For more than 30 years, the Listons have constructed their homebuilding and remodeling business on a foundation of trust. Liston Design Build, a St. Charles-based, family-owned company formerly known as Liston Construction, knows that building or renovating your home is a very personal project, notes co-owner Keith Liston.
“People have to trust who they are bringing into their home – and if you can’t trust family, who can you trust?” he says. “We build projects with our clients – not for them.”
In 1984, Keith’s dad, Mike Liston, started Liston Construction as a one-man operation with a no-job-is-too-small approach to home-remodeling projects. Through the years, the business expanded its services, gradually taking on larger renovation projects and, eventually, custom home-builds. Keith joined the family business in 1986 and took the helm in 2009.
Today, the recently rebranded Liston Design Build reflects the company’s expanded services, led by Keith’s building expertise and the design skills of his wife and co-owner, Jeanne. As the business also recently added new team members, it outgrew its office and moved to a new location at 1106 First Capitol Drive in St. Charles, where the staff has the space and technology it needs to assist more clients.
Liston Design Build provides a full slate of homebuilding, remodeling and design services, from new construction to renovations of kitchens, baths, lower levels and outdoor living spaces. “New construction is a bigger piece of the business now, with our production manager [and son-in-law], Scott Weaver, and project manager, Rob Barton, bringing a wealth of custom homebuilding experience,” says Keith. The construction team also includes two master carpenters, two apprentices and a laborer.
Liston Design Build works side-by-side with clients to ensure each choice for their home fits their family, Keith explains. A distinct asset in this process is the firm’s design arm, led by Jeanne and her and Keith’s daughter, Andrea Liston, a design consultant. “Jeanne has a good design eye,” Keith notes. “And Andrea, who has an architectural studies degree from University of Missouri, provides the ‘HGTV experience’ because she can do all the computer-aided design drawings for clients to see the ‘before and after’ of what their home will look like.”
The goal is to design each family’s dream home or to seamlessly remodel a space in their house so that it retains its flow, Keith says. “People walk into a showroom and think, ‘Where do we start?’ because there are so many choices out there. Jeanne and Andrea can take clients through the process in bite-sized pieces, from selecting cabinet and flooring finishes all the way down to the perfect cabinet pull. We provide peace of mind while making the design process fun and enjoyable.”
After clients have made selections, they can see a rendering of what the finished project will look like, Keith explains. “Most of the time, they fall in love with the design, but sometimes there might be something they didn’t expect, and we can tweak it. The [computer-aided design technology] gives us the ability to fine-tune the design before the hammer hits the nail.”
A common theme Liston Design Build has discovered through the years is transition: Customers are looking to build or renovate a house to meet their family’s current and future needs, from open-concept living and kitchen spaces to expansions through an outdoor living area and finished lower level, or even a unique addition, such as a wine cellar, bar, home theater or sports court.
Liston’s recent remodel of a Maryland Heights home featured a transitional-style revamp of the kitchen and four bathrooms, complete with custom millwork. “It turned a house from the mid-1990s into a current, transitional home, with a blend of traditional and contemporary features,” Keith says.
Another recent project entailed a kitchen expansion and a bedroom addition for a traditional-style Ladue home. “The kitchen is still the heart of the home, and they needed to add a bedroom for a third child,” Keith explains.
Although its core business remains remodeling, the company has expanded its custom homebuilding division, currently working on a 5,000-square-foot house, to be complete with a finished lower level and an outdoor living space.
This year, Liston has been lauded by home remodeling and interior design website Houzz for its customer service and design expertise. “We have five-star ratings from client reviews,” Keith says, adding that he credits the design honor to his team’s attention to detail. “Everything is given a lot of consideration during each project, from the layout of the kitchen to the cabinet finish and hardware.”
The result is about more than building a house – it’s about building a relationship, Keith says, noting that 80 percent of the firm’s projects result from repeat and referral business. “The end of each project is bittersweet, but our expectation is you’re going to give our name to others, and we’re going to be back to do more in your home,” he says. “After a project, we like to give hugs – not handshakes.” With Liston Design Build, it certainly seems as if everyone is family.
Liston Design Build, 1106 First Capitol Drive, St. Charles, 636-940-9417, listondesignbuild.com