What Level is Your Design Business?

Brad Leavitt, AFT Construction: The Two “B” Words: Budget & Builders

Episode 580 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn welcomes Brad Leavitt of A.F.T. Construction back on the show today. Brad is here to talk with us about the “B” word – budgets! And the other “B” word – builders! Taking charge of the money for our projects is vital. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary if you want to build amazing client relationships and get the respect you deserve from your builders – and really anyone you interact with in your business. Brad is going to get into that with us today. Plus, LuAnn has been saving a question from one of her designers for him, so listen in to hear that question and see how Brad responds.

Brad Leavitt is President of A Finer Touch Construction, LLC, a luxury residential and commercial builder located in Scottsdale, AZ. His Podcast, “The AFT Construction Podcast”, is focused on bringing value to its listeners, no matter their industry. The topics are focused on marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, organization, building science, and construction. Brad is an ambassador for many national brands and an energetic public speaker.

Brad was born and raised in San Diego, CA as the oldest of 6 children.  He grew up in the Construction industry and worked as an electrician throughout High School for Grove Electric with his 2 uncles. They did remodels and new home builds all over San Diego, but mostly on Coronado Island and in Rancho Santa Fe.  Upon HS Graduation, he was accepted to Brigham Young University where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Construction Management.  

Brad accepted an offer in 2005 with Trend Homes, a local production home builder in Phoenix, AZ. He worked 1 year as a superintendent before accepting a dream job building custom homes. Rowland Luxury Homes hired Brad in 2006 and immediately he was assigned to be a Project Manager at the 350MM Omni Montelucia Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley, AZ. Brad oversaw the construction and completion of 34 Custom homes that ranged between 2-4MM each.  After completion of the 34 custom homes, he then assisted with the completion of the hotel guest rooms, arrival zone, lodge, and spa. After Montelucia was complete, Brad worked on numerous other residential and commercial projects in the greater Phoenix Area.

In March 2013, Brad was ready to begin his own company and officially started A Finer Touch Construction, also known throughout social media as AFT Construction. AFT has continued their rapid growth this past 7 years and has been fortunate to win numerous build awards for its work. AFT Construction offers a wide variety of services including: Multi family, commercial, residential, tenant improvement, retail and medical. AFT has continued to exceed industry standards and create strong client relationships based on integrity, reliability, and quality.

Brad is married to Ashley Leavitt. Together, they have 6 children, 5 girls, and 1 boy.  Brad is active with all 6 of his children, serves in his local community, and loves all sports

Show Highlights:

  • What designers can do to make sure their design matches the client’s budget.
  • How conversations between the designer and builder should go.
  • Builders should set designers up for success by letting the designer know the budget early on.
  • Brad answers a question that LuAnn shares from her friend, Jillian, concerning Jillian asking a builder to give the client a quote based on the deliverables that the client wanted. This request caused a major problem between the builder and the designer.
  • One of the common mistakes we make is jumping to conclusions about what we think our clients want to hear.
  • Network with builders in your area and network with designers outside your area to find out how they’re working with budgets.
  • The most successful designers have a good idea of pricing, even outside their scope of design.
  • Do your resourcing homework on your own time. Invest a certain amount of time each week or each month where you’re on your own clock.
  • Many builders today are open to a working relationship with designers and architects.

Connect with Brad!

Brad’s Website 

Brad’s Instagram

Brad’s Facebook

Brad’s Pinterest


All of Brad’s social media handles are “AFT_Construction”.

Brad’s podcast is “The AFT Construction Podcast”.

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Other shows mentioned to include in show notes:

Brad’s other show: #542 & #560



What Level is Your Design Business?