Our Cabinet Shop

Our Cabinet Shop

Whether in the kitchen bathroom or elsewhere, cabinets are a focal point of craftsmanship. This is why we maintain our own cabinet shop.  To be totally honest, we are cabinet snobs.  We demand 100% solid wood cabinets, built to exacting specifications, we use the very best hardware to ensure durability and functionality and we build each piece custom fit to its exact location. .

A well-built cabinet is a piece of furniture that will last more than a life time. A poorly built cabinet is a liability that will find its way to the landfill.

The first sign of a quality cabinet is the materials used to build it. A favorite low-cost material for many cabinet manufacturers is Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF.) This material does not hold a fastener well and it swells with minimal moisture contact. Over time MDF got a bad reputation. Rather than giving up on an inferior low-cost material many manufactures simply renamed it “furniture board.”

Another sign of inferior quality is thin plywood. Where ¾” plywood should be used, many manufacturers use 5/8” and even ½” plywood. And locally the most common method of building cabinets is to build them right to the wall without a plywood box. Any movement due to an unstable foundation or changes in humidity will cause the doors and drawers to become misaligned.

Many builders will further cut corners by using plywood face frames. The face frame is the front of the cabinet that the doors and drawers fit to.  Rather than using solid wood which is more expensive plywood is used. Opening the door on a cabinet will reveal if it is plywood or solid wood. You will see the laminated layers of plywood if this has been done. Though some manufacturers will put a thin veneer band on the plywood to mask it. The disadvantage of plywood is that it will delaminate over time and sanding can expose the underlayers of veneer.

Hinges and drawer slides are other places where costs are often cut at the expense of durability and function. A well-made cabinet will close gently and will hold an adequate load over the years. The drawers will slide out far enough to reach everything in them.  The majority of hardware used in today’s homes will not function well and/or endure well. Well-made drawer slides cost more.  This is an unseen cost that can easily be cut without most homebuyers realizing the added cost and frustration over time.

Stearns Design Build Opens Custom Cabinet Shop

Stearns Design Build Opens Custom Cabinet Shop


College Station, TX, Stearns Design Build, a local residential remodeling company, has announced that they are now offering furniture grade cabinets to the general public. For some time, Stearns Design Build has built high-quality custom cabinet for their remodeling clients.

In a desire to better control quality in cabinetry Stearns Design Build started building their own cabinets rather than subcontracting this work as is done by most general contractors. Owner, Hugh Stearns said, “This was a significant commitment in staffing and equipment investment, but it was worth it in the level of quality that we can provide.”

custom cabinet

Stearns Design Build recently hired David Oddo to manage their cabinet shop. Oddo is a third-generation woodworker and journeyman carpenter. He previously owned his own woodworking shop in Houston.  In addition to managing the cabinet shop, Oddo also assists in the design of custom cabinet. “I look at each project as an opportunity to build a relationship through creativity,” said Oddo.

>>Learn Nine Ways to Save Money on a Kitchen Remodel

In addition to custom cabinet, Stearns Design Build also provides custom entertainment centers and built-in furniture as well as a full line of residential remodeling including kitchens, bathrooms, and additions. “Often clients want a custom entertainment center or built-in without doing a full remodel. Now we offer that as an option. We will work with the client to design a piece that fits exactly what they need,” said Stearns.

Stearns Design Build has served the Brazos Valley for 25 years. Twice the recipient of the Newman Ten award, last year the company achieved national acclaim by being named to the Remodeling Big50, an award for remodeling excellence that goes to fifty of the top companies in America and Canada every year.  Stearns Design Build also received the GuildQuality Service Excellence Award, which goes to the five companies of the Big50 class that had the highest customer satisfaction ratings. For more information Stearns Design Build can be found on the web at www.stearnsdesignbuild.com or reached at 979.696.0524.

Press Release

Press Release

Stearns Design Build Named by REMODELING Magazine to its 2017 Big50 Class of America’s Top Remodelers

College Station, Texas (September 12, 2017) – Stearns Design Build has been selected by REMODELING magazine to join the REMODELING Big50. Each year since 1986, the REMODELING Big50 inducts 50 remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship, and impact in their community or the industry at large. Big50 remodelers run successful companies that have taken the lead in raising industry standards.

“To give a sense of how unique this status is, consider there are roughly 92,000 remodeling firms in America with paid staff,” noted Craig Webb, REMODELING’s Editor-in-Chief. “Since 1986, we have selected only about 1,550 firms. That’s 1.7% of all the remodeling businesses in the country.”

“We are honored to receive this distinction,” says Hugh Stearns, president of Stearns Design Build. “The award recognizes excellence and leadership, and we are privileged to be named to this select group of remodelers.”

REMODELING editors, columnists, industry leaders, and companies themselves make the nominations each year.  Following a lengthy evaluation and interview process, the editors select the 50 companies who exemplify the best of the industry that year, and who have something to offer other remodelers in proven practices.

The Big50 selection process has become increasingly rigorous in recent years, and the result, REMODELING editors believe, is one of the strongest classes to date. “Uniting the 2017 inductees are high standards and a determination to excel. They are taking the opportunity to build or adopt new efficiencies into their systems and processes— ensuring that they are poised to meet their sales, production, and customer-service goals and continue to thrive,” according to REMODELING.

The Big50 awards will be presented at a dinner at the Remodelers Summit and Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 in Minneapolis. The 2017 Big50 winners will be featured in the September issue of REMODELING, with longer profiles of the winners posted on the REMODELING website, remodelingmag.com.

Stearns Design Build was founded in in College Station in 1993. The company specializes in all aspects of single family residential remodeling such as kitchens, baths, additions and whole house remodeling. In addition to being a Big50 recipient, Stearns Design Build has also been a Newman 10 recipient and winner of the GuildMaster customer service award. They can be found at stearnsdesignbuild.com.

#  #  #



Contact: Sheila Lukes, Communications Director
2151 Harvey Mitchell Parkway


College Station, TX June 2, 2016 — Stearns Design Build is a finalist for the 2016 Star Award.  This award, launched in 1992 by the Texas Association of Builders, is intended to showcase outstanding work of builders, remodelers, designers and other professionals in the construction industry in Texas and the Southeast. 

There were over 500 entries submitted across the State of Texas for this prestigious annual competition.  Stearns Design Build entered the competition for the Best Whole House Remodel under $500K and the Best Addition $100K-$200K.  The entries were judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts from across the nation during an extensive two-day judging period.  As a result, Stearns Design Build will be competing as one of three finalists in the Best Whole House Remodel category and one of two finalists in the Best Addition category.

Stearns Design Build was founded in 1993.  They were the first company to bring green building to the Brazos Valley. Founder and company President, Hugh Stearns grew up in College Station and Bryan and graduated from Texas A&M. The company has won numerous customer service awards.  They developed their own design concept called Transitions that focus on creating connection to nature. Stearns says, “studies have shown that connection to nature creates happiness.” The company’s tag line is “We design and build happiness.” 

They will be joining colleagues from across the state at Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas to find out who will take home the award at the Star Award Reception and Presentation on August 4, 2016.

To learn more about Stearns Design Build visit www.stearnsdesignbuild.com. Or call 979.696.0524.


For those who have storm damage, we would like to issue a few warnings:

  1. The goal of insurance companies is to make a profit, which they do by limiting the amount they pay out in claims. They usually say “no” first. Unless you are a very good existing client or family member, we will not take insurance work because, in our experience, most insurance companies are unscrupulous. We are honest and life is too short to deal with companies who, in our opinion, tend not to be.
  2. In our experience, companies who do a lot of insurance claims work for the benefit of the insurance companies more than for you. There is an undeniable conflict of interest if a home repair company is recommended by an insurance company.
  3. If your home was hit by a tornado or very high winds, you probably have structural damage that is very easy to overlook. Chances are your roof was lifted up and loosened from the rest of the house; even if it did not come off. This is not always easy to recognize but needs to be repaired. If you are in doubt, hire a structural engineer.
  4. Most materials that have gotten wet need to be replaced due to mold. This includes but is not limited to insulation, drywall and carpet. If the insurance company is encouraging you to keep these things, request a mold test when the work is completed.
  5. If there was a lift on the roof (see #3) or if you had significant roof leakage, your AC ducts may need to be replaced. If the insurance company does not allow this, request a duct test and a mold test of the ducts.
  6. If you have any questions, we will offer free phone consultations for the next two weeks. Please call our office at 979-696-0524.