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In This Issue
Roofing Maintenance
Maintaining Existing Materials = Greenest Remodeling
Codes that Shape our Homes and Neighborhoods
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Low Price and Best Practices - Are They Mutually Exclusive?
Go here to find out. 

Do you want to read about the colorful history of our company?

Go here to read about 1928 to 1976, when Rick bought the company. 


Go here to read about 1976 to the present. 


Go here to see memorable photos of our company during its 57 year history, including Rick as he was growing up. 


Go here to read about some events, including Ricks failed attempt to circumambulate Mt. St. Helens this past summer...ending in the airlift of his first cousin. 

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3310 Northwest Ave.
Bellingham WA 98225
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".... a barrel of oil (contains) the energy equivalent of almost 25,000 hours of human labor." - Shaun Chamberlin


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  Winter 2012 360-734-5249 WWW.A1BUILDERS.WS

It's no surprise that construction has been one of the hardest hit industries in this Great Recession.  Although our reputation, longevity and good looks have insulated us better than most, it still hurts. One of many tactics we've initiated to address this strain may help you out, if you're in a position to invest additional money into your home: we've dropped our design rate from $75 per hour down to $50.


But wait... there's more.


We've also created some other special deals... year round.  Some are related to the calendar... like a Gift Certificate for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.  Others revolve around special dates in your own life, like birthdays, an anniversary or a newborn's birth!


Go HERE and check them all out.


Did you know that we also take on a significant amount of expert witness work for local attorneys?  We bring this up because of the significant uptick in legal cases involving construction.  It's no surprise that many a person is out there - unlicensed, unbonded, inexperienced - advertising dirt cheap prices, just trying to stay afloat.  They'll tell you anything (or any price) you want to hear.


"Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it." - Stephen Leacock.


We're following up on so much work performed by folks who shouldn't be doing this work. And they leave behind a stream of homeowners who understand the high cost of failure.


Please be careful. So often we're coming to someone's rescue, watching people spend so much money trying to save money.


Our philosophy is that you get what you pay for.  Or, put another way... pay us now or pay us later.


And this just relates to botched workmanship!  Did you know that if a worker is injured on site and they are not properly licensed, that you will be responsible for their injuries instead of the Department of Labor and Industries?


Please recognize that there are best practices in building science and that, typically, low price does not buy you best practices!  Do it once; do it right; hire someone with a strong reputation, proven longevity and good looks!
  Roofing Maintenance... the Do's and Don'ts

This section doesn't highlight a particular project.  We've included it here because of this common, recurring question: My roofing is looking old and mismanaged... moss, algae and stains continue to grow!  What can I do?" ...read more

Maintaining Existing Materials = Greenest Remodeling

We cut our teeth doing this work!  When Rick bought A-1 Builders in 1976 our  work almost exclusively involved replacing post and beam foundations. Yes, some very raunchy work, asking my field coworkers to spend a lot of time under houses.  Which is why, over a short period of time, we transitioned away from this work, morphing into today's full service, design/build company.

That said, we'll occasionally take on this work, especially if...read more

Codes that Shape Our Homes and Neighborhoods

"I have to do what?"  ... is a frequent response from homeowners that come up against the modern codes that blanket construction projects.   As an example, here's a list of code challenges from just one of our recent  remodels: The existing window sill needed to be lowered to allow a firefighter safe access into a bedroom in the event of a fire rescue. A ventilation fan close to a stove that was not a standard oven hood had to be ordered with a kitchen fire rating so it would not trap grease and start a fire. A fence plan had to be adjusted because there was a high pressure gas line running under the homeowner's yard and the city feared it would get punctured during excavation...read more

We're a midst the holiday season and with it our meanest weather.  Don't hesitate to call on us to help you through anything unforeseen, which usually means wind or rain related.  Sure, each of us plans ahead for possible emergencies, but, then, Mother Nature throws us some curve balls. Know that we're on your team to help you get through these.  We can handle curve balls, sliders and fast balls.


And while we're talking about avoiding the unforeseen, a friendly reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors; to recharge your fire extinguishers; to disconnect your garden hoses from your hose-bibs so that they don't freeze and burst a pipe inside your exterior wall.


Until our next newsletter... be well!

The Entire A-1 Builders and Adaptations' Team