Some milestones cannot be passed by without notice and this is one of them. On March 4, 2003, we drove down to Tukwila to the Washington State Licensing office and turned in our contractor’s license application, along with all the associated bond, insurance and other miscellaneous paperwork. On that day, we received our contractor’s license.
We did a bit of a “soft open” for our business, taking time to assemble a bookkeeping system, develop a logo in Microsoft’s Paint program, print business cards and then we took a bit of a hiatus to build an addition on our own home when we found out our third child was on the way.
When we were ready to jump in with both feet, we did, hiring employees and offering medical, dental and vision coverage to those employees as quickly as we could qualify for it through the Master Builder’s Association. With kids of our own, we knew how it important those coverages are for all families. We joined the MBA both for access to medical coverage and to be able to participate in their Remodelers Council–a group whose high standards, industry involvement and professionalism aligned with our values.
Some of our first projects came out of that addition on our home. Nancy and Kerry hired us for a major siding project on Queen Anne after driving by and seeing our employees working on our house. Kerry told us he could see we were doing it right, and wanted it done right for his home too.
Other projects came from architect and client referrals, some online marketing, and our growing visibility in the community. Part of that visibility came from our commitment to donate generously in our community. Over the years, we have donated to many groups, including YMCA Partners with Youth, Pony League and Girls’ Softball, Lafayette and Schmitz Park elementaries, Westside School, Our Lade of Guadalupe School, West Seattle Garden Tour, and even the citywide 4th of July Fireworks on Lake Union. We also have supported WestSide Baby’s events for many years–from their fundraising Tea to Stuff the Bus–even donating labor to remodel part of the building. It’s part of what we believe good businesses should do, and it turns out we have donated a far larger percentage of our net profit than many companies hundreds of times our size.
In 10 years we have completed more than 200 projects for 130 clients. Those numbers tell you that many of our clients call us back again and again, for everything from small items like decks or maintenance, to large-scale phased remodeling. Of course, those clients are the ones who have made it possible for our business to reach its 10th anniversary, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude for hiring us and for spreading the word about what we do. Thank you all.
We are also grateful for the strong and long-standing relationships we have with the architects and designers who provide the vision, the aesthetics and the plans that we build from. Their collaborative approach provides for an excellent outcome for our clients time after time.
The skill of those design professionals as well as that of our hard-working and talented staff has allowed us to win several national and local remodeling excellence awards over the years. We’ve been recognized as a “Top 500″ remodeler by a national industry magazine, and one of our most talented clients was even featured for her work creating an elaborate and colorful backsplash tile for her new kitchen.
It’s our staff, though, that really makes things happen. From laborers to framers, lead carpenters and finish carpenters with an eye on that 1/32 of an inch, to Jennifer’s meticulous bookkeeping in our office, we count on our staff to produce projects of exceptional quality, where the goal is that we make the process fun and comfortable enough that we finish the job as trusted friends.
It has been a fun ride: a little bumpy at times but always interesting and with the reward of making a real difference in our clients’ lives. It affords us the opportunity to meet new people every day and talk with them about the dreams for their home, and after some careful planning, make those dreams come true.
Here’s to the next 10 years!