Monday, 18 January 2021

Design company specializes in remodeling projects. It’s become a model business in Manatee.

A finalist in the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year awards several times, Gilbert Design Build earned the top prize this year in Category IV, which is for businesses doing more than $2.5 million in annual revenue.

The family-owned company, founded in 2001 and located at 816 Manatee Ave. E. in Bradenton, specializes in kitchen, bathroom and interior home remodeling projects.

Owned by Ernest Gilbert, Gilbert Design Build has 16 full-time and three part-time employees.

The company’s mission is to educate its target customers about bath and kitchen remodeling options while giving clients an enjoyable, world-class experience by delivering style and value that exceeds the investment.

Gilbert’s plan is “to be the preferred bath and kitchen remodeling contractor in Manatee and Sarasota counties while serving and enriching the lives of others with dignity, excellence, humility and respect, and encouraging others to do the same.”

In addition to its Bradenton showroom, Gilbert Design Build has a showroom at 4049 Clark Road in Sarasota.

“We are a good place for our employees to come to work, offering a pleasant environment with respect and integrity,” the company said in its award application.

“We are a good choice for our customers, offering a positive, pleasant, professional experience, and a good value. We offer a full-service remodeling experience so homeowners can get their job completed all in one place. We have in-house designers, carpenters and contractors to make this possible.”

Beyond its business, Gilbert Design Build donates time and materials to Habitat for Humanity.

“Often when we are remodeling a client’s kitchen or bath, the materials we are removing are still in great condition. With our client’s permission, we will donate these materials rather than throwing them away,” the company said.

“We also want to help people make good decisions about their homes, regardless if they choose us or not, which is why we host free educational seminars.”

Ernest Gilbert got into the business at age 17. When he bought his first house, it was a 1920s-era fixer-upper located in the Wares Creek section of Bradenton.

“I had no money,” he said in a 2017 Bradenton Herald interview on the the challenge of updating the house. “I learned how to do things and realized I enjoyed it.”

Gilbert’s wife Jessica encouraged him to pursue home remodeling as a career. Their son Evan joined the business as financial director.

For more information about Gilbert Design Build, call 941-757-3395 or visit


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