Photo courtesy Blue Ribbon Design/Build

Because the elegant outdoor sanctuary seems to beckon visitors. Because rooftop skylights mean soakers don’t just bathe in water. Because accent lighting along the columns emphasizes the beauty of the wood above and provides an intimate nighttime ambiance for soakers below. Because a half-wall surrounding the gazebo permits privacy while hiding mounds of unsightly soil. Because brick columns play a bass note to the mixed woods and greenery of the surrounding trees. Because rumbled tile flooring and a decorative tile inlay pattern secure the spa’s position as the centerpiece of this refuge. Because when you’re in this spa, the world, and your worries, can just melt away.

Craig Smith and his partner/brother-in-law, Stephen Estrada, built their company not just on producing outstanding work, but also by emphasizing superb customer service.

Not only do they supervise every project personally — meaning their company can take on only two projects at a time — but they also are careful to choose the most cost-efficient, maintenance-free materials for each project. In addition, Smith says they promise clients that the construction crews will work quietly and quickly.

“We’re very proud of the fact that we are able to give the homeowner very personal and direct attention,” says Smith, co-owner of Blue Ribbon Design/Build in Davidsonville, Md. “We want to give them exactly what they want.”

That attention to detail appears to work very well: The company has been in business more than 10 years and averages $2 million to $3 million in annual sales.

“We’re already scheduled 11 months out right now,” Smith says.

Photo courtesy Blue Ribbon Design/Build