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In This Issue
Mid Century Cottage Restoration
A 21st Century remodel for a 1970 house
Green and Affordable
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"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive." - C.S. Lewis


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A-1 Builders
3310 Northwest Ave.
Bellingham WA 98225
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Thank you so much for the efficient job you and your employees did to help repair the broken sewer line under our house.  As I've said before, the reason for needing you all was certainly not desirable, but the way you all do your job is commendable.  We so appreciate your communication for the plan, your preparedness each day to get the job done, your ability to do that job well and your availability to us.  We also just enjoyed being around you and your employees--they are a lot of fun!  As opposed to previous negative construction ordeals with others, we came away from this with a renewed belief that construction can be a pleasant experience!  


Much gratitude,

Dr. Jim and Veronica Douglas

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  WINTER 2011 360-734-5249 WWW.A1BUILDERS.WS
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Three more months of the Great Recession have passed us by since the premier edition of this newsletter reached your computer.  I'm so proud to announce that, although this recession was said to have pulverized the construction industry more than any other sector of the economy, we ended 2010 in great shape.  For us 2010 was a very good year.  Not our best, but nearly so.  What's up with that?

I think our current readerboard quote summarizes best why I believe we're weathering this economic firestorm better than most:  




The two featured articles in this issue will help you understand why this is true.  We just finished up two very large remodels this past quarter and, besides designing and building these two structures, we also built an incredible relationship with both couples.  Read about the projects and the processes in the words of their designers: Maggie Bates and Cindi Landreth. They put their hearts and souls into these projects, as did the rest of our co-workers, and it sure shows.  Not only are they both environmentally sound outcomes, not only did we achieve the goals our customers presented to us, but our salesforce has now increased in size by 4 additional humans!


Add to this mix the effect of such remodels on their adjacent neighbors and neighborhoods. More efficient use of energy.  Improved aesthetics. Eliminating the deterioration of building materials by deleting conducive conditions that accelerate rot.  Optimizing the life expectancy of products and systems. And while these objectives are sought after and achieved, the property values of their neighbors and neighborhoods also increase.


Well, we're over the hump now................ our days are getting longer as we turn towards the arrival of spring.  I hope this cyclical emergence brings better days to the rest of the construction industry as well, and to the economy in general.  Here's to less unemployment, but not at the price of further deterioration of our environment.


To that end we hold our sights high: to more projects that seek these same lofty objectives.  If you and I row in this same direction perhaps we can help drive an economic recovery that also fosters the health and well being of that which helped us evolve; namely, clean air and water, rich soil, a healthy diversity of fellow creatures.   


To achieve an economic recovery amidst the further degradation of our surroundings is not a recovery in my book.  We need this web of life, vibrant and intact with all of its miniscule threads and links.  It's up to you and me to keep them intact.

  Mid Century Cottage Restoration

"I want to move into my clients' house and adopt them as my relatives!"  When a designer feels this way at the end of a project things Tub have gone pretty well.  The Shaughnessy project proved to be such a project.   In addition to being given wonderful clients with a recently purchased, oh-so-needy house, the Shaughnessy remodel was one of the greenest projects I've had the opportunity to design  

 At first glance, the house simply could be described as a drab, well-worn rental home.     

By the time 10 months had passed, we transformed the house into a charming cottage....read more   

A 21st Century Solution to the Question of a 1970's House

Do you love WHERE you live but not so much the house you live in?   Are you frequently making adjustments and experiencing stress in your life because of how your home is designed? That is what Leslie and PJ were experiencing.  They didn't want to move but the home was no longer working for them.  They decided they needed to do a remodel.  After some research and visiting our website, they decided to go with our Design/Build firm to help them design it and then do the construction....read more  

Green and Affordable?
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Can you afford to build green?

I'll bet you're thinking about money when I ask you this, right? 

At first glance, the majority of you cite higher initial costs, or first costs, as an obstacle to building greener homes. 82% of you in fact, according to a recent study by McGraw-Hill, produced in conjunction with the National Association of Home Builders (Residential Green Building SmartMarket Report, 2006)....read more   

This past month of January was dear to my heart: it opened my Seventh decade of life.  I turned 60 on January 15th at Broadway Hall in Bellingham when about 200 folks helped me open this door.  Stephen Trinkaus shot some superb footage and you can check it out here.  Or you can check out the still images from the party at our new company facebook page.

Expect to see us again - right here - in the spring.  Feel free to share this newsletter with friends and family. Anyone can receive it by going to our web-page and then clicking on the 'Join our Newsletter' button towards the top of the page.

Be well and enjoy the longer days!


Rick Dubrow and the entire team here at A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio