Barry Gibbons- Founder
“We are on a mission to change how people think about building, living, and spending.”
Patrick Strole- Master Carpenter
Patrick Strole of Living Earth Construction is a trusted primary sub contractor of HD Seattle. A Master woodworker and all around great guy! You will see him on many HD jobs.
Q & A with HD Seattle Founder Barry Gibbons
Q: Tell us about your company and its origins.
Barry: I started out in 2012 offering home services in Seattle, and have grown to specialize in building backyard cottages and offices, and doing larger remodels and custom woodworking. During the journey I’ve realized that many homeowners are hungry for information about performance-building products that are better for their health and the health of the planet. So several subcontractors I work with and I have educated ourselves so we can share this important information. We are always learning, and we love helping people make sustainable choices.
Q: How would you characterize your philosophy towards building?
Barry: Our motto is We Put Relationships First. I always want my clients to feel heard and respected. I work with clients to get to the heart of their goals and get them the best value I can for their budget and circumstances. Also of paramount importance: the health and comfort of my customers, reducing waste and our carbon footprint, and delivering an excellent final product.
Q: Your business is focused on DADUs. What are those?
Barry: DADUs — detached accessory dwelling units — are more commonly called backyard cottages. They’re typically smaller structures than the main house, but can now be up to 1,000 square feet in Seattle! They’re often used as rental properties or living spaces for extended family.
My mother lives in the cottage we have on our property. It means she can be close to her grandchildren on a daily basis. She could not have afforded to live in Seattle otherwise so this allows her to be part of the community and a close part of our family — and still have a quiet, cozy place to go home to at night that is her own.
Q: What building industry trends are just fads and what is actually changing for good?
Barry: Flex spaces and attached or detached living spaces for extended family will only become more popular and desirable. Even after things “get back to normal” many people will continue working, exercising, and entertaining at home. And multi-generational living will only become more common as we live longer, healthier lives.
Sustainable materials will also become more popular as great new products emerge and become more well known, and as people reckon with the immensity of the climate change threat.
Trends that are more ephemeral are often related to finishing work. You can definitely build sustainably no matter your style, but the most sustainable practice is to build once and have it last. So we tend toward a classic Pacific Northwest style that will last the test of time.
Premium products that perform well over time and are carbon-friendly are what we believe in. We are on a mission to change how people think about building, living, and spending.
Q: How has covid 19 affected your business?
Barry: We have worked hard to follow all of the state laws and best-practices to a T, and everyone on my crew, as well as the subcontractors I hire, must comply with all safety requirements. Just as I want my customers to have safe and healthy homes, I also want everyone I work with to stay safe and healthy through this crisis.
I have two sons and my wife now works from home so I’m very sensitive to the needs of customers who are working from home and have kids schooling from home. I have scheduled more virtual meetings and have to plan for social distancing when there are people stuck at home while we’re working.