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Lisa Soule and her husband Bart Woodward were finally ready to renovate and expand their 30-year-old home in Bethesda. Having raised three daughters who were now in their teens, the time had come to finally create the two-story addition they needed and to revamp their outdated kitchen.

After a strong referral from a friend, the couple contacted DG Liu, but initially worried the cost was too high. They decided to have an architect draw up plans, but ran into problems. Ultimately, they brought us in on the project. “My husband finally said, ‘Here’s the budget. Tell us what you can do within that price,’ says Lisa.

First, our crew redesigned the massive structural roof elements. The trusses we installed were not quite as high as originally planned, but still provided the lofty ceiling the family desired. Interior details were scaled down as well, such as substituting a better value, yet still high efficiency window instead of "paying for a name," redesigning an expensive round, mirrored wall in the bathroom, and putting in more moderately priced plumbing, cabinetry and even door locks.

Although costs were reduced, quality was never compromised, and Lisa says she doesn’t regret bypassing some of the bigger-ticket items. “I don’t have any areas where I feel like, gee, we shouldn’t have given that up,” she says.

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“We’re absolutely delighted with the results, It really is a beautiful new house.”

Lisa Soule