respond. I thought I may have had an electrical issue, so I called them up, and they came right over to check it out, no problem.

Jack B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

4 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I wholeheartedly recommend them.

They've done two major projects for me, and I'd say it's the complete ownership of the project.

Clay W.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

5 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say that they are extremely high quality, very thorough, and incredibly trustworthy. Literally, they were heads and tails above any other company, and they provided an incredible expertise. The owners are so amazing. Kat is amazing. She's like the heart of the organization. She's really great.

That they did everything, it was all in one.

Aline S.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

6 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I think the things I'd want to ask them is what kind of scope of work they wanted and about price. You get what you pay for, and MSK is not cheap. They have really good service and really good quality products, but that's because I was willing to pay.

It's hard to say. I liked their expertise and their follow-through. I liked them as people, and they're genuinely honest people who want to help you. I like being able to go to them with problems and have them turn around and solve them with me or for me. They really listen to you. You tell them what you like and what you want, and they show you some options, so you can choose.

Nick S.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

7 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'd say that their work is phenomenal. They're very accommodating, friendly, on time, and on budget.

I liked the quality of their work.

Mark J.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

8 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do a great job on kitchen remodels.

I liked that they worked with us through the whole process. They had a designer who really helped us bring our vision for our kitchen. They were very attentive to our needs and the overall quality of the work.

Mitchell C.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

9 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Professional, hardworking, and they always do a fabulous job.

I liked that they do quality work. I give them all '10's'.

Paul W.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

10 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were wonderful. They listened to us, took into account everything that we said, and worked out a plan for us.

They were flexible about accommodating our ideas when they conflicted with their ideas. The subcontractors were great, and they sent a housecleaner out at the end to clean it all up. It was a long project that took about three months. The calendar was laid out on day one, and they actually stuck to it every day. They were great.

Sandy R.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

11 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Scott is very creative and can solve your problems.

I liked that they followed up when I encountered a problem.

Stephen W.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

12 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do a very high-quality job with careful planning and excellent execution.

The best thing is their conceptualization in the planning of the project. They carefully think through what needs to be done before starting the work.

Beth C.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

13 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have a very high quality product. They take the time to get it done right.

I thought the quality of work was top-notch. They were also very helpful during the design phase.

Bill N.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

14 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I was very happy with them. They are highly competent, easy to work with, and on time.

I liked interacting with their personnel. I was very pleased.

Jim F.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

15 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very reliable, very professional, and they get the job done when they say they will. I have no complaints. They've done several jobs for me, and they're the company I would go back to if I needed to have any more work done.

I like the way they coordinate things so that everybody knows what's happening and when it's happening. They always have someone you can contact if you have questions. I've had nothing but compliments on my kitchen. They did everything right for me.

Kate B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

16 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

MSK is absolutely the best. I would recommend their remodeling to anyone, regardless of the size of the project. They came in within my budget, and everything worked out really well.

I like the personal service and Kelly, the designer, is fantastic. She took everything into consideration and helped me visualize the layout using 3D designs. Using their in-house designer saves money. I wanted quality that would last, and they were able to come up with a design I'm super happy with. Nothing compares to them. They took care of everything and made it easy. They have great communication, and they always email me back right away. I'm very happy.

Ruth B.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

17 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were very easy to work with, they were very patient, they worked hard, and they did what they said they would do.

They did a good job. I was very satisfied with them.

Steve F.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

18 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very easy to work with, and they know their stuff.

I think they are so easy to deal with. You tell them what you have in mind, and they give you a bunch of choices. The designer had great ideas for some things I wouldn't have even thought of. All the people who have come into our house are very professional. If I have any questions, they answer them quickly.

Terry E.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

19 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very professional. If there's an issue, they take care of it immediately, so you don't have to keep calling them. The designer is very good and knows what type of style you're looking for. They did very professional work.

The professionalism

Barry H.

VERIFIED MSK Design Build CUSTOMER

20 of 169

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have full confidence in them and appreciate the patience they have with us.

They communicated everything they were going to do. They stuck to the schedule even when we started throwing changes at them.

Read All 169 Survey Responses at Ratings View