Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955


The next best thing to a face-to-face referral is a testimonial, so here they are, categorized by the very issues that might matter most to you… trustworthiness, honesty, timeliness. teamwork, etc.  Check us out by reading what our clients have said about us.

That said, there’s no better tribute to a company’s overall performance than a personal referral.  In order to express our sincere thanks to someone making such a referral, we’ve formalized that appreciation into a Referral Reward Program.  Go HERE to learn more, but do come back to read these stellar testimonials.  We’re so very proud that what we do yields such expressions of appreciation.

Let’s start with this FEATURED REVIEW that was posted on Angie’s List on 3-24-15, chosen because of its description of our consistency, from initial sales call, through design, until completion.




Paul Lemcke
424 W Bakerview Road
Suite 105-329
Bellingham, WA 98226

Approximate Cost: $80,000.00 

Description Of Work: 

“The job included both design services and construction. Remodeling including quartz countertop, new lighting and refinished cabinets in the kitchen, completely refinished oak flooring throughout the house, interior painting and various aging-in-place improvements such as grab bars in the tub, widened doorways, a wheelchair lift and exterior railing. They also did a few miscellaneous repairs around the house as necessary.”

Member Comments: 

“Rick from A-1 Builders and Cindi from Adaptations Design Studio arrived at our house in Bellingham, WA in September 2014 to hear our proposal and provide their suggestions. Both Rick and Cindi were excellent listeners and they made valuable suggestions that showed their expertise in general construction and in aging-in-place environments. It was convenient and efficient that A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio work together under the same roof so that communication between the designers and the builders could be enhanced. When we expressed an interest in working with them, our second meeting included Maggie, the designer that we would actually be working with, and Shawn who would manage the job. We walked them through our requests and we immediately established an excellent rapport with both of them. We found them both to be clear and sensitive to our needs, and it was a pleasure working with them from start to finish. Initially, they provided a “wild guess” proposal just to give us a pretty good idea of the costs for each item that we wanted to accomplish. This was a great approach as it allowed us to better prioritize the improvements so we could remain within our budget. We were introduced to each subcontractor on site before the job began and we were able to provide a detailed description of our job in order to keep everyone on the same page. As we worked through the plan with A-1 and their subs, we found them to be extremely detailed which was a delightful contrast to other contractors we had worked with in the past. Their plan was to work together with us to make all design and construction decisions prior to any work commencing so that everyone entered the job with exactly the same expectations and with no surprises. This plan proved to be effective as the job began because nearly all plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and kitchen materials were brought onsite, and implementation was simplified due to their high degree of organization. We were ultimately provided with a detailed calendar of exactly when each piece of the job would be done and by whom, and we received a firm financial proposal which was in line with our expectations. The job progressed on schedule and the home was always treated with  respect from beginning to end. Billing was just as organized as the actual construction process, and we never encountered a hiccup or an unwanted surprise. We had the impression that this renovation was a bit more expensive than we may have encountered with another builder, but the quality of the work and the reliability of this contractor was such a high value that the price was justified. In the end, we were very happy to have worked with A-1 Builders and with Adaptations Design Studio. We would recommend them to anyone seeking a home renovation, and we would  choose them again in a heartbeat.

Here’s what we posted on Angie’s List as our response to Paul’s review:

How often do you hear about a fine craftsman who’s in business… and shouldn’t be? It’s hard to find a fine craftsman who is a fine businessperson. Or visa versa.  And how often have you heard about someone who lived through a remodel whose designer argued with their builder, oftentimes trapping the client to resolve discrepancies they shouldn’t have to?

“Consistency” is a very high value here, and this member’s review expresses compliance with this critical success factor… from initial sales call to punch list completion. Beyond consistency, though, we’re a design/build company, so there’s no firewall a client must experience between designer and builder… there’s simply one point of accountability for both design and construction. One source.

From Rick and Cindi’s initial visit to this member’s home, until our last vehicle pulled away, this member’s review describes a consistent, quality feel to our operation, one we’re so very proud of. This Angie’s List member made our day! We so appreciate these words of appreciation.



“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! ….” –  Dr. Jim and Veronica Douglas

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“I hired A-1 Builders for the first time in 1980 to build an addition on my home.  I chose them because, after I received several bids, their bid was the only one to provide the detailed cost breakdown that I had requested.  I was so impressed with their work and professionalism that I have since hired them for three more projects.  My experience has been that they keep me fully informed about progress and the inevitable problems that arise, including specific cost changes that happen when I request an alteration in the original plan. They are prompt and show up when they say they will be there. What all this adds up to is a high degree of trust and clear communication.  The bidding process has always gone smoothly with a high degree of flexibility that has allowed me to handle parts of the projects on my own, including taking on the role of general contractor, at times, and using their guidance to hire subs.  Rick Dubrow has become a close personal friend – a rarity in the usual downward spiral of complaint-and-dispute that so often occurs between contractors and their clients.  A-1’s employees have been unfailingly friendly, hardworking, and professional.  I have also appreciated the ready availability of the Adaptations side of this business for their help with design aspects of my projects.  I give A-1 Builders my highest recommendation.“ – Michael King

“My wife Ann and I have been customers of A-1 Builders and their sister company, Adaptations, since 1994, when they remodeled the kitchen and upstairs bathroom of our house in Sudden Valley. We were living in Hawaii, with intentions of moving here eventually, and we’d purchased the house expecting to do some renovations. But we could never have anticipated all the improvements we would need to make, or the creative possibilities that would emerge under the sage guidance of Rick Dubrow.  And it is impossible to overstate how satisfied we have been with the results.  Within several years of those initial projects we made additional improvements on the house almost too numerous to mention, and being over three thousand miles away could have been a nightmare. Yet we were blessed to have Rick’s imaginative insights and sensitive stewardship at this end, which enabled us to make long-distance decisions with confidence that our best interests were always the uppermost consideration. In fact the cost of the project quite often ended up less than the original estimate, and always when we came to visit we were overjoyed by the quality of the workmanship.  Now that we finally moved into our house, A-1 has already done a number of jobs for us —- and we have several larger projects in the works for the spring.  And now that we know most of the A-1 team personally, we can say we’ve never met a better bunch of craftspeople —-skilled, knowledgeable, courteous and concerned.” – Philip Damon

“Fran and I do a lot of the carpentry and major maintenance work around our house. We are by no means experts or professionals.  But our first-hand experience contributes to certain expectations and standards we have about professional work that is done to our home.  It is because A-1 Builders meets these expectations and standards that we first turned to them for professional help and we have continued to do so over the years. There are three main reasons we turn to A-1 for professional help. First is a willingness to give appropriate consideration to what is involved in the job and to entertain possible alternative ways in which our desires can be carried out.  Rick Dubrow is always willing to work with us in making sure that we are happy with all of the necessary balances that have to be made in doing remodel work. We have always been happier with the results after considering alternatives suggested by Rick than we would have been with our original ideas.  Second, Rick and the other guys at A-1 have the necessary skills to carry out our plans with the highest level of proficiency.  Most important in having this happen are the quality controls that are applied during the building process. We are also very appreciative of A-1’s efforts to reduce, as much as possible, the adverse effects of construction on our neighbors and us. Third, we personally know that A-1 stands behind its work. It is the nature of construction work that eventually something may not go quite right. They are forthright and honest in dealing with problems and they make sure that the job is as it should be. A-1 gets the job done and it is done well.” – George Cvetkovich

“When we planned a major remodel for our home, we only considered one contractor, A-1 Builders, whose reputation for conservation, community interest, and good workmanship had already impressed us.  We met with Rick and his associates who would be involved with the project.  Any trepidation we felt about starting on such a big project was soothed by their enthusiasm and knowledge about what it would entail. I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted, but no idea about how it could be accomplished.  Your design team at Adaptations patiently and thoroughly showed us the possibilities.  I never felt I was being railroaded into any kind of plan that suited the designer, but not our needs.  My ideas were accepted, used and modified to work.  I truly felt it was a collaborative effort with my feelings and your expertise. The attention to detail that A-1 makes part of its routine made the difference on every level.  Friends who had experienced other remodels were astounded when I told them that we had a schedule, subject to possible change, but a schedule, nonetheless.  We posted it on the wall, and were able to follow what events would occur and when they would happen.  By the end of the project, we could see that the schedule had been right on target.

“The best part was having a project manager on site – every day.  He was competent and calm, always willing to keep me up to date on what was happening, arranging every part of the work so it flowed smoothly, making adjustments as we needed them, managing the workers and the subcontractors efficiently and with good humor.  Because of his attention to the process, no time was lost and we never felt the frustration that people often report about remodels when the work seems to come to a halt.

“The office staff, headed by Patrick, was supportive and understanding.  I always knew I could call with questions and he would answer thoroughly.   Going into the office to choose paint or colors was always a very pleasant experience.  No one rushed me and anyone was willing to answer questions or offer advice.

“We watched every step of the construction.  We feel very confident that our new home is sturdy, well-designed, beautifully finished, and will be a source of pleasure for years to come.  There are no flaws in the workmanship, because A-1 chooses their subcontractors so carefully.

“We are proud to answer — ‘A-1 Builders’  — when people ask us who did the work.” – Lee and Ronalee Kincaid



“A-1 Builders is an appropriately named company. Rick Dubrow and his staff demonstrate on a daily basis that sustainability need not be a mere concept but can be, and in their case is, a reality. They make a positive difference in our community: every day and on every job. If all businesses and, for that matter, all individuals, could operate with the sense of responsibility to their community, to the environment and to future generations, that is demonstrated by Rick Dubrow and his coworkers, our grandchildren will be grateful.” – Mayor Mark Asmundson, 2002


“We have been honored to work with Rick Dubrow, local owner of A-1 Builders, on a number of community, state and national projects and know first-hand his commitment to life. If you are interested in the most up to date thinking about sustainable building techniques, in quality remodels that are built to last, and in healthy, safe living spaces, then you have found the right business. The people of A-1 are passionate about their role in sustaining clean air, drinkable water, healthy forests and vital communities in Northwest Washington. They live their values in every aspect of their business and year after year (deservedly!) earn new admiration and national acclaim for exemplary building practices.” – Michelle and Derek Long (Michelle Long is Executive Director, and Derek is Program Director, of Sustainable Connections)

“I decided to hire A-1 Builders to remodel my office based on the great reputation for quality work that they have in the community and my personal experience working with Rick Dubrow. I also hired A-1 Builders because of their commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their work.  Throughout the project this reputation for quality work was earned again in such places as the craftsmanship of the built-in desks they made, the cleanliness of the worksite, and the ability of one carpenter to mill replica exterior molding on-site that matched the existing molding from the early 1900’s.  Working with Rick in the design, design changes, project management, and billing was easy and fun.  And finally, A-1’s commitment to the environment manifested in such areas as re-using 100% of the 2×4’s that came out of one wall in the construction of another, re-using the siding removed for a new door to where a window was removed, the sourcing of FSC-certified hardwood plywood and FSC-certified self-edge for the built-in desks that was CHEAPER than the traditional particle board and plastic laminate, the use of recycled plastic lumber on a handicap ramp edge, and the use of the RE Store for sourcing some hardware and fixtures.  I look forward to working with A-1 Builders in future phases of my remodel.” – Chris Webb

“Rick Dubrow has taken his commitment to the community and to the planet to a new level with A-1 Builders.  Sustainability has been the foundation of our dialog as change makers for many years.  “Meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”.  Most of us have not truly embraced its meaning or applied it to our lives in a significant way.  Rick has jumped in with both feet, even risking the success of his business, to model sustainability in Whatcom County.” – Joy Monjure, Education Coordinator, City of Bellingham Public Works Department Environmental Resources

“The display of winners of the 2001 Governor’s Awards for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices, which includes the photo of your entire staff in front of your readerboard, traveled to the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable conference in Portland, to our NW Regional Office in Bellevue, our SW Regional Office and Headquarters in Lacey.  Congratulations again on winning this award.  Your hard work serves as an example of environmental stewardship to everyone who learns of it.  While the 2001 award cycle has ended, the extra effort you and A-1 Builders, Inc. put forth continues to provide environmental and economic benefits for the State of Washington.” – Mariann Cook Andrews, Coordinator, Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices (Nov. ’02)

“Working with Cindi Landreth was the first step we took on our major addition/remodel/workshop that was paid back tenfold.  We came in with some ideas and needs and Cindi helped us transform them into a beautiful and functional Japanese design. With me working in the energy field and both Phyllis and I being concerned about sustainable design, Cindi worked with us to design a home that will be healthy, durable, comfortable and energy efficient.  She really got us off on the right foot, she listened to our wants and needs and came up with an idea that was totally new to us.  But the more we heard, the more we both liked it very much.  Cindi is a very creative person, as well as very practical.  She saved us thousands of dollars in overall construction costs, just by making a couple of suggestions and changes that didn’t compromise the comfort or functionality of the house.  Like Cindi says, ‘….it’s all in the up-front planning’.” – Dave Finet

“Just wanted to …. offer my gratitude to you and your ability to continually challenge everyone you meet through your passion. Every time I hear you speak, whether in a formal or informal situation, the need to become a better steward of our home is brought out in me. Thanks again.” – Kurt Nabbefeld – Planning – City of Bellingham

“A year ago, I chose A-I Builders to help me solve a long list of problems with our little house. An older home, it was otherwise perfect for us to downsize and look toward retirement. I needed someone I could trust to guide me through the unfamiliar work necessary to make my home comfortable and serviceable for the years to come. I chose A-I Builders because of their terrific reputation for recycling and using green materials along with exceptional quality work with a 100% guarantee.” – Pam Went

 “We have worked with Cindi Landreth on a number of residential projects ranging from simple remodels/additions to elaborate new homes.  Our involvement has been focused on ensuring the homes are structurally sound while maintaining the intended design character.  An additional goal of our projects has been to minimize excessive material in the structure when possible without compromising strength.  We have maintained good communication on these projects with Cindi, as well as the clients.  This has resulted in home designs that have satisfied the client’s goals and delivered on schedule and stayed within the project budget.” – Larry Johnson, Dibble Engineering


“I was very pleased with Cindi’s ideas for incorporating the garage and great room in a way that didn’t make the garage a dominant feature of the house.  Nationally, our relationship with garages is rather perverse, as they’ve ended up being an eyesore on the face of every new house I see. Great job on the sketches.  We are visual people and the sketches helped to demonstrate your ability to listen, problem-solve and offer innovations.” – Seth Murphy

Presentation Folder“Thank you, everyone at Adaptations.  The support that we have received from the staff there is just marvelous.  Paula– you are an inspiration and I really appreciate all your help.  You have given me courage to try new things and came up with great ideas and help when I needed it.  Rob is such a craftsman and we really like his work.  He is so conscientious and tidy.  I really like that.  A-1 Builders is to be commended for hiring him, as he is the best. We love our living room, kitchen, dining, hallways and bathroom.  Everything has turned out just the way I wanted and my home is a joy and a fun place to have people over for the different events that we like to celebrate.” – Carol & Elmer Ebergson (2000)

“Adaptations ….. literally changed our lives.  We know this seems like an overstatement, but it is true.  We began
thinking about a minor remodel of our kitchen.  As we got into the project, Adaptations’ designers saw things that we had missed.  They suggested a design that led to a new world-class kitchen and in the process, with minor additional effort and expense, totally changed the character of the public areas of our house.  We had always loved our home, but now our satisfaction with it defies words.” – Catherine and William Ouweneel

 “From our first meeting with Cindi, we realized she had an innate sense of the importance of place/space and how people use it, move through it, and define it as their own. Cindi listened to us; she was always sensitive to our needs, helping us define our vision and bring it to fruition with style and a dash of spice. Cindi was there for us through every step of the project. She gave us excellent guidance through the maze of materials, came up with creative ways of defining our spaces, and suggested innovative ways to renovate and remodel. More than once Cindi came up with magical solutions for oddball situations that seemed insurmountable. We couldn’t have asked for a better design process—Cindi not only understands the weighty demands of design requirements but brings to the process a sense of joy and delight. We are beyond satisfied with the results—we live within them, ecstatically, every day.” – Ginger Oppenheimer and Jeff Braswell

“I began working with Adaptations almost fifteen years ago in my 1930’s home. Our first projects together were small: paint, wallpaper, flooring, draperies and the like. When I was looking for a new home in Semiahmoo I enlisted their expertise to help me sort an overwhelming task. They were able to listen to my needs and those of my husband to help us find a home that would meet both. We then began the task of making this house truly our home. We finally feel comfortable in our first home together. I have so much confidence in Adaptation’s abilities that I have asked their help in remodeling our vacation home in Mexico.” – Norma Elliott

“The design work with Adaptations was instrumental to the success and ease of our remodel.  The time and cost up-front saved us money and stress during the construction period.  Cindi and the staff were knowledgeable, thorough, and detail-oriented and worked collaboratively with us to create a design to fit our needs and desires.  The samples in their showroom and the vendors they referred us to gave us good materials to pick from.  Once the remodel started they worked well with the construction crew to answer any design-related questions or problems that arose.  We are thrilled with the end-result!” – Leslie & PJ Boswell-McGuire

“Thank you Adaptations and A-1 for making our kitchen remodel enjoyable and stress free.  Everyone was so easy to work with.  Kudos to you for guiding us through the process with humor and a steady hand.  And fun, too!  All of your workers made the whole experience easy.  Needless to say we’re very happy with the final project.  Adaptations did a masterful kitchen plan that really works and is a great environment to cook in and even cleaning up is more fun!!  Thanks again.” – Dave and Gloria Dagnie

“Your designer’s design skills and attention to detail helped us achieve the goals we had for our beat-up garage.  We had some initial thoughts for this detached recreation space but you brought them to fruition.  Your idea to install false ceiling beams has visually brought the tall, sloped ceiling down to an aesthetic human scale that really works.  The pergola not only softens the entryway, but also fosters our dream of a more desirable outdoor living space. What a stellar reuse of this aging building!” – Ann Sammons


P0001958“I wanted to let you know that we have completed the permit process for our project and have an approved set of plans.  The folks at Building Services/Planning had very positive things to say about you and your work and I’m sure this helped things go smoothly.  For our part, we are thrilled with the layout and usage of space in the small spaces of the house.  Both Kristin and I have noted frequently how happy we are with the design you’ve created.  There’s no way we could’ve done it ourselves.  Thank you for working with us on this project.”  –  Paul Sterling and Kristin Anderson

 “A-1 Builders was wonderful to work with for our major remodel project.  They were well-organized, responsible, and held themselves to a high standard. Their primary goal was to give us the end-result we desired and they exhibited superior craftsmanship, and attention-to-detail in doing so.  We especially appreciated the clear chain-of-command and the excellent communication on the part of the project manager.  We were given a flow-chart timeline of the work to be completed by A-1 and their subcontractors and any necessary adjustments were promptly discussed with us.  Any issues or problems that arose were addressed with honesty and integrity. The worksite was well-organized and cleaned up at the end of each day and the workers were friendly and respectful of our space.  Our remodel experience has been extremely positive and A-1 Builders will be our first choice for any future work!” – Leslie & PJ Boswell-McGuire

“Remodeling your kitchen involves inviting a group of strangers into your home for a few months in hopes that they are talented and quiet. Your crew represented A-1 incredibly well – skilled, on schedule, communicative, and professional in every sense. We’re delighted with our kitchen which has transformed our home. The process, in hindsight, was incredibly smooth. Unexpected surprises were handled well, we always knew what was going on, what it would cost, and what are options were. Thanks guys!” – Saul Weisberg

“If we were giving a grade, like both of us have that background, we’d give an A+ to Shawn and Justin.  They worked very hard and they did a very, very good job.  Things are looking great and the painter is lined up to come in and start doing his thing.  And we liked the way they finished it off – everything was cleaned up and everything was perfect.  So we thank you very much.  And it was very efficient, just took three days and 2 hours and that really helped us too, not to have it going on for so long.  So thank you’s to you and a big thanks to Shawn and Justin.  They are kind of a comedy team – we had to laugh at some of their Monty Python type conversations, but they do well together and seem to enjoy their work. Thank you so much.” – Ellie and Bob Chamberlin

“In addition to the fine technical work done by your crew, I wanted to let you know that I can’t imagine a more pleasant group of young men to have working outside my windows this summer. I don’t know if they’re always so good-humored and avoid the naughty words or if they were being respectful to the Grey Panthers on the other side of the glass, but I would like them to know that the environment they created was much appreciated. Please tell them that they’re very special to us and both professionally and personally they have exceeded our expectations.  And hats off to you, because we all know it starts at the top.” – Catherine Ouweneel

 “After all of your warnings of the potential difficulties we could encounter in our remodel, and after taking them seriously to heart, what was our wonder when everything proceeded like clockwork.  Your excellent planning and scheduling really paid off……………..  And you kept in touch and kept us informed every step of the way.  Your guiding hand was evident throughout.  You are wonderfully organized and we can’t speak too highly of the results.  You, and all who are associated with you, were a pleasure to know and work with. Every kitchen has its peculiarities—as do its owners—but you handled them all with grace and precision.” – Merrill and Paule Kelly



“Working with an Adaptations’ designer and staff, in conjunction with A-1 Builders, was the best decision we made regarding our various home remodel projects.

 For a micro-manager with strong design ideas, like me, hiring a designer was the perfect balance.  She always allows me to have the ultimate decision on design and color details, while all the time guiding me with an appropriate selection of possible products, materials and space design.  Adaptations worked with A-1 Builders to assure a coordinated project without unnecessary delays.  Any concerns were communicated between Adaptations and A-1 Builders to our final satisfaction. Best of all, we continue to enjoy the new, efficient spaces in our home each and every day.” – Bunny and David Schneider

“Adaptations’ professional experience and expertise made it possible to transform my old kitchen into a beautiful new space that seems much larger than before. Although the room actually remains the same size, activity in the kitchen now flows much more easily and efficiently, and there is much more storage space.  Your design work was so helpful and blended perfectly with the ideas that I had for the kitchen. The collaboration and knowledge of current kitchen design approaches, materials and appliances was essential to the success of the finished project. The same expertise was also applied to the redesign and remodeling of my 2 bathrooms and adjacent spaces which were part of the same remodeling job. There was a great advantage in having Adaptations involved in the remodeling along with A-1 Builders. The close association provided for continuity and ease of communicating many details during the construction work.” – E. Hayes

Our entire team in

Our entire team in May of 2013

“When my bathroom needed rejuvenation I came to you for help.  The result was so successful that I came to you again for a kitchen project.  Adaptations provided creative yet practical ideas for designing kitchens and baths. Design strategies were outlined, the strengths and weaknesses of various products were pointed out along with their costs, as well as tips on saving dollars along the way.  For example, items that were reuseable and that fit into the plan were fine to leave in place.  Once I had made the decisions, the contract was carefully detailed with every expectation.  All of your attention to detail resulted in a beautiful, creative and practical bathroom and kitchen that are a joy to use..” – Jan Downen

“Gee, Rick,what a good looking kitchen … think I’ll keep it! Of course you can use our name and a contact point … I’d suspect telephone numbers would work best. Your crew did a marvelous job.  I am more than pleased with the whole shooting match … from design to implementation.  Your team always played this out in our best interests and turned out a terrific product.  I/we are happy to serve as references.” – Wayne (and Margot) Terry @ (360) 734-6087

“From the initial interview to the carpenter’s sweep-out, we were entirely satisfied with our contact with A-1 Builders & Adaptations. We felt completely a part of the project from design through construction completion. All questions were answered and our expectations satisfied. The house we had started as ‘owner-build’ 30 years ago has finally been finished – and with much better craftsmanship than we ever anticipated ! We entirely recommend A-1 Builders & Adaptations to anyone considering a new home or a remodel.” – Graham Hunter

“I really didn’t appreciate the design process — its complexity and its necessity. I thought I was getting overkill. I now realize, after the implementation of the construction itself, that the money I fretted over spending up front, for no tangible results, was well spent and beyond necessary.” – Marilyn Williams


“I want to take this opportunity to show our appreciation toward your crew.  They’ve done a stellar job on the repairs of our condo in Festival Square. From your project manager to your laborer, they painstakingly and carefully did the work with quality throughout. A-1 Builders has the right to be proud of their workmanship”. – Mr. & Mrs. Ed Sanderson

 “Kudos to you and your carpenters, for a magnificent repair job on our home.  What a refreshing change in today’s climate where expediency takes the place of craftsmanship!  We are so pleased to have hired A-1 Builders to do this job. You have our hearty recommendations for any and all building/remodeling/repair needs.  Thank you for such fine service.” – Jack and Jean Gardner

“We just wanted to say thank you for all the work you’ve done on our house.  We LOVE the way it’s turned out.

“It’s been a long journey, but worth the wait. Rick, thank you for putting us at ease at the beginning of our project.  Your enthusiasm and knowledge helped us feel confident that A-1 was the right company to choose for our project. Patrick, thank you for your design work, advice and guidance along the way.  We couldn’t have done it without you.  Thanks for your patience with us as we worked through the various “challenges” our house posed.  Your calmness helped take some of the stress out of the job.  Thanks for your help in lining up the various subs we needed.  That was a huge help.  Thanks also for being so accessible to us when we had questions or concerns.  We appreciate that you always got back to us with answers to our questions or concerns in a very timely manner. Arthur (our Project Manager), we especially want to thank you for all your work on our home.  The project ran very smoothly because of your leadership.  Your attention to detail, design ideas, problem solving and carpentry skills helped our project turn out wonderfully.  The beams and woodwork are gorgeous and will always be the showcase of our home.  We know that because of your work, our house was done correctly and in the best way possible.  We have enjoyed having you in our home for the last 5 months…you seem part of our family!  Thanks for being so polite and conscientious; we always knew we could trust having you in our home…very important qualities in a contractor.

“We have and will continue to highly recommend A-1 to anyone looking for a contractor for their project.  Hearing of problems others have had with their contractors makes us truly appreciate A-1 and the high integrity your company possesses.  Thanks again.” – Greg and Kim Kendall



“Our remodel with A-1 Builders was a very positive experience, which is saying quite a lot given the stresses of remodels.  We found Rick’s estimates to be fair, extremely detailed and most important – accurate. In fact several times, costs were less then estimated. Furthermore, their estimates with respect to length of time the project would take were right on. The crew that worked on our house was unobtrusive, respectful, and always cleaned up before leaving for the day.  They were wonderful with my kids and answered many probing questions from our inquisitive five year-old.  We have had several people in the trade let us know what precise, exceptional carpentry work was done on our basement. Finally, from an environmental standpoint, A-1 makes an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible which we very much appreciated.” – Teresa Thornberg

 “A-1 Builders and Adaptations did a very professional job for us in the remodel of our kitchen.  ‘Professional’ means the ability to work closely with us in shaping what we imagined our new kitchen to look like into something that was not only beautiful but functional and economically feasible.  ‘Professional’ means the ability to listen to our wants, needs and limits while bringing to bare their expertise in design and planning………….. ‘Professional’ means the ability to commit to a budget and deliver on that budget without all the “surprises” that unfortunately characterizes most remodel experiences.  If we asked for changes to be made to our plans they were very clear and fair in defining the impacts on our budget and timeline.  A-1 has the creative, technical, planning and construction talent to really deliver what they promise.  A-1 said what they meant, did what they said and have allowed us to make real the kitchen of our dreams.  We would recommend them to anyone.” – Erick and Susan Laine

“Even though the comparative bids for our bathroom remodel were considerably lower than the A-1 bid, we decided to go with A-1 because we were convinced by the estimate process that the work would be quality and that there would be no surprises (i.e. add on costs) down the road.  The detail of questions and presentations made by Patrick Martin in the bidding process, convinced us early on that you guys knew what you were doing, that you paid attention to detail, and that the work would be quality work.  Money well spent to avoid any headaches and/or conflicts down the road.  You guys rock!” – Duane Jager and Christine Gibbs

“The last inspection took place yesterday, nearly five months from when the project began. In the end, we are extremely pleased with the results! With new windows and door we are warmer and cozier, and will be cooler next summer. Our beautiful new kitchen is a dream come true and the extra/guest bathroom is vastly improved and more attractive and comfortable. And a final pleasant surprise was that the original estimates were right on target to include the work completed and even much of the additional “add-on” work as well.  Needless to say, we would recommend A-1 and Adaptations to anyone considering any sort of home repair and remodel project. It is A-I that should be called when you want honesty, integrity, and high quality work provided by folks who are unfailingly courteous, considerate and pleasant to deal with in every way.” – Pam Went

“We want to express to you and everyone who worked on our project a most hearty “thank you”!  Our cottage is beautiful, extremely comfortable, and exactly what we hoped for. From the moment we met with Rick to discuss the possibility of renovating our little house, we had a good feeling about the way things would go if we chose to contract with A-1 Builders for the job.  We were very pleased with A-1’s dedication to operating from a ‘green’ perspective, and with Rick’s attention to the importance of engaging and motivating a well respected team of workers.  The company’s positive spirit of teamwork served to provide a truly fun and relaxed environment for us as we participated in the process of renovating of our home.

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“After meeting with Rick, we met Maggie, from Adaptations Design Studio, to discuss the design aspects and possibilities for our home. Upon meeting Maggie, we felt confident that both construction and design performed by your company were going to be just the right fit for us.  Maggie seemed to intuitively connect with our general ‘style’ of enjoying our living environment…our home.  Immediately, we felt that she would understand and respect our ideas and preferences. We are delighted to say that we have not been disappointed.  What fun we had making all those decisions about surfaces, hardware, paint colors…and especially the use of space! Maggie, along with her support team, is a wizard at ‘finding’ space where there doesn’t seem to be any!  Her expertise was critical for our project, considering our home is wonderfully ‘small’.  While we were still in California, the greater part of our happy and creative dialogue with Maggie occurred via email, texts, and phone calls from 1200 miles away, and we are just in awe of how wonderfully everything emerged from our imaginations into the perfect little cottage we are now enjoying.  Thanks to Maggie for her vision and ability to make imaginings into reality! As we settle in, we are ever appreciative of the positive experience we had with your company.

“One last thing we’d like to mention.  No one ever really wants to talk about ‘costs’ when it comes to a remodel or renovation…we all know how they ‘grow’.  Our project, like most, did ‘grow’ and so did the costs associated with accomplishing our goals.  But we feel that A-1, as well as Adaptations, ultimately, were very up-front with us about changing costs, and were willing to resolve any questions we had about specific changes — additions, modifications, even reductions.  There was never a question we couldn’t ask, and we always received a respectful response to our questions.  In the end, we feel the quality workmanship, friendly and knowledgeable service, and beautifully finished home we received is well worth the dollars spent to achieve it.  “We are happy to recommend A-1 Builders, Inc and Adaptations Design Studio to anyone who is considering a remodel/renovation for his or her home and expects a high standard of performance, quality materials, and a commitment to a healthy environment.” – Jack and Judy Shaughnessy



“After building my house on LakeWhatcom, I decided to remove a pre-existing asphalt driveway and replace it with a more permeable surface. I contacted Chris Webb of 2020 Engineering to discuss the project and he drew up the design and specifications. When it came to who I might employ to demolish the old driveway and construct the new one, Chris immediately suggested A-1. This was not a trivial project: the driveway was relatively steep, and lined with large trees that I wished to preserve in their “pre-construction” state.  Additionally, the driveway was the sole vehicular access for 3 residences, and the project had the definite potential to cause some hard feelings among neighbors. Being near the lakeshore, I was also concerned with use of polluting materials, and desired that they would be minimized in the project, and that minimal sediment would be washed into the lake.

Given the scope of the work, I felt that Rick Dubrow gave a reasonable bid and time estimate for the project. The work itself was completed close to “on-time” and within the estimated budget. Rick was also helpful in dealing with inevitable inter-neighbor project related issues. Additionally, I feel that A-1 Builders employees provided excellent workmanship, and were especially pleasant to deal with. These experiences, along with the environmental leadership I have seen the company demonstrate, allow me to recommend them without reservation.” – Tom Pratum

“We approached a large remodel of our 110 year old home in the York neighborhood with some trepidation. After all, who knew what lurked inside those walls? We chose A-1 Builders as our contractor because of their many years of experience in remodeling old houses and we weren’t disappointed. Our project manager was calm from beginning to end and approached construction with a careful eye towards what would work best for us and our house. The project was done on time and there was no damage to the rest of the house or to our extensive garden. Today we have an old house that’s updated and insulated, with a new bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and office that exactly suits our lifestyle. We are very happy with our remodeled home.” – Lisa and Dan McShane

“Your company did some work for me a few years back on a water leak that you traced to an improperly flashed half-moon window. I was so pleased with your work and especially your work ethic.   When the leak continued after the initial repair and was ultimately traced to a damaged window frame that your foreman determined was damaged by his crew during the initial repair, you promptly and without hesitation offered to replace the damaged window all at no charge.  That impressed me greatly.  I think it is quite rare these days to find someone who stands by their work and can acknowledge and accept that a mistake was made and do the right thing. Anyway, I have a French door that is leaking and has damaged some flooring and want to replace the French door with a slider as well as repair the floor.  I am tempted to do it myself but suspect I may run into some trouble having done neither of these operations before.  I think it is a pretty small job but wondered if that is something that A-1 could or would tackle?  I very much dislike dealing with trades people from a lot of bad past experiences and yours having been the only positive experience I have ever had I figured I would start with you.” – Craig Herter


“Over the years, A-1 Builders has done numerous projects for me, both at my home and at my office. Several years ago, I frantically called A-1 Builders to come in and fix a project that another contractor had botched. They were there quickly and completed the job in a way that far surpassed my expectations. Since that time, A-1 Builders has become the only company I call for my building and renovating needs. They do consistent, quality work and are a pleasure to work with.” – Greg Boos, Attorney

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Our entire team in 2005 when we celebrated our 50th company anniversary. Note the large celebratory hammer we hung aside the readerboard that entire year!

“I have been using the services of A-1 Builders and Adaptations for twenty years now.  They have helped me build two very complex dental offices.  Design, construction, interior furnishings, coordination of sub-contractors – everything was handled well. Both of my dental offices have been praised by my colleagues and my patients as being “beautiful”.  Even the most complex aspects of the commercial remodel of a historic building were dealt with quickly and without hassle.   A-1 Builders keeps up on the technology, is very in tune with protecting the environment and our historic character, but most impressively, they are dependable. A-1 Builders is the most professional builder I have ever worked with.  I can always count on a first class, quality job.” – Robert  Knudson, DDS

“I cannot praise you and your crew enough for their competence, consideration and cleanup.  I think you did a superb job on a repair that just seemed to go on and on.  I brag about your organization to everyone I talk to.  Thank you! I’d be glad to testify to the quality of the work you do anytime!” – Caryl Hinkley

“No matter how many problems I seem to have, your team has been able to solve them in a manner characterized by patience, reliability, and efficiency. I feel comfortable sharing my concerns with your company because you have undertaken my requests with thoughtful care as well as a high level of accuracy over the duration of long days doing very detailed work. I appreciate the disciplined approach you take. I have depended· on you throughout this project and will look forward to doing so in the future.” – Kathryn Brown

“I wanted to take the time to thank A1 for the excellent work you did on our recent window installation. My wife has been very pleased, not only with the quality of the work, but also with the timeliness of the completion and daily work routine of those involved, the consideration to neatness and cleanliness, and just the general demeanor and attitude towards my wife. Alison has nothing but positive things to say about the entire job. Also, your response to our recent wind damage in such a quick fashion gives you very high marks from me. This type of response lessons the burden on my wife enormously while I’m away. Just one call and you responded immediately. You’d think that would be the norm, but unfortunately these days it seems that most contractors respond to calls/work schedules as the mood strikes, and reliability and timeliness are usually in question. That is definitely not the case with A1.

“I think you will find that because of your attention to detail, your courtesy and thoughtfulness, and your adherence to a reliable work schedule that you will find us to be loyal customers from now on. While we probably do not have what you would call major work planned for our house, we do have several smaller jobs within the same price/scope as the one you just completed planned over the next couple years. A-1 is the company we will go with for these jobs. Please feel free to use us as a positive reference with potential customers, and we will be giving A-1 positive press to our friends and neighbors as well.” – Captain Alexander E Ryan


“Thank you for your energy’s, efforts and talents, surrounding all that you do. I appreciate the incentive programs; you are the first employer in my lifetime that I have experienced this kind of support. Thank you for valuing me as a person and not just a gear in a machine or a robot that you profit off of. I continue to be fascinated by the structure and framework of A-1 Builders. I have struggled in my life to understand people and my own working identity, other times I have struggled to just get by. Thank you for giving me a place to work, which ultimately allows us to exist and move forward. I am glad to be applying my skills for A-1…… thanks Rick.” – Brooklyn Hovorka, Carpenter, 2011

“I want to take the time to share my experience working out at Charlie’s house. Shawn, Justin and Chris were great to work with, albeit I was on the job for all of two days (perhaps something for the A-1 record books!). I mean this in very specific ways, and in a very sincere way. Let me explain. Each of the three guys did very concrete things to make sure I was safe on the job.

“Justin encouraged me to pace myself for the day. I was thinking of carrying two pieces of plywood at a time up to the side of the house. In a very sincere and respectful way, he said to go with one at a time — that pacing was an important part of the job. When Shawn noticed I was fatigued, he encouraged me to take a five minute break. When he showed me the ramp into the dumpster, he took the time to talk about safety issues. He also took the time to ask me if I felt safe using the ramp. When Chris saw me moving debris into the dumpster, he came over and offered me a pair of protective glasses. He also shared a story with me about how a pair of protective glasses saved him from having a piece of wire slash his eye. Later, when I was preparing to move the insulation off the lawn and into dumpster, Chris came over to let me know that he had a full-body suit, face mask and gloves for me to use.  He even checked to make sure the full-body suit was the right size. He  explained the dangers of fiberglass making contact with my skin when I was sweating. When I put on all the gear nobody made any jokes about actually using the gear designed to keep me safe. Everybody that worked on that site with me helped keep me safe, and they did so in a very sincere Jimmy Stewart kind of way.

“Having worked for my grandfather’s construction company in Baltimore years ago, I know from firsthand experience that a construction site (like any workplace) can fester with macho jokes, shaming and insincere, inarticulate and ineffective communication. There was none of that at the A-1 site. Instead, I found myself in one of the most professional and collegial workplaces I had been a part of in years. It was great to be part of a healthy workplace. Another thing that happened out on the site is that people thanked each other. There was a culture of acknowledging helpful ideas, just as verbally recognizing hard work (earnest effort) and thanking people for being proactive was part of the how things worked out at the job on Charlie’s roof. It wasn’t one guy doing this. All the guys were this way:

Shawn, Justin and Chris. Again, it was refreshing to be part of a healthy workplace.

“It was also refreshing to be part of a team where people knew who did what. On different occasions, I remember Chris and Justin suggesting that I take a certain question or suggestion to Shawn — as it was his site. This was always done in clean and respectful way. There was no passive aggressive undercurrent to their comments, nor was it about passing the buck. Whenever I talked with Shawn he was very clear about what needed to be done. It was refreshing to work with a team of people who work as a team. I was only out there for two days, but it was the healthiest and most professional workplace that I’ve been part of in many years.

“My two days working for A-1 deepen my belief that Jon Hawkes is right: the triple bottom line is like a stool with three legs, but sustainability really has four legs like a chair. There is clearly a culture at A-1 Builders that fosters, encourages and replicates sustainable, life-affirming ways of working together. When Hawkes speaks about culture being the fourth pillar of sustainability he is NOT talking about big ‘C’ Culture, as in Broadway shows and Public TV…  he is talking about small ’c’ culture: our patterns of behavior. The A-1 worksite out at Charlie’s is a great example of a sustainable work culture: one where concern for each other, encouragement and recognition, and teamwork are systemic (not just how this or that employee goes about things). It shouldn’t surprise me that A-1, a company explicitly devoted to the Triple Bottom Line, has cultivated the fourth pillar of sustainability: a work culture where cooperation is systemic and measurable, as I hope this letter suggests.

“I learned a great deal in my two days at A-1 Builders, not the least of which is that workplaces need not be cruel, they need not be petty and the people in them need not be snarky with each other; workplaces can be places that sustain us in more ways than just financially. A-1, at least in my experience of it, is like the spotted owl: an indicator species. I am glad (and not surprised) that you had to hire carpenters recently (at a time when other firms can’t find work or are laying off people) ……….” – Adam Ward, 2011

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